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Keeping it Lite: 5 New Fast-and-Fun Games

Game setup is something that gets discussed a lot. While there’s a lot of love for big, sprawling games of deep strategy, those same players lament the twenty to thirty minutes spent just setting them up. But the games in today’s article skip right past that phase and dive headlong into the fun.

Banana Battle – Kickstarter

Trademarks and visuals belong to their rightful owners.
  • 2 – 7 players
  • Ages 7+
  • Mechanics
    • Speed Matching
    • Dexterity

Industry news outlets aren’t talking about it, probably so as not to cause a panic, but the game industry as a whole is dangerously low on potassium. And banana related puns. Fortunately, Banana Battle easily contains the recommended daily percent value of both. In this lightning-fast card-matching game, players match action cards Uno style while avoiding being the last to perform the action described on the card. Don’t worry, none of the actions are complex enough to require any stretching. Can you point really fast? Drop your cards and clap? Then you’ll be fine. The last player to perform the action has to add a card to their hand, and play continues until a player runs out of cards. When this happens, the cardless player must survive a last round one-handed to gain the coveted bananadalion and earn a point. The winner is the first to 3 points or first to earn 2 in a row.

Trademarks and visuals belong to their rightful owners.

Sussed Odyssey – Kickstarter (June)

Trademarks and visuals belong to their rightful owners.
  • 2 – 10 players
  • Ages 12+
  • Mechanics
    • Storytelling

Learning how to meaningfully converse with people is difficult for anyone, but especially adolescents. Throw in a two-year period of pandemic-induced lockdown, and it’s doubly so. Thankfully we have the Sussed games from Games to Get, all of which are designed to help people learn more about each other. Each pack of standard Sussed cards contains cards with thematically linked multiple choice questions. The game is simple: the active player asks a question and the other players try to guess which answer choice the active player would choose. Sussed Odyssey keeps this mechanic but adds a choose-your-own-adventure storytelling element to the game. Players will explore the fantastical Wanderlands and be faced with multiple choice questions as challenges. As in previous iterations, the active player reads the question while the other players try to guess what their answer will be. However, the chosen answer also determines what happens next in the story, giving the game a bit more structure. Time to find out which of your friends is your go-to in a crisis.

SYNK! – Kickstarter

Trademarks and visuals belong to their rightful owners.
  • 3 – 10 players
  • Ages 14+
  • Mechanics
    • Vocabulary
    • Deduction
    • Targeted Clue

Ok all you Wordlers, time to stop posting your scores on social media and get actually social with your word-play. That’s because SYNK! isn’t just about guessing a word, it’s also about guessing what words your friends do and don’t know. The active player draws a card with a hidden word on it and only tells the other players the first word. Other players try to think of a word starting with the same letter, then use clues to see if they can get their friends to guess their word. If 2 players “Synk” and say the same word, then the active player reveals the next letter of their hidden word. Now players have to go through the same process, only their word this time must start with the same 2 letters as the hidden word. Play continues like this until at least 2 players can “Synk” on what they think the hidden word is. If they’re right, the person to initiate the guess gets the card. If no one guesses correctly, the active player keeps the card. First to 3 cards is the winner. Let the vocabulary shaming begin!

Bad Ad – Kickstarter

Trademarks and visuals belong to their rightful owners.
  • 2 – 8 players
  • Ages 13+
  • Mechanics
    • Player Judge
    • Storytelling

Here in America, there is a tradition which millions of people participate in every February. On one chilly Sunday a year, friends and family gather around the television to watch the world’s largest corporations present their most hilarious advertisements, occasionally interspersed with game footage from the Super Bowl which some people also enjoy. Because let’s be real, people enjoy funny commercials as much as cute puppy videos. With Bad Ad, you not only get to experience this commercialized hilarity in real-time, but you also get to be in the director’s chair. The game is similar to Super Fight but instead of outrageous battles you will be describing hilarious ads. Each player will get 3 cards: what are you advertising, what is one object in your ad, and what is one action that takes place in the ad. Then each player has 1 minute to formulate an ad they think will make other players laugh. While you pitch your ad, watch the other players closely. If a player smiles at your ad, they owe you a dollar. Laugh, and they owe you $2. Which means you get to laugh, too. All the way to the bank.

How to Lose a Guy in One DM – Kickstarter

Trademarks and visuals belong to their rightful owners.
  • 3 – 8 players
  • Ages 18+
  • Mechanics
    • Player Judge
    • Storytelling

Ladies, this one’s for you. Similar to Bad Ad only with twice as much schadenfreude, How to Lose a Guy in One DM is all about putting the internet’s worst offenders in their place. Players will receive cards with messages from a “gentleman” fresh out of the Andrew Dice Clay Finishing School for Boys and which are likely to make you have a stern talk with your gag reflex. Players will then try to construct the response most likely to send the offender crying back to his incel buddies. For some people this game might hit a bit too close to home, but for others it could bring some much-needed catharsis.

by Zane Messina

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