… Help Ghillie Take on Mulmesh

Hello again everyone!  Last week’s post, which chronicled the epic battle between Ghillie and the tyrant Nom was pretty well received.  Enough so, that we have decided to continue the series.  If you missed last’s week and would like to catch up, you can do so here.  This week Ghillie is setting his sites on Mulmesh.  The journey will be long, treacherous, and fraught with hardship, but we are determined to see this through to the end.  Won’t you join us?

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I mentioned this in our last write up, but it bears repeating, as I write this playthrough I am going to try my best to keep it as spoiler free as possible, as I start each new day I will tell you which card I pulled from the Encounter Deck, but will stay away from the story.  I will let you know if I chose the first or second option, without saying what they reference in the story.  Although I will try my best to avoid spoilers there may still be some, so read on at your own risk.  If you’re ready to go, so am I!

Day One, we join Ghillie as he is “Leaving Obendar”.  As usual we decide to take the first option.  We need Training Points (TP) badly, there’s really no other choice for us at this juncture. We use the 2 TP we earned to grab our first Defense die as well as #5 Multi-Arrow.  We also grab one Progress Point (PP), our journey is officially on it’s way!

Day Two, Ghillie is “Hardly Out of the Gate” when things begin to get real.  An attack, he chooses option two and gets ready to battle.  The Baddie Queue (BQ) is comprised of two 1 point Baddies, a Kobold Tracker and a Clay Golem.  Really bad luck to get a Golem right out of the gate, Break really has the ability to, well, break us.  Rolling a 6 on initiative will help Ghillie out of this, but it won’t be easy, why didn’t we take the first option?  The Golem is too far away from Ghillie to worry about for a bit, so we focus our attack on the Kobold, taking him out in the second round.  Now it’s just Ghillie and that Golem.  The Golem does not waste any time in breaking our attack dice.  We make sure we get some good damage from them before they go, however they are not enough.  The last few rounds see Ghillie running circles around the baddie, waiting for exhaustion to set in, which it finally does, in Round 7.  Ghillie escapes with 1 Health Point (HP), weary but victorious we gain 1 PP, a loot (Last Battle Stew, which we take 3 HP from right away) and 2 TP.  We take an additional HP as well as another attack dice from our TP.  Since we ate some delicious stew there is no need to rest and recover.  Instead we choose to Scout, revealing a 1 point baddie, Bog Pole.  No poison for me thank you, to the back of the line he goes!

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On Day Three we decided need to be “Crossing the Sibron”, and option one is the way to go for us again.  This gets us even closer to Mulmesh, with 2 PP.  We also earn one TP which nets us #1 Rusted Spikes.

The fourth day of our journey we fall into “A Trap of Our Own Making”.  We are face to face with another tough battle.  The BQ is set by the encounter, giving us two 5 point Baddies to deal with, a Kobold Fanatic, and another Stone Golem!  Didn’t this guy learn?  Ghillie immediately seeds the field with his newly acquired Rusted Spikes.  Rolling a 5 on the ini die means we get first strike.  The encounter helps us in this battle, hitting each baddie for 1 true damage each time they move, including entering the battle.  Since both of our baddies are melee characters, this is something we play to our advantage from the start.  Our trap does it’s job costing the Golem 2 HP, making it that much easier to take him down by round three.  The Koold follows in round 5, and we are once again victorious.  This battle has cost Ghillie some health, but nothing some delicious stew cannot help him recoup.  We have earned 1 PP, a loot (Tattered Map) as well as 2 TP.  We use our training points to gain another dexterity and #15 Call Wolverine.  It’s time to meet Ghillie’s little friends!

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Well fed and no longer alone on his journey Ghillie finds himself suddenly “Between a Rock and a Hard Place” on Day Five, choosing option two.  This encounter is one of my favorite, and it has the player taking control of a 20 point Golden Golem for the first three turns.  After turn three the Gearloc enters the battle, and the Golem turns on you.  The BQ to start this encounter was one 5 point Bog Lurk.  The Golem (me) does some serious damage to the Bog Lurk straightaway.  We allow the Bog Lurk to poison the Golem, hoping to whittle away his health, making him easier for us when we come into the fray.  The plan works well, the Bog Lurk falls quickly as Ghillie comes to the skirmish.  A round later the Golem also falls, making this one of the easier encounters that Ghillie has had thus far.  Ghillie gains 1 PP, a loot (Mechanical Assistance), a Trove Loot (2-3-3) and 2 TP.  This trove loot is pretty easy to get into, we pick that lock in our first attempt (maybe it’s all that Triplock we’ve been playing recently?) and we earn a Dex Infuser.  Ghillie chooses to add another pet to the fold, using one of this training points on #13 Call Falcon.  The second training point adds another HP.

