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Subject: The Mad Magazine Game rss

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Petter W
Sweden
Malmö
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This is a chaotic, random, fast paced, humorous game based on MAD magazine. If you like the humor of the game, you will love it. Otherwise, it may not be for you.

The components of the game are a game board, some playing pieces, a deck of cards, a pile of money, the rules and two dice. The game board and cards are illustrated by some of the artists from MAD magazine, I recognize art by Sergio Aragones, Dave Berg, Don Martin, Antonio Prohias (Spy vs. Spy), and others I don't know the names of. The artists are skilled and the art is good in most places, but in general not related to what goes on in the game, which is a shame. It looks like the art is not produced for this game, but taken from various comics in the magazine (which might very well be the case).

When the game starts, each player takes a playing piece and some money. The objective of the game is to be the first player to loose all of his or her money.

Game mechanics are very simple. The players take turns rolling the dice and moving their pieces on the game board. Each square on the board has some instructions that must be followed. Some squares instruct the player to pick a card from the deck and follow the instructions on the card.

Game play is fast and chaotic, and completely random. There are almost no decisions to be made, and none of any strategic importance. Players are frequently instructed to change seats (leaving their money in the seat they left) or exchanging their money with another player. Because of this, who is in the lead is constantly changing. It matters little what happens to you, if you make or lose money, because in a few rounds time you will likely have changed your money with someone else.

The rules are, in many places, unclear. An example: One of the squares instructs the player to roll the dice three times and move backwards. Is the player to follow the instructions on all the squares he or she lands on? To resolve situations like this, there is an extra rule: If the players can not agree what should happen on a particular square, there is a vote. Majority rules. This might sound like a bad thing, but in reality, it goes perfectly with the chaotic nature of the game. The important thing in this game is not the rules, which brings me to the next subject:

This is a humorous game, if you like the humor you will like the game, otherwise it has little to offer. I remember I used to love the humor when I was eight years old. I also used to love the chaotic nature of the game, that it mattered little who was in the lead because it could change any time, and that the game was completely random. The randomness made it possible for me to beat my elder brother, which I never could in any skill-based games...

During the game, you will have to stand up and impersonate your favorite animal, sit on your hands and cackle like a hen, jump up in the air and try to stay there for 30 seconds, stand up and boo at your fellow players... And you will be instructed to do certain things only on a Friday, or only if your name is Alfred E. Neuman, or if you're a girl, or if someone has their elbows on the table or if someone is standing up... And you will be (mildly) insulted dozens of times, by the game board and by the card texts. Oh, and you'll have to make all your dice rolls with your left hand, or you will get money from the other players.

To summarize: This is a chaotic, completely random, fast paced game with nothing to offer when it comes to game design. As a kid, I used to love it. If you like this kind of MAD humor, you will love this game, otherwise, it is probably not for you.

Note: This review is based on the Swedish version of the game.
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