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Subject: 3rd Edition Review - Someone dropped the brain! rss

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Doug Click
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Give me the Brain 3rd edition review.

Please note: None of the pictures included in this review were taken by the reviewer. My thanks go to each person who took the time to upload these images.

Overview:

This is a quick and chaotic card game, for three to eight players, that utilizes a die for some of the action sequence cards. The goal of the game is to empty your hand of cards.

Components:



In the vastly oversized box, you get one deck of cards, a die, the rulesheet, and packing material. The cards are of a decent quality, so they should last through many games.

Gameplay:

The player is a zombie working at a fast food joint. Each zombie starts with seven cards in their hand. Included in these cards are tasks that must be completed in order to empty your hand. Some tasks are simple while others are difficult and require a “brain” to complete.

The task cards have requirements that must be met in order to play them and allow them to be discarded. The very simple tasks have one hand printed on them. Medium tasks have two hands printed on them, and difficult tasks also include an image of a brain.

Because each zombie has two hands (for the most part) a player can complete two tasks that require one hand or one task that requires two hands. There are item cards within the deck that can adjust the number of hands that can be used on a player’s turn.

The “brain” is a six-sided die which is fought over by the players. Only one player can have it at a time and that dang thing is slippery, so it often gets dropped or stolen. For cards that require the brain to complete, the card has a roll requirement and the player must roll it or higher to complete the task to discard the card from their hand. Failure to make the roll means the zombie’s task was too complicated and the “brain” was dropped to the floor. Now the “brain” is up for grabs.

When the brain is dropped, players bid on who will pick it up next. Highest bidder gets to pick up the brain and start a new round of action card playing.

So, there are four different types of cards in the deck.

- Bid Cards – These cards are numbered from 1 to 30 and are used as part of the bidding process to claim the brain. Highest bid wins.
- Simple Tasks – These are either one hand jobs or two hand jobs (Ok, stop laughing) that can be completed without the brain.
- Complex Tasks – These require the player to have the brain in hand.
- Item Cards – These can help or hinder gameplay.

When a player does complete a task, the instructions on the card must be completed before the card is removed from the player’s hand and another card played. Some cards are detrimental to the person playing it, some cards affect who controls the “brain”, and many of the cards are designed to “screw” one or more of the other players.

If a player cannot play a card or wishes not to, that zombie must loaf for a turn. What this does is allows the player to draw a card in hopes it will help on the next turn OR to discard all of the cards in hand and draw one more card than was discarded to change things up dramatically.

Yes, it is a very chaotic game and not one where you can plan ahead.

The first player to empty their hand and complete the instructions on the last card wins. It is possible to play the last card and have the turn pass to someone else, leaving the player “floating” until their next turn. It is also possible that the card being played will remove a card from someone else’s hand, giving them the win.

The game can take anywhere from 30 minutes to five minutes (if a player has the perfect set of cards), but it is very easy to learn and can be taught in about five minutes. It is a light and fun game if you don’t mind the chaos.

Compare to previous edition:

The previous edition was a full color printing that did not include a die. It came in a standard “side by side” card box where the deck was separated into two stacks and placed side by side in the box.

The fronts for this edition have been redesigned, but not necessarily for the better.

Here are examples of the previous edition cards;

Please notice the illustrations on the “thinking cap” and “extra hand” cards.

The current 3rd edition cards:

Do not have these illustrations on them even though the bid cards retain the illustrations as noted on card #29.



Conclusion:

I bought this edition for a friend of mine going to Afghanistan because of his love for the game. We cracked it open to play and was very disappointed in the design of the 3rd edition game.

I gave my friend my copy of the second edition, since he is going in harm’s way.

If you like chaotic games that are light and fun, this game is for you, but buy the previous edition.

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chearns
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Sayburr wrote:
If you like chaotic games that are light and fun, this game is for you, but buy the previous edition. I would not recommend anyone buy this redesigned game.


Personally, I'd go a step further and say, buy the first edition if you can find it. The cards added for the second edition, I found, made the game less fun to play, not more.

