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Subject: Make Me Smile - A review of "Moods" rss

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Federico Galeotti
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I believe you find life such a problem because you think there are the good people and the bad people. You're wrong, of course. There are, always and only, the bad people, but some of them are on opposite sides.
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Basics

Players: 3-8

Average gaming time: 15 minutes (depends on the performance ability of the players - decent actors should be around these playing time, less thespian-oriented fellows could take more)

Complexity: Very Low (a typical party game)


Components

Gameboard, 120 phrase cards, 60 mood cards, 32 voting chips (4 for each player), 8 player markers, 1 ten-sided die, 1 dice cup.


Overview

It's all in the way you say it.

Moods is a typical zany party game from Hasbro, in which the players compete to advance on a track and be the first to reach the finish line (like "Taboo", for instance). The players advance by rightly guessing which mood their fellow players are acting out, and by performing well enough that people guess the mood they're acting out.


Gameplay

Each player picks one phrase card, and has to act it out in one of ten different moods, chosen among the cards laid out on the gameboard. Sample moods range from "silly", to "nervous", to "threatening" and so on. The phrases could as easily be "I feel sexy" rather than "I speak fluent Klingon". Obviously the weirder it is the pair of mood and phrase, the more fun the players have when the "acting" player has to perform.

The acting player throws a die, hiding it with the dice cup, and then proceeds to perform the line on the phrase card, delivering it in the mood written on the card next to the number on the board that is shown on the die. The other players have to guess which one of the ten moods on the board he is currently acting. More often than not, there are similar enough moods on the board that the choice is not so blatantly obvious.

A player has 4 voting chips numbered from 1 to 4, all of which he has to use once before taking them back in his hands. All the players put their chips on the board at the same time, then the acting player reveals the die, and so in which mood he was acting out. If the guessing player chooses rightly, he advances the number of spaces shown on the marker which he used for the guess. If he guesses poorly, he goes back the same number of spaces. The acting player advances one space for each player that rightly guesses the mood he was trying to act out. All the mood cards guessed at by at least one player are discarded, and new ones are drawn from the deck. It is now next player's turn. The first player to reach the final space on the track wins.

And that's all there is to the game.


Comments

I think Moods is a good party game, even if for me it is not in the same league as overall better party games, like my beloved "Time's Up". Having said that, there are some flaws to report.

The scoring system is obviously not a work of Reiner Knizia, as it suffers from several problems. For instance, in one of the games we played, one player performed so badly during one of her turns that everyone guessed wrong at what mood she was trying to suggest; in the end, she won, possibly because of that obvious blunder (everyone went back a number of spaces, because we all were so sure of the mood she was acting; obviously we were wrong). You could wish that, even in this sort of game, a player would be penalized for doing poorly, and not have an actual advantage for it.

This is naturally a relatively minor drawback, considering that the game is just a party game, so rules lawyer and competitive players should know better and just steer clear of it.

Moreover, a single game seems to play out a little too fast for my taste, considering that most games are over in just about 15 minutes. Of course, you could tweak the rules a little by having to go on several laps of the gameboard for the win, or simply by playing it a couple of times one after another.

In the end, you could say that if you are in the right mood (pun intended) to have some fun, then Moods, while in no way a masterpiece, is certainly a good way to pass an hour with your friends by being silly together.


Wrap-up

Pros
- A good way to have fun with your non-gaming friends by acting silly; pretty entertaining as far as party games go
- Plays very fast

Cons
- Doesn't work with people who are very bad actors or who hate to be laughed at
- Scoring system a bit awkward, could certainly have been better
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Dario bacchi
England
Coventry
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hmm in our version it doesnt say anything about going backwards if you get it wrong - you just get 0pts and it seems to work fine
 
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