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Subject: Landlord - A Lunchtime Gaming Review rss

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Andy
United Kingdom
Manchester
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I'm fortunate enough to have a small group of people at my workplace to play games with at lunchtime... Lunchtime gaming has certain requirements that are very different from other types of gaming, so this is a review based primarily on those.

Features of lunchtime gaming

Short Duration - As we only have 45 minutes to play, and our group likes to play 2 or 3 games in that time, games need to play within 15-20 minutes.

Easy to Learn - The first play must take no longer than 45 minutes, ideally should be 30 mintues or less, and it really helps if we can fit in a 2nd play on the same day. In addition, the game must be straightforward enough that non-gamers pick up the mechanisms quite quickly.

Screwage - The nature of gaming with work colleagues in the middle of tough/stressful days means we want to vent, and what better way to do so than to pick on each other, so games with a high "Screw You" factor go down well. This can either be direct play against other players, or more subtle manipulation of the game state.

Variability - In my group, a good lunchtime game sees a lot of play.. therefore a game has to have a very high replay return on learning investment... Games that are very similar every time they get played soon tire.

Fun - Probably the most important aspect of lunchtime gaming is having a bit of fun, to relieve the stress or monotony of the working day. A lunchtime game needs a fun theme... preferably one that's not too childish... and it needs to encourage a bit of excitement and table talk. Ideally people in other rooms should hear that you're having a good time!


How does Landlord Stack Up

Duration -
The published playtime is 30 minutes, however we found that it was closer to 40 or 45 minutes in our group... certainly every time we played, it was the only game we were able to fit in during the 45 minute period and a couple of times we had to abandon the game before the end.

Ease of Learning -
The rules are a little bit more tricky than many of the games we've played, and certainly in our first session we were not able to fit in a full game after the rules explanation (though that is also partly to do with the game length). It also took a couple of games before one or two people had grasped the mechanisms, and certain rules or card interactions.

Screwage -
This game rates very high in the screwage stakes... you can bomb other peoples buildings or simply demolish them, murder or evict their tennants... and you can move Squatters, Weirdos or noisy Musicians into their buildings, or steal their high-paying celebrities, researchers and businessmen for your self.

Variability -
With a number of different tenants, many with special rules, and a few different action cards, this game has plenty of variability and replayability. If it played quicker, this game could probably rival Guillotine for replayability.

Fun -
Although being a landlord sounds like it might be pretty boring, this game is lots of fun.. There's plenty of opportunity for trash talk, certainly with cards such as Bomb and Murder flying around... and you can react to these by calling the Cops and having someone thrown in Jail, if they don't have an alibi or good lawyers.


Cons

The game doesn't come with any form of money, so you will need counters or poker chips to use as money.

The duration of this game is a definite disadvantage for our lunchtime group, but that may not be a problem for other groups.


Summary

- Duration
- Ease of Learning
- Screwage
- Variability
- Fun

An excellent light filler, and a very good lunchtime game... Shame it isn't a little bit easier to teach and play the first time, and would definitely see more play in our group if it was just a bit shorter.


Total 18/25
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Travis Easton
United States
Casey
Illinois
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Did you find the black and white look detracted from the game?

I've been looking at this one and can't decide if the black and white look will keep my group from wanting to play it.
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Andy
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None of my group mentioned the fact that the cards were black and white.. and I personally don't think they detract from the game.
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Travis Easton
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Casey
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OK thanks. I find the theme and cardplay interesting, so I'll likely be adding it to my next order. I'm always looking for a card game that does something unique.
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John Neeve
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Lowestoft
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I think looks always influence people who don't normally play. If offered a choice they would rather go for a flashy looking game even if it seemed to be hard for them to play.
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