Although the usability of the third edition does indeed appear to be disastrous.
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Doug Click
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I have never played the original edition of the game, which is strange since I own several Cheap Ass Games. So, I am not sure what cards were added.

 
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Chris Hawks
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Quote:
It is possible to play the last card and have the turn pass to someone else, leaving the player "floating" until their next turn.

I don't understand what you're saying here. You win when your cards are gone, period. I believe the original edition rules had you win only on your turn, which would allow for a kind of "floating" status, but you say you've never played with that edition.

Quote:
So, as you can see by the above images, a player with the cards fanned out in their hand can NOT see the requirements for any except for the top card.

Look again: the requirements are all there on the left-hand edge of the header. But of course they're in tiny print. And they make the requirement graphics in the center of the cards completely redundant--except for readability's sake. In any case, why did they do that?
 
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Doug Click
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Salt-Man Z wrote:
Quote:
It is possible to play the last card and have the turn pass to someone else, leaving the player "floating" until their next turn.

I don't understand what you're saying here. You win when your cards are gone, period. I believe the original edition rules had you win only on your turn, which would allow for a kind of "floating" status, but you say you've never played with that edition.


Maybe we have been playing wrong.

Salt-Man Z wrote:
[
Quote:
So, as you can see by the above images, a player with the cards fanned out in their hand can NOT see the requirements for any except for the top card.

Look again: the requirements are all there on the left-hand edge of the header. But of course they're in tiny print. And they make the requirement graphics in the center of the cards completely redundant--except for readability's sake. In any case, why did they do that?


Would you believe, we didn't notice that! I will look closer when I get home from work and will change the review.
 
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Chris Hawks
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It's still a terrible redesign. Gone is the helpful and intuitive color-coding--and the whimsy--of the Job cards. The Bids still look fine, but it's the Jobs that the game revolves around. And those got completely hosed.
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Sayburr wrote:
Failure to make the roll means the zombie’s task was too complicated and the “brain” was dropped to the floor. The task was not completed and now the “brain” is up for grabs.


Oh, maybe I've been playing this bit wrong, you're saying the brainy task doesn't get completed if they drop the brain? So this means they keep the card and get to do the same action again if they get the brain again?
 
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Chris Hawks
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Rainbow Snake wrote:
Sayburr wrote:
Failure to make the roll means the zombie’s task was too complicated and the brain was dropped to the floor. The task was not completed and now the brain is up for grabs.

Oh, maybe I've been playing this bit wrong, you're saying the brainy task doesn't get completed if they drop the brain? So this means they keep the card and get to do the same action again if they get the brain again?

No, you're doing it right. You must complete the Job (entirely resolve the card) before making the Skill Roll.
 
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Garth
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Sayburr wrote:


I bought this edition for a friend of mine going to Afghanistan because of his love for the game. We cracked it open to play and was very disappointed in the design of the 3rd edition game.

I gave my friend my copy of the second edition, since he is going in harm’s way.



I know this is late but good luck to your friend and here's hoping he stays safe.
 
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Michael Nerman
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While I don't like the missing pictures for the objects, or the new layout, -or- the big box, my biggest beef is the extra cards added.

I tried playing this out of the box, and it just didn't seem nearly as fun as I remember it. (My second edition copy was in a backpack that was stolen a number of years back.) Maybe there are way too many two handed jobs and jobs that increase the amount of cards in players' hands. There are also too many jobs that you don't want to play. I haven't checked if there's a list of what cards were in the original edition, because I think I would just remove the extra cards. It makes me wonder if the game was playtested with the extra cards at all...
 
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Chris Hawks
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I've yet to see anyone else claim that Steve Jackson added cards to the game. It comes with 112 cards, just like the Cheapass Deluxe edition.

Here's the 1996 original black-and-pink edition card list.

Here's the 2002 deluxe color edition card list.
 
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Michael Nerman
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Thanks, Chris! As usual, you are the go-to man for GMtB!
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