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The Exciting New Game of the Kennedys» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Kennedys - Review and Session report rss

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Floyd Sherrod
United States
Sharpsburg
Georgia
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At a recent game night everyone was up for another before calling it an evening. They agreed to let me trot out one of the vintage games I'd bought recently. I told them I was eager to give them all at least one play before I tried to trade or sell them and made no claims as to the quality of the games.

The game I chose was The Exciting New Game of the Kennedys, chiefly because it was the only game I'd read the rules for that would take six players.

In this game from 1962, each player takes on the role of one of the Kennedy clan--Bobby, Caroline, Jack, Jackie, John Jr., or Teddy--as they try to rise to national prominence. The board is very much like a Clue board in that there are six rooms around the sides, and one in the center called the Conference Room. Players start in the edges, and move, as in Clue, from room to room across a grid of squares. Each of the rooms on the perimeter represent a particular aspect/constituency each Kennedy will require to win the game. Examples are Influential Friends, and Position of Importance, and in each room there are six cards, one representing each family member for that particular characteristic. These are stacked face down, but in alphabetical order at the start of the game so that Bobby is always on top and Teddy is at the bottom.

To win the game you must collect the six different characteristic cards of which four must have your name on it, and the other two must have the name of any other Kennedy. To do this you enter a room, pay $100K (buying favors), and without looking, secretly take the card of your choice and replace it with a blank card in the same position. So there will always be six cards in each room stack, although now some may be blank.

You start the game with only $500K, and some of your hopeful card draws will end up being blanks as the game progresses, so you will need to earn more money along the way. Some of the squares in the hallways are marked with $ icons, and here you can end your turn as you travel between rooms to roll a die and earn some extra cash.

Of course what old game would be complete without a rule for when you roll doubles? In this case doubles allows you to collect a Turn of Events card. These cards essentially direct a Kennedy to either gain or lose one of the characteristic cards and can be held for play at a strategic time in the game or be used in a deal. A deal you say? Here's where the conference room comes in. A player entering the conference room can do one of two things; 1) They can can offer to make a deal with another player in which case they go off and secretly discuss and make whatever deal they want. It can be a trade of Turn of Events cards, characteristic cards, cash, or combination thereof. 2) The second option is they can force a recall of one of there own cards, and in the manner of Go Fish, if they think they know who has a particular card they are seeking, they may demand and receive it.

I am understandably wary of what any really old game has to offer in terms of fun gameplay, but we actually had a heck of a good time with this. So much so that my group even suggested it was a "keeper" and I shouldn't get rid of it. Maybe it's the folks I was playing with, but the screw factor in this one made for an amusing time, and there is a memory element in trying to know who visited what when. Timing your play of key Turn of Events cards is not unimportant and factors significantly in the game. Though it seems like luck would be a major factor in this game, it didn't feel like it as there were enough items to be collected, and spaces to garner cash, that the timely play of cards and deal-making outweighed any series of unfortunatel dice rolls. Recommended.
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Bill Eldard
United States
Burke
Virginia
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Thanks for the report, Floyd. I had never heard of this one before now. It seems like an odd cross between Clue and Careers.

 
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