Recommend
 
 Thumb up
 Hide
2 Posts

Scream Machine» Forums » Reviews

Subject: User Review rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Camo Coffey
United Kingdom
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tyne & Wear
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I picked this game up at my FLGS (Forbidden Planet, Newcastle, for those who care) for only £2, so I wasn't expecting much. It has Aaron Williams artwork (I like Nodwick), so that was really the only selling point. But hey, it was cheap.

I know Joseph Huber (the designer) is a regular poster here in the Geek, so I'm sure he'll be pleased to hear I was very pleasantly surprised by his game.

It took a while for the three of us to understand the rules; an example layout for the cards would have been helpful perhaps, as well as an example of play. But maybe that would have expanded the rulebook too much.

As it is, once understood, the rules are actually very simple and offer surprisingly difficult choices at each round of play.

I should probably discuss the game now:

This is a card game wherein players build amusement parks and try to attract people to their rides (or foodstalls or whatever). There are two types of card: Attractions and Customers. The players hold a hand of Attraction cards from which they will try to build their amusement park, as well as from the selection of face up Attraction cards in the centre of the table.

Customers are dealt between each player (available to the players on either side) and again to the centre of the table (available to all players). These are called Local and National Customers, respectively, and are the purpose of the game. Players score for attracting the most customers to their rides, and do so by building the types of rides these customers prefer.

At the end of each round of turns (after every player has taken their actions), the customers visit the park which offers the most of their preferred rides. If one particular player has built more family rides ("Tunnel of Love", etc) than any others, then all the National and adjacent Local "Family" customers are awarded to that player. He earns a point for each customer he attracts and, after a fixed number of turns, the player with the highest score wins.

While most Customers are attracted to the bigger and better rides, some folks are "Cheapskates", who go to the overall lowest scoring parks. A round with several Cheapskates can very suddenly propel a losing player back into contention! Happily, players can choose to remove their own rides in order to exploit these particularly thrifty customers. In this game, expensive is not always best!

There is quite a lot of randomness, with the distribution of Attractions and Customers (especially as some Local customers are dealt face-down, hidden from the players), but this is alleviated by the options the players have. In each round, a player has 4 actions: most of these will be used to build Attractions but other actions can be used to replace some of the central pool of Attraction cards, peek at any nearby hidden Customers, or even simply to Advertise, which gives him one point, automatically.

The players need to pay careful attention to the others' parks, the available Customers, and their options to build, and in these decisions lies the game's real strength. There's no real direct player interaction but the competition for certain purchases does provoke quite a lot of costernation and shouts of things like, "O, you slime! I wanted that roller coaster!" In this, it's actually kind of reminiscent of Puerto Rico -- yes, Mr Huber, I did make a (favourable) comparison between your wee filler game and the mighty Puerto Rico!

All-in-all, we had fun playing it and it will be played again. One of the guys said "Keep that in your regular pile; it's a great little filler."

I love the bigger games (Settlers, PR, Twilight Imperium, etc) but I'm quite partial to quick and simple games too, especially if we've a half-hour or so left over after a session of roleplaying or whatever. This nice little game certainly fits that bill. It's a shame Forbidden Planet were virtually throwing it away; it deserves more respect than that.

Thanks, Joe Huber, for designing a nice cute game that will revisit our tables frequently in the future.
1 
 Thumb up
2.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
msg tools
Re:User Review
I know Joseph Huber (the designer) is a regular poster here in the Geek, so I'm sure he'll be pleased to hear I was very pleasantly surprised by his game.

Absolutely! Of course I'm also pleased to hear constructive negative feedback as well - I've been very pleased by how much I've learned with the publication of Scream Machine...

It took a while for the three of us to understand the rules; an example layout for the cards would have been helpful perhaps, as well as an example of play. But maybe that would have expanded the rulebook too much.

Hopefully you've taken a look at and/or downloaded the rules here, which do add in some examples.

But you're right - it is an area that I've looked to improve in the future. You might be pleased to hear that the rules for Ice Cream, in addition to being more straightforward, contain a number of examples, all with graphical accompaniment.

As it is, once understood, the rules are actually very simple and offer surprisingly difficult choices at each round of play.

The players need to pay careful attention to the others' parks, the available Customers, and their options to build, and in these decisions lies the game's real strength. There's no real direct player interaction but the competition for certain purchases does provoke quite a lot of costernation and shouts of things like, "O, you slime! I wanted that roller coaster!" In this, it's actually kind of reminiscent of Puerto Rico -- yes, Mr Huber, I did make a (favourable) comparison between your wee filler game and the mighty Puerto Rico!

Thanks! This effect - the "I wanted that!" feeling - was an intended and welcome outcome of having local customers. In Acquire, for any given stock there are players who could care less about said stock - usually at most three players are competing for it. In Scream Machine, a given ride may be useful to many different players - and even should that not be the case, it may be productive to discard it so as to bring up new choices.

Just Joe is fine, btw - when I hear Mr. Huber I think of my father...

I love the bigger games (Settlers, PR, Twilight Imperium, etc) but I'm quite partial to quick and simple games too, especially if we've a half-hour or so left over after a session of roleplaying or whatever. This nice little game certainly fits that bill. It's a shame Forbidden Planet were virtually throwing it away; it deserves more respect than that.

There's far worse things in the world than knowing your game reached the bargain bin. I'd far rather the game get into the hands of those who do or will enjoy it; "respect" is not nearly as rewarding as "we had fun playing it"...

Thanks, Joe Huber, for designing a nice cute game that will revisit our tables frequently in the future.

You're most welcome; thanks for giving it a try!

Joe
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.