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At Origins this year I was introduced to Tuesday Knight Games, and they were really cool folks, and they managed to get us to come home with all their games. I must admit that in general I probably would not go for a game about Russian Roulette, thematically it is usually not my speed. That said, they did such a good job pitching the game I had to try it out. As with all of their games this is a game that someone who is not gamer can get play and enjoy, while gamers will be able to play it as well.
The game itself is pretty simple. In a nutshell it goes like this. Each player has a team of 4, which are really just a way to represent how many lives you have. This is Russian Roulette so folks are not going to make it, after all. Each round you will first take one of your seven cards, in your “pocket.” Six of your cards say “click”, and one says “bang”. So you are choosing whether or not you are going to pocket your one bullet or not. If you pocket your bullet then, clearly you can’t shoot yourself, but if, during the challenge phase you get called out you lose one of your lives. So don’t get caught.
After that there is shuffling of cards, and the bidding phase. In the bidding phase you say how many times you will draw (pull the trigger), then you draw. If you make it through the round alive, you get one point per draw, and one more for not dying. First one to 15 wins. There are also power cards which can do thing like let you shoot in the air, or make another player draw another card etc, to add some variety to the game.
So what do I think?
The game is tight, quick and fun. As with TKG other work this is a game that clearly knows what it is about, and it is not trying to be anything other than what it is. It does not take long to learn, and it is quick to play as well. The game has just enough interaction to really enjoy the “take that” mechanic, without it really being a game about screwing the other platers, though you certainly can…and there is nothing more satisfying than wiping a smug look off another players face when you make them draw another card after they just had a huge round.
The game also nails the theme. There you are losing your team members if you mess up, if you get caught cheating, there goes another team member. Even the terminology evokes the theme, you do not “shuffle” but you “spin”, before you start to draw. It feels right.
The components are of good quality, but they are not something that you are going to be talking about after the fact. The art is good, but, for me, not super exciting. Though it is only fair to say that there were others around the table that loved it, so you can take that for what you will.
The only drawback to this game, for me, is the theme. I mentioned it at the top of this review, and I would never have played it on my own. There are no bones about it, this is a theme that will NOT be for everyone. I think that is ok, but this is a game about guns, and shooting each other and yourselves. It might hit some people in a very personal way. Of course, it might not bother you in the slightest, but I do think it is something to keep in mind. For me the fun of it, and lack of “realism” to the game outweighed my initial trepidation.
Bringing it all together
Man. This is a game that was much more fun than I could possibly imagine. The game is quick, and there is not a single rule out of place. It nails the theme, which is a great thing; it nails the theme, which might be a bad thing. That said, if you are not bothered by the theme, and you are looking for a fun push your luck, bidding game, with a hint of take that then this is absolutely a game to pick up. Also the folks who publish it are cool dudes.
Why does it take longer to read this review than to play the game?!
*Fun, fast, easy to learn
*Solid components and art
*Nails the theme, which might be troublesome for some
*This is a tight, fun game that will get back to the table often