 

On the Sixth Day Ghillie chooses to “Trust Your Gut”, option two, and it turns out to be a bad decision.  The BQ is seeded with two 5 point baddies, as indiciated on the encounter card, a Dragon Delinquent and a Dire Wolf.  The combo of dragons and dire wolves is one that proves to be too much for Ghillie and his pets, they fall in the fourth round.  Here lies good ole Ghillie…

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Lucky for us Ghillie has more lives than a werecat, he brushes off his defeat, squares his shoulders, and starts off again on Day Seven.  Using his Tattered Map he pulls two encounter cards, put the Tyrant Encounter card on the bottom of the deck, wondering if this was a good decision, or a “Risky Payoff”.  Choosing option two, he avoids a battle, but still gets 1 PP and 2 more TP, #2 Woven Snare, and #14 Call Tiger.  His menagerie is complete!

Feeling good, strong, confident, and surrounded by all manner of beast and bird, he decides to partake in a little “Midnight Warfare” on Day Eight, challenging Mulmesh!  Ghillie has learned, on this journey, to fight hard and fast, he decides to come at the Tyrant with everything he has, right off the bat.  He first lays a trap and his snare for Mulmesh.  The Tyrant complies by falling right into them both, losing 2 attack die, and 1 heath point before the battle even begins!  Ghillie uses his Mechanical Assistance to grab 3 more dex for this round, allowing him to roll, Growls, Lil Yeti, Talon, 1 defense, and 1 attack die, after moving 2 spaces!  Growls comes out on his 3/2 side, Yeti hides coming up bones, and going back to the mat, Talon comes out on his 1/1 side, the defense also comes up bones, and Ghillie gets 1 hit on his attack die.  Round 2 has Mulmesh rolling his Tyrant die and getting a Howl.  Ghillie responds with attacks by both of his pets on the mat.  He then uses his backup plan extension to get one more dex from the Dex Infuser to roll Yeti, 3 attack die, and 1 defense die.  This is all he needs to take the tyrant down for god, rolling Yeti on his 3/1 side, 3 hits on the attack die, and 1 shield on the defense die.  The tyrant is defeated and Ghillie is once again victorious.

Last week we saw Ghillie take on Nom without the use of his pets.  This week, as promised they made their debut, making all the difference in my battle.  The match was pretty exciting, I was sure that Ghillie was doomed after he fell to the dragon and the wolf, but he really showed me what he was made of.  I’m really having a great time playing through these tyrants for you guys, and I appreciate each and every one of you that has taken the time to read this.  Please let me know what you think of the series so far, I’d love to hear from you.  Do you like the format?  Can I change something, do something better?  Do you want to see more detailed battles, such as including what I am rolling each round?  Or do you like it just the way it is?  Please let me know!

If you are enjoying my playthrough series and think that this game might be for you it is currently, as of this writing, in stock at Chip Theory Games.  Undertow should be coming in the next few weeks, but can also be preordered on their site.  I cannot recommend this game enough, Too Many Bones was ranked as my top solo game of all time in the Top 6 Solo Games article that I wrote for Meeple Mountain.  I hope that you are enjoying it as much as I am!

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Thanks for joining me this week as I singlehandedly helped Ghillie overcome Mulmesh!  Join me next time, follow me on Twitter and Facebook, and please, feel free to leave a comment below!

Our very first giveaway is now LIVE!  Please click this link to enter!

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… Help Ghillie Overcome Nom (maybe)

Hello all!

