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Subject: The Gamer Nerd Review: Lunch Money rss

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Gary Meacher
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Illinois
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Check out the Full Review with Images on www.TheGamerNerd.com
http://www.thegamernerd.com/reviews/lunch-money/

Growing up I’ve had a few sketchy moments on the playground during recess. That stereotypical “gimme your lunch money!” interaction never happened to me (we all had free lunch growing up in the Cleveland Public School system), but I’ve definitely had more than my fair share of scuffles. Lunch Money is a game that simulates that unforgettable experience of a playground brawl.

A fight simulating card game? Really!? Yes, and Atlas Games does a good job of it. Lunch Money is a game for two or more players, I find that it plays best with at least three people —but a one on one brawl is just as fun, every game ends that way. The Objective of the game is to take your opponents’ life counters down from 15 to 0. A player who runs out of counters is unconscious and out of the game. The last player standing wins!

The game play is a standard shuffle up and deal. Each player gets 5 cards and within their hand they have options to defend, attack or heal themselves. A typical turn revolves around choosing another player to attack, pairing cards into combos or meeting play requirements (some cards you have to have a grab card to play or some defense cards can only defend certain types of attacks) and the player you chose figuring out the best way to defend themselves. There are a wide range of basic attack cards, defense cards, weapon cards, and specialty cards. Some of my favorites: “Humiliation” can be played at any time, at any point, on any player’s turn to humiliate the player and ruin their strategy. The concept behind the card is that the player describes a sequence of events that will humiliate to the point that they are so ashamed that whatever they were trying to do fails. There’s also “Pimp Slap”, “Poke in the Eye”, “Spinning Backfist”, weapons like “Chain”, “Pipe”, “Knife”, and “Hammer”.

The greatest draw of this game is the artwork and witty card types and phrases. For example, the flavor text on “Humiliation” reads “Jesus hates you; and so do I”. Another great one is “Chain”, it reads “What’s black and blue and red all over? You are, silly!”. The images on the cards are eerie (photos by Andrew Yates). A little girl posed in threatening positions, ready to pounce on a would be defender. The photos are artistically shot, often out of focus in strategic areas to add effect, high contrast with dense blacks and washed out highlights. The mood is truly set through the imagery on the cards.

Lunch Money won the Origins Award for Best Card Game of 1996 (tied with three other games). Its a great game for non-gamers and strategic enough for hardcore players. One thing I don’t normally embrace with tabletop gaming is household rules, Lunch Money lends itself to creating household rules that can enhance the experience. Table talk is one of the most enjoyable parts of this game, its even in the rule book—

“Colorful banter is an important part of Lunch Money, so dont be afraid to get into the game by describing in vivid detail the insults you perform upon your opponents. Don’t be surprised by the imaginative things they do to you in return, and remember:
its just a game.”
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Paul DeStefano
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Long Island
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It's a Zendrum. www.zendrum.com
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Re: Lunch Money Review
I always found the art of the game extremely off putting.
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Charlie Theel
United States
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Re: Lunch Money Review
Man we got into this game in High School.

We loved the trash talk and slapping down Humiliation -

"Jesus Hates you. And so do I."
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Gary Meacher
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Trash talk makes this game awesome!
 
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