Saturday!

Kool-Aid – "Bank Robbers" (Commercial, 1978)

I’ve thought through some of the boardgames that I’ve recommended here on Saturday, and I’ve come to the conclusion that most of them aren’t particularly entry-level.

And by that, I mean “somewhere around Uno”.

I mean, sure. Most of us probably have played a number of weird and wonderful board games before and would be more than happy enough to sit down and play something as complicated as Eclipse or Lords of Waterdeep for the first time but, let’s face it, if we go over to Gramma’s and Aunt Winnifred is there and ‘ittle Cousin Wally (“don’t call me little! I’m 8!”), we’re not going to get everybody to play one of those.

So what’s a good game that we *COULD* play? I’m talking something as simple as Uno.

Well, I was recently given a card game called “Anomia” and it’s *PERFECT*. Here’s the conceit: everybody has a deck of cards and flips one over at a time. In the middle of the card is a symbol like a hash or a plus sign or a circle or something. There’s text at the top or bottom that names a category. Something like “cake ingredient” or “collective noun” or “Dickens Character”. Everybody has a deck full of these and you go around the table flipping cards until there are two identical symbols on the table. Then the people who have the two identical symbols have a feud and they have to name a member of the category on their opponent’s card.

So you’ll be staring at your opponent’s card that says “Sporting Equipment” and blanking out on “hockey mask” while s/he’s staring at your “One Hit Wonder” card and trying to remember the group that came out with that one song. “Men Without Hats!”

People will be yelling and whooping and hollering and, most importantly, laughing as they play. It takes less than a minute to learn, Gramma will be even more equipped to play it than ‘ittle Cousin Wally because Gramma knows “Elvis Songs” and Wally doesn’t even know who Elvis is.

How can you not know who Elvis is?

Anyway, if you’ve been wishing for a game that you could play instead of Uno for the umpteenth time, give this one a try.

So… what are you playing?

(Picture is HG Wells playing a war game from Illustrated London News (25 January 1913))


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Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to AskJaybird-at-gmail.com

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2 thoughts on “Saturday!

  1. I also like how well Anomia adapts to different settings.

    We played it with 2 other hyper-verbally-adept people who are just as much vocabulary geeks as we are (the folks who gave it to us) and it was a totally different style of game, but still funny and still delightful and still very much worth it.

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  2. On the computer gaming front, I’ve been playing Factorio a lot recently. Its a crafting game about building a rocket to send a satellite off the alien planet you’re stranded on.

    Unlike most survival-crafting games, you can’t possibly do everything yourself, so the game is actually about building up an ever more complex factory made of mining drills, conveyor belts, smelters and assembly machines to produce everything you need to build the rocket and get it into orbit. There are alien bugs that attack you in response to the pollution you produce (necessitating building fortifications and gun turrets), but there’s also a peaceful mode where the aliens won’t attack unless you shoot at them.

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