As I may have mentioned before I am a huge Too Many Bones fan, published by Chip Theory Games.  If you didn’t know that, well then you can read my previous post about this game here.  Or the one that I wrote about my daughter’s love of this game, here.  Or you could check out one of my many Instagram posts here.  Or Facebook posts here.  If you already know this, then you also know that I am pretty excited about the soon to be released expansion/stand alone game, Undertow.  As I count down the weeks, and then days to its release I decided to do a playthrough of my favorite character, Ghillie taking on each of the tyrants in the original game.  Since I was playing through all the tyrants I thought that I should share this with all of you as well!  You can thank me below, in the comments section.  🙂

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As I write this playthrough I am going to try my best to keep it as spoiler free as possible, as I start each new day I will tell you which card I pulled from the Encounter Deck, but will stay away from the story.  I will let you know if I chose the first or second option, without saying what they reference in the story.  Although I will try my best to avoid spoilers there may still be some, so read on at your own risk.  If you’re ready to go, so am I!

Day one had Ghillie “Leaving Obendar”, this shouldn’t really be too much of a surprise, it’s the standard encounter.  I am really looking forward to a variety of beginning encounter cards with the new sets, but I digress.  Ghillie chose the first option and as a result moved one step close to Nom by gaining 1 Progress Point (PP), as well as 2 Training Points (TP).  He spent his TP on a defense die, Ghillie, by default, has none, so this was a big must, and he opted for another Health Point (HP).

Day two Ghillie was “Hardly Out of the Gate”, again no surprises here, this time he chose Option 2.  Since this is a solo game with one Gearloc the Baddie Queue (BQ) only had two 1 point baddies in it.  He faced off against an Orc Peon and a Dragon Hatchling.  The Orc was dispatched in Round 2, and the Dragon followed in Round 3.  Although the battle only lasted three rounds, Ghillie was left clinging to life with only 1 HP.  For his troubles, Ghillie earned 1 PP, a Loot (Mech-Pick) and 2 TP.  The Training Points were used to pick up #5 Multi Arrow and another Dexterity.  Ghillie wisely chose to Rest and Recover after the victory.

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Day 3 had Ghillie “Crossing the Sibron”, as the last of the standard cards we will now get into the solo deck, and may encounter some cards that you may not want to know about.  Last chance to bail!  Still here?  Okay then, onward.  Ghillie chose the first option here, and wound up rolling a 6 on the D6, all was well.  For a job well done he earned 2 PP, (we’re coming for you Nom!) and 1 TP, which he used to up his Attack stats.  He passed the skill check without issue.  Since Ghillie was well rested, mostly due to lack of combat, he was able to Scout ahead, rolling a 4 on the D6.  He chose to look at a 1 point Baddie and saw an Orc Scout.  Knowing there are always more Orc around, he wisely chose to cycle this one to the back.  Be gone foul smelling Orc!

Day 4 he learned “What Goes Around…” and chose option 1.  This option added a 5 point baddie to the top of the BQ along with the four 1 point baddies our day counter brought.  The 5 point baddie was revealed as a Orc Rager.  Whew, good thing we got ride of that Scout earlier!  We then revealed three more 1 point baddies, a Kobold Tracker, Orc Peon, and Troll Romper, leaving one in the queue for later.  Lucky for us the Kobold saw us and immediately died of fright, or maybe it had something to do with the option we chose, I’m not sure.  Taking advantage of his Multi Arrow die, Ghillie was able to slay the Troll Romper, and the Orc Peon in the first round!  Round two added a Troll Brute to the fray, remember him lurking in the shadows from earlier?  Lucky die rolls took out the Orc Rager in the second round.  It took a bit to get rid of the Brute, the fourth round to be exact, but I still came out on top.  I was also able to use my Backup Plan in this round to obtain a Fortunate Discovery of die #4 Extra Mech Leg.  I ended the battle with 4 HP, 1 PP, 3 Loot (Oggot Herbs, Reflex Powder, and a Sparring Weapon) and 1 TP.  The Sparring Weapon was discarded, it was heavy, and Ghillie did not want to drag that thing all over Daelore with him.  The training point was used on die #9 Piercing Arrow (this one is for you, Nom Nom!)  Ghillie felt good enough to choose to Scout, rolling a 1, and finding a Kobold Greenthumb.  Bring it Kobold, we’ll see you soon!

