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Subject: Encore Deluxe, and Other Games I Hate. rss

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Bradley Hays
United States
Raymore
Missouri
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I've been thinking for a while now about trying to do some reviews. I could review some of my favorite games, but most of my favorites are the same as other people's and seem to be games that much has been said about already. Also, I've been thinking about a theme to go along with my reviews. As I was logging in some games I came across this one, which I played a few weeks ago. But the vivid images and feelings that immediately surged within me made me think that maybe there might be something more to this feeling. Sure, plenty of others write about games that they like, or the latest thing. I suppose there's a place for that. But I've been told you should do the thing about which you're most passionate. And if I can save just one person from experiencing the pain that I've felt, well, then maybe it would all be worth while. Almost.

Encore Deluxe
So, I like Eurogames a lot, and a lot of times a good Ameritrash game is nice, too. But I grew up on party games. I had Pictionary and Taboo and Trivia Pursuit (not exactly a party game, but whatever). My friends and I play a lot of parlor games, too. Parlor games are those games that you play in a parlor, until somebody gets the idea to make it into a published game and make a bunch of money. And then it becomes a party game. That's how they're begotten. In fact, we'd already played a couple of those this night (I'm setting the stage). First we played Telephone Pictionary (I oughta put that one in a box), and Werewolf (the boxed version), and Time's Up. Then about this time someone suggested Encore Deluxe. Something told me it wouldn't really be my game, but I was feeling congenial. I'd done pretty well already that night so I figured we'd try something that somebody else might be pretty good at.

So we split into two teams. Someone explained the rules. It's your typical party game where someone rolls a dice, moves their pawn and draws a card and reads the question of the color landed on. In this variety, there is a word on the card, like "love." So the team that landed there has to come up with an 8-word phrase from a song that has that word in it, and then (here's the catch) they have to sing it.

Now I'm a fairly musical person. Actually I'm very musical. I can pick out riffs by AC/DC or Led Zeppelin or the Beatles on my guitar. Sometimes I even sing along. And I have a pretty good voice I think. Play a song off the radio and I can usually tell you the artist before the words start. But if you ask me to sing a random part of song, 8 words long, one of which includes a particular word like "fish," then my brain goes into lock-down. Not only that, but did I mention that you have to sing it. Out loud. Yeah. I'm not good at that. In fact, I was the worst. Even worse then I thought I would be.

The good news is that, if you're playing teams like we were, you can kind of depend on the other members of your team. But I wanted to contribute. Oh, and I forgot to mention this but after you come up with an 8 word phrase and sing it out loud, then the other team has to do this with the same word, until one of you breaks under the pressure, and can't come up with anything. Then the other team gets to roll the dice or something. It's really not that important.

So it's a duel. If you get lucky (and I never did) and come up with a song, and sing it out loud, then the other team just comes up with a song, usually from the 80's, and it's back to you. Crap.

Every time it was our turn, I was just racking my brain, trying to come up with a song. I would plug my ears and hum to myself, and I could almost hear a song but then, I couldn't thing how the melody went. And if I did come up with something then you can bet for sure that just then somebody on the other team would come up with the same song, or worse yet, somebody on my own team, and steal all the glory. Plus, if you actually like to sing and care how you sound, that makes it even more difficult.

My friend Sarah, of course, is just incredible at this. She does Richard Simmons sweating to the oldies all the time and so she's got a plethora of songs just sitting there on the tip of her tongue. The more I tried to think of a song, the worse it got. Performance anxiety.

Oh, and that's not the worst of it. You can land on different spots on the board where you can challenge a team against a player. Thank God this only happened to me once. I guess the other team just felt sorry for me because they avoided me after this one time. The word was "sunshine." They didn't even get a chance to go, because I just squinted my eyes shut and tried to think of a song, and I thought I had once, but I just couldn't come up with the right lyrics. And the timer ran out. Then my friend on my team looked me in the eye, pitifully, and she said, "You Are My Sunshine"? Hmmph. Yeah, that would have been a good one.

This game sucks. I hate it.

Well, I'm not sure if that was a review or just a session report, but you're quite welcome to give me suggestions. If it goes through I'll start thinking about some other horrid gaming experiences I've had. Like the time I tried to teach everyone how to play Die Macher after I'd played only once. Yeah, that was bad.
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Brian Schroth
United States
Middletown
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It seems a little unfair to say "this game sucks" when your one and only complaint is "I am not good at it".
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