Not Video Games: Guillotines and Zombies!
Posted by deckard47 on April 25, 2008
Every week, I’ve decided to implement the “Not Video Games” post. This will be a post that reviews or covers a game that is not a video game (or possibly video games based on board games, card games, etc.). Hopefully, this will help convince people that I am two kinds of dork, not just one! Also, it’ll introduce you to games you might not otherwise play. Enjoy!
The above is a bit of a lie, but whatever. This week (I think the last not video games week was over a month ago, but that’s alright), we have Guillotine and Zombie Fluxx. Guillotine is a quick, amusing card game that becomes more fun as you add players. Zombie Fluxx is a variation on the Fluxx line of card games, which relies heavily on clichés and mainstays from zombie fiction. They’re both fun, but Guillotine is the better game, I think.
Guillotine is set during the French Revolution. Your goal is to collect heads (each card has a picture of a person), each of which is worth a different amount. Servants and such are worth nothing, but cut off a noble’s head, and you’ll score some real points. Of course, high religious officials and royalty are worth the most, but you only have 3 days to collect them (like Dead Rising! Kinda). Every day you place 12 heads face up on the table.
To aid you in your bloody quest, you have action cards, which you pick up every turn. Each turn you can play an action card (to shift the heads, add new ones, discard some, steal opponents’ cards, enact new rules, or give yourself a bonus), and then you must draw the top noble card. Some cards give you negative points, like martyrs, poor people, or heroes of the people.
With two people, the game is fun, but predictable, but with more people, you never know who will pick up what card, and who is going to get screwed. It’s a fun game, the card artwork is cute, bloody and hilarious, and it doesn’t get old.
Zombie Fluxx is either a much faster game, or a much slower game than Guillotine, depending on how the game unfolds. The Fluxx games rely on constantly changing rules. You’ll have a large number of rule cards that can be played or discarded. This means that at any point in time, you could be drawing 5 cards a turn, groaning whenever you pick up a zombie, or be forced to discard all of your cards.
Besides rules cards, there are Creepers (zombies), Keepers (human friends, weapons, and food), and Goal cards. Once a goal card is played, all players try to reach that goal to win. Sometimes, the goal can be something to avoid (if all players have at least 4 zombies, everyone loses, for instance). Weapons can be used to kill zombies or complete goals (zombie baseball, say), and all cards can be discarded, stolen or moved. The game can last a minute or two, as the result of a lucky goal/Keeper combination, or it can last forever.
Zombie Fluxx is fun, but it lacks Guillotine’s character, but that might be because it is one of a series. While these games are fun for small groups, they suffer in large groups. That is why next week (or a month from now!), I’ll review Loot, one of the most awesome card games ever, if you have 5 or six people. Until then, wish me luck at the GTA IV midnight opening. Pray that I won’t get capped by some suburban gangster rising sideways in his Prius., looking for his next urban thrill.