Day 5 had Ghillie falling into “A Trap of My Own Making”, and chose the first option.  The BQ was set for us by this card, bringing in two 5 point Baddies.  Lucky me, I got 2, count ’em, two, Troll Enforcers.  The card let me roll in an attempt to stun them for the first two rounds, I split it, the first was not, the second, I bonked him on the head pretty good.  In the first round Ghillie tossed back some Oggot Herbs, and was now back to full strength, since one of the brutes was safely in La La Land, we focused his energy on the first one.  It wasn’t until the second round that Troll # 1 was felled.  Piercing Arrow took out Troll # 2 in Round 4, getting through that Thick Skin was brutal, and the addition of defense die, whew!!  This earned Ghillie 1 PP, 1 Loot (another Fortunate Discovery, he chose #12 Bait) and 2 TP.  Getting more HP was important so the first TP went to that, the second was allocated to doe #1 Rusted Spikes.  Since Ghillie ended this encounter with just 1 HP he chose to rest and recover.

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On Day 6 Ghillie decided to “Trust Your Gut” and go with option 2.  The encounter had us build the BQ with two 5 point Baddies, this time we got an Orc Warmonger, and a Orc Rager.  Grrrr, I hate when they can use Raiding!  The ability to “kite” and move 3 spaces after attacking was what really kept me alive in this battle.  As a matter of fact, I only took 2 hits.  The Rager went down in the second round, and the Warmonger followed in Round 4.  I was awarded 1 PP, 1 Loot (a Gadget Arm), and 2 TP.  This time I decided to gain more attack die, using my first training point, and my newly aquired Gadget Arm to get to 4.  The second TP was used to grab die #2 Woven Snare.  Spying Nom in the distance, Ghillie chose to rest and recover.

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On Day 7 it was time to go “Clubbin’ With Nom”, no options here boys and girls, just mano a mano!  Since this is solo, there was no BQ, just me, and Nom!  Ding!  Ding!  Ding!  Round One!  Nom’s initiative was a 2, we easily beat it, rolling a 5.  Ghillie got to go first.  Before the battle began we placed my Rusted Spikes and Woven Snare down on the Battle Mat.  Come closer, said the spider to the fly…  Ghillie rolled four attack dice amassing 5 points of damage right out of the gate.  Unfortunately, Nom’s Thick Skin absorbed 3 of the hits, knocking 2 off.  To start his turn Nom, annoyingly, healed 1 HP, but then fell into Ghillie’s traps.  The Rusted Spikes did 2 true damage, and the Woven Snare disabled 2 of his attack dice.  No dice for you!!  He was down to 3 health before his first roll.  His roll consisted of bones on his defense die, and the Om Nom on his Tyrant die.  No biggie.

The second round begins!  Fiiiiiiiight!  Ghillie once again rolled 4 attack dice, amassing another 5 damage, it was insane!  Nom, again, absorbed 3, knocking 2 HP off of him.  Ghillie also rolled a bone, which was stored in my Backup Plan, you never know!  Nom healed himself for 1 HP, taking him from 1 to 2 health.  He then rolled got 1 shield, and his Club.  He thundered my poor Gearloc to the upper left corner, hitting Ghillie for the first time.  Round three, Ghillie felt it was time to get serious.  This time, he chose his Piercing Arrow along with 3 attack dice.  His Piercing Arrow easily removed Nom’s shield, and also, temporarily removed his Thick Skin.  Rolling 2 attacks was enough to do the Tyrant in!  Game over, Ghillie lives to fight another day.  Nom slinks back into the shadows, never to be seen again.

It was an exciting match, I have always had a bit of a problem with Nom solo, so I went into this a bit nervously.  I decided to play a bit out of my comfort zone a bit this time, choosing Skill Dice that I may not have used before.  You may have noticed, that Ghillie, who is much known for his pets, did not acquire a single one this time around.  Trust me, the Talon, Growls, and Lil’ Yeti will not be on the sidelines for very long.  I have also added the Companion Chips add on to my Undertow order, I can’t wait to start playing with them!

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Well, what did you think?  Did you like the format?  Did you want to see more of something, or less of it?  I changed it up a bit for the Tyrant battle, do you prefer to see more of that style for the days leading up to the final battle?  Do you have any strategies that you’d like to share?  Drop me a comment below, I’d love to hear your thoughts!  I hope that you are as excited about this playthrough series as I am.  If you are interested in the original game or the new standalone expansion, please visit Chip Theory Games!

Thanks for joining me this week as I singlehandedly helped Ghillie overcome Nom!  Join me next time, follow me on Twitter and Facebook, and please, feel free to leave a comment below!

Our very first giveaway is now LIVE!  Please click this link to enter!

… Find the Dark Lady!

 

A review copy of Black Sonata was provided by Side Room Games.  I would like to thank Dustin Culbertson and Side Room Games for supporting my blog.  All thoughts, comments, and pictures herein are my own.

Stop the presses!  Alert the media!  Call a press conference!  I have big news to share, and being loyal readers of my blog, I will share this news with you first!  I have singlehandedly identified William Shakespeare’s Dark Lady!!  Why are you looking at me like that?  What do you mean “what dark lady?”  Sigh… let me back up a bit.

Many of us are well versed in the works of William Shakespeare.  At the very least, at one time or another, we were exposed (subjected) to them at some during our education.  He wrote plays, the likes of which had never been seen before, or some would argue, since.  Aside from the plays, he also wrote poems, and sonnets, 154 of them to be exact.  Of these 154 sonnets there were 28 that were written about a mysterious woman, known as the Dark Lady.  Although the true identity of this woman has long been debated by scholars, her true name has not been known.  Until now!

I recently received a package in the mail from Side Room Games, a small and mysterious package.  Intrigued I carefully opened this package.  Inside was a box adorned with a picture of William Shakespeare and a title, Black Sonata.  As I opened the box I realized that I was gazing upon something that I had never seen before, a game about unveiling the Dark Lady herself!  A solo deduction and hidden movement game designed by John Kean, and is now live on Kickstarter.  This is a serious game in a little package, that began its life as a free print and play.  As a matter of fact, in 2017 Black Sonata was a nominee for the Golden Geek Best Print & Play Board Game.

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Opening the box I was instantly hit with a breath of fresh air.  Black Sonata is not your average game.  To begin with, it is a strictly solo game, that alone made me sit up and smile.  The theme is something that I had not encountered before, a trip through Shakespeare’s London in search of a mysterious figure.  The hidden movement mechanism was also new to me, simple yet graceful.  The game works on so many different levels, producing a one of a kind experience that beckons you to play over and over again.  The puzzle Black Sonata offers can be mind bending, but yet so satisfying!

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Okay, but how do you play this game?  I’m getting to that, right about now as a matter of fact!  Setting up the game, is extremely quick and easy to do, assuming you know your ABC’s.  A random Dark lady is chosen from the 11 available cards, the remaining cards are shuffled, one dealt to you, the rest making the clue deck.  Next, the game board is laid out, placing your player pawn on the location of your choice, and the fog card deck is shuffled.  The stealth deck is then assembled by choosing one of the eight movement sequences, represented by letters of the alphabet.  Once the sequence has been chosen the cards are then ordered alphabetically, cut once (to make things interesting), the countdown card is added to the bottom, with the number 2 showing upright, and you are ready to play!

Every turn will be comprised of two steps, moving the Dark Lady, and your action.  The Dark Lady moves in conjunction with the stealth deck.  Each turn the topmost stealth card will be moved to the bottom of the deck revealing a new card.  If the countdown card has popped up, your running out of time!  Flip it from 2 to 1, or from 1 to 0, and reveal a new card.  The Dark Lady has now moved to a location that shares the revealed icon.  It is now the player turn, during which you may do one of four things.  You may move to an adjoining location, you may search for the Dark Lady at your current location (if you are at a location that shares the newly revealed icon), you may use a fog card (of one was revealed), or you may pass.

Most of the actions are pretty straightforward, moving is, well, moving.  The game board has clearly lined pathways that connect the locations, making it easy to see where you can go next, if you so choose.  Searching for the Dark Lady is what this game is all about, and this part of the game does not disappoint.  If you choose this action take a fog card from the fog desk placing it under the current stealth card.  Then take the location card that matches your current location and also place it under the current stealth card.  Now flip the location and stealth cards over.  If the Dark Lady appears in the little magnifying glass she is here (!) you may reveal the top card in the clue deck.  If she does not appear, she is not at your location.  Either way the stealth card is discarded face down, and the stealth deck is then advanced by one card for each clue that you have, including the one that you may have just obtained.  Each clue card will contain vital information about the Dark Lady’s true identity.  This information is given through characteristic icons.  Was she literary?  Musial?  Promiscuous?  Married?  Linked to Shakespeare?  Did she have children, or court connections?  All of these questions are insight into who she was.  The clue cards will depict icons referring to these characteristics on one side of the card.  The other side of the card will show how many of her characteristics also apply to the Dark Lady herself!  Using the clue cards players must deduce who they believe she was before time runs out.  A player may lose the game if the stealth deck reaches zero, the fog deck runs out of cards, or if you incorrectly identify her.  That’s how you play!

I may have mentioned the box was small, there are not many components to Black Sonata, making it perfect for travel.  Game play itself has a very small footprint making set up possible almost anywhere!  The game comes with a game board, 11 dark Lady cards, 32 stealth cards, 11 location cards, 10 fog cards, 1 countdown card, and 7 deduction tokens.  Along with a player pawn, that is it!  It amazes me how John Kean was able to do so much with so little.  The game truly feels like a much bigger experience than that components would lead you to believe!  The copy of Black Sonata that I played was a review copy and therefore not the same quality that backers of the Kickstarter will receive.  I was still pretty impressed by the components.  The game board was a really cool rendition of 1560 London map.  The portraits of the possible Dark Lady’s was also great to see.  Each of the location cards had quotes from the sonnets Shakespeare wrote to his mistress on the back sides.  I loved the keyholes on these cards as a way to see if the Dark Lady was close to your location.  There was so much to love about this game, and nothing to not.  I cannot find a single thing about Black Sonata that did not work for me.

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Black Sonata is simply put, for the solo gamer, a must have!  This game is not easy, I have let the Dark lady slip away far more than I have ever tracked her down.  For me, I find it to be much more thematic that way.  After all, if identifying her was easy then it would not still be a mystery 400 years later!  However, I did find out who she was, and I am sure that you can too, but first you’ll have to back the Kickstarter!  I changed my mind, I’m not going to tell you who she is, I am going to let you find it out for yourself!

Thanks for joining me this week as I singlehandedly sought to find the Dark Lady!  Join me next time, follow me on Twitter and Facebook, and please, feel free to leave a comment below!

Our very first giveaway is now LIVE!  Please click this link to enter!

Follower Giveaway!!

Hello everyone!

We are having an unscheduled post here to the blog to update you on a very special giveaway.  A while back we promised a giveaway once we hit 200 subscribers on our Twitter account.  We have reached that number, and then some!  Hooray!!

As promised we will be having a giveaway of not one, not two, but three Mint Tin games in celebration!  We will choose three lucky winners who will receive one of the following:

1 copy of Mint Tin Pirates (see Emmy’s review of this here)

1 copy of Mint Tin Aliens

1 copy of Mint Tin Apocalypse (Deluxe version!)

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All you have to do to enter is click this link and follow the directions!

We will be running the competition on Gleam, starting on Tuesday 6/12/18 through Thursday 7/12/18.

Come Play with E! Pretending to Grownup Edition

A review copy of Pretending to Grownup was provided by Jason Anarchy Games.  I would like to thank Jason Anarachy and Jason Anarchy Games for supporting my blog.  All thoughts, comments, and pictures herein are my own.

Recently, while on one of my numerous trips to Target, I found, in the dollar section, a Shopkins card game.  It was cheap, Emmy loves Shopkins, so I picked it up.  The game turned out to be a Shopkins themed version of Top Trumps.  I will admit that before playing this version, I had never heard of Top Trumps.  Apparently, this was a wildly popular kids game in the 70’s and 80’s in the UK.  Speaking with a few of my European friends confirmed this was indeed true.  After playing a few round rounds with Emmy we instantly saw the appeal.  Nice story, but what the heck does this have to do with anything?  Well, I’m getting to that!!

A few weeks back I received a copy of Pretending to Grownup by Jason Anarchy Games.  Normally I would not think that one of Jason’s games would be something that I would play with a 5 year old, but after reading the rules I realized that this was one that I definitely could!  Pretending to Grownup takes some of the same gameplay that Emmy liked in Top Trumps and gives it a new spin.  The box states the game is rated for 13 and up, but we all know Emmy by now, and that was not going to stop her.  Let’s talk about gameplay, and then we’ll get back to Emmy, her thoughts, and all that other stuff.

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Pretending to Grownup is a card game in which players are attempting to prove that they are more grownup than their opponents.  The first player to collect 12 grownup points is crowned the winner.  Points are collected through playing cards from your hand and “squabbling” with your neighbor on the right.  To begin, each player is dealt 5 cards as their starting hand.  The remaining cards are placed in a draw pile in the center of the table along with the Daydream token, a cute wooden meeple of the phantasmagorical  “Unipegasaurus”, more on that later.  The rules state that they player who most recently complained about being tired goes first, so in our games, it was always me!

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On your turn you may take one of three actions, you may squabble with your neighbor, take on more responsibilities, or you may daydream.  Squabbling is the primary way to earn grownup points, and is done by playing a card, from your hand, face down on the table in front of you.  You must then declare, to your neighbor, which resource you have more of than they do.  Resources are found on the lower left hand side of the cards, and come in three different types, time (a blue circle with a clock icon), money (a green circle with a dollar icon) or energy (a red circle with a bicep icon).  Each circle will contain different numbers, it is this numbered resource that you are pitting against your opponent.  The challenged player may choose to counter squabble by playing a card face down on the table.  The player to their right then has the option to also join in on the squabble.  Potentially every player at the table could join in on the squabble, as long as the previous has continued the chain.  Players may also chose to add Unipegasaurus cards to help alter their values.  Once all cards have been played they are all revealed simultaneously, the player with the highest value of the resource is declared the winner, and collects all played cards and points.  It is important to note that each card is counted as a single point, not as the value of the resources.  The challenged player, can instead, choose to ignore the problem, not playing a card, and conceding a point the original player.

Instead of squabbling players may choose to take on more responsibilities, this simply means drawing two more cards from the draw pile.  If this would bring their hand total to more than 10, cards must be discarded until they have 10 or less.  Lastly, a player may choose to daydream.  Daydreaming allows a player to take the wooden Unipegasaurus from the center of the table.  If someone has already claimed the meeple, it can be taken from that player.  The meeple cannot be taken on two consecutive turns, if this happens it is returned to the center of the table.  While in possession of the Unipegasarus all resources a player uses gain a +1.  Play continues until one player has amassed 12 grownup points.

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Pretending to Grownup is a very quick game, easy to learn, easy to follow, and lots of fun.  What keeps me coming back to this game, pure and simple, is the cards.  Until now I have not really touched upon the cards, but they are really the stars of this show.  Each card, and there are 100 in the base game, is completely unique.  The cards are beautifully illustrated by Megan McKay, who some of you may recoginze from her popular web comic Doodle for Food.  Each card depicts a grownup task, such as building a deck, or buying a new smart phone, each with accompanying flavor text.  The cards are a gem, in what was already a fun game.  This was all over Emmy’s head, but for me, was a constant source of amusement.  I looked forward to each card as it came into my hand.  They are so well done, and so thematic!  The copy that I received contained additional cards, with a red boarder, that was done by guests artists.  I instantly recognized many of them from my own Twitter feed, including Cyanide & Happiness, Fowl Language, The Awkward Yeti, and Lunarbaboon.

Playing this game with Emmy was a no brainer.  There was no questionable content involved to have to hide or explain.  I did have to explain why I found certain cards so amusing, and I did get the “my mom is crazy” look.  She loved the game, the illustrations made her laugh, and she could not get enough of the Unipegasarus.  The components stood up to playing with her, the meeple even survived some non-gameplay adventures afterwards as well.  I can wholeheartedly recommend this game to younger players.  It will get a grin out of the real grownups while the younger set wipes the floor with us.  Or maybe it’s just me, I dunno.

Emmy’s Take:

“Pretending to Grownup is like my Shopkins game, like Top Trumps rating, but full of laughter and fun.  You will really enjoy it, seriously, really enjoy it.  There’s a uni-creature, and you’ll seriously get some good stuff with the uni-creature.  Don’t play with 2 people!  Please play with 3!  Uhm, I don’t care who the 3 is, just make sure there’s 3.  Pretending to Grownup is a really great game, bye friends!”

Pretending to Grownup gets a solid:     img_54531.jpg

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