Tag Archives: board game

The Game of Poop

Walk carefully and carry a big pointer.

Another one of my amazing talents is “board game designer.”

I’m an old school gamer which means I love dice and hexagons. And I usually don’t like electronic gadgets in board games. An electronic gadget in a board game is a lot like a sound bite in politics. It may be flashy but is usually doesn’t add much to the game.

I’d now like to introduce my latest board game concept. I’m calling it simply: The Game of Poop. (The name “Origin of the Feces” was tossed out of consideration because Type O Negative released an album with that same title.)

The objective of my game is to fling poo at your opponents. Sounds fun already, eh?

Initially all players start on a clean board. Uh oh, I bet I know where this is going.

An early objective will be to gather and consume as much food as you can. After all, you can’t take out your opponents without ammunition.

Once you’ve made your first poo it’s time to go hunting for your enemies. Get as close as you can and fling that poo! Better hurry. Hold on to that poop too long and it might turn on you. Yes, there can be friendly fire in this game.

A player hit with three poops it sent to the Decon Chamber and is out of the game.

However, hit or miss, a square where poop lands will be turned brown. As the game progresses the danger level will increase. (This is where the electronic game board kicks in. The game board itself will keep track of the brown squares.) In this game time is of the essence!

Just like Monopoly, cards will be used to introduce random events into the game. The most coveted card will most likely be “Mexican Restaurant.” The most dreaded? “Know Your Enema.” A player receiving this card will be sent to the nearest medical facility and will lose valuable time as they attempt to roll doubles in order to be treated with a colonic.

The winning player, if lucky enough, will successfully take out all of the other players. However… if the game goes on too long brown squares could lead to contamination of food sources on the board. Or, landing in a concentration of brown spaces could result in an outbreak of deadly diseases, like cholera. If that happens, the game isn’t over, but the object for victory changes. The winner becomes the one who can stay alive the longest.

OK, be honest. I can take it. Would you buy this game and who wants to attend game night at my house???

I’ll knock your Blokus off

Every once in a while you come across a truly unique game that captures your imagination. For my wife and myself, Blokus is such a game.

Back in February I blogged about my harrowing re-introduction to the board game Risk. That post told the tale of taking our Blokus game to the local library for game night and how I ended up playing Risk instead.

I first discovered the game one night late last year when my wife and I had gone shopping at the local Barnes and Nobel. While lamenting how shopping at the bookstore had changed, I happened upon the game of Blokus and it immediately caught my eye.

The game is devilish in its simplicity. The basic version consists of a square game board and four sets of brightly colored plastic pieces that fit on the board. The pieces are shaped like Tetris pieces varying in size from one block to various shapes consisting of five blocks. All players have their own sets of identical pieces and no two pieces within each set are the same. It only takes about one minute to learn the rules.

The game is turn-based and consists of each player adding pieces to the board until someone has placed all of their pieces or everyone is blocked. The player who covers the most squares on the board wins. The game game is hard and I’ve yet to ever successfully place all of my pieces. No one has at our home game.

There is also a two-player version called Blokus Duo (with two colors) that we also picked up. It has a smaller game board. Versions we have yet to try include Blokus 3D and Blokus Trigon that comes with triangular pieces. I’m sure that version will melt my brain.

You can play the game for free online at http://www.blokus.com. If you like it be sure to pick up the real thing.

Was it worth the Risk?

OK, it’s like, here’s the situation. I found myself on a quest for world domination…

Sitting across from me, my opponent. I estimate his age to be about 10 years old. He is a snot-nosed little twerp. For the sake of convenience he will be referred to as “Snot Nose” from here on out. To my right sits his twin brother (luckily not identical) who is actually a pretty cool kid.

I steal a moment to lament my luck, look to the heavens, and plaintively (but silently) query the damn universe, “How in the name of all that is holy did I get in this situation again?”

Yes, it was game night at the local library.

Allow me to backtrack for a moment and set the scene. Mrs. Abyss and I decided to attend our local library’s first ever “game night.” We both like playing games so we figured we’d step out of our comfort zones and go check it out, maybe even meet some new people. Now that I think it over, it’s rather odd that we both decided it was worth doing and on the same day. 🙂

So we grabbed our Blokus (more about this game later) and made our way to the library.

Once there we met a charming gentleman who was sort of the unofficial emcee for the night’s events. We ended up at a round table with a very nice woman and her two young boys. They were twins although they sure didn’t look like it. They were pretty much night and day opposites of each other. Their older sister was also there, and she was nice and got big bonus points from me every time she looked at Snot Nose like he was a bug deserving of being squashed. Oh, also, it was the woman’s wedding anniversary. Mrs. Abyss and I were both glad to meet her although I secretly wished it had been sans kids.

Our emcee got the table going with a dice game called Dancing Dice. The object was to roll some six-sided dice and come up with two “dances” consisting of three dice each. A roll of 1-1-1 was a “Boogie,” the best dance you could get. A roll of 2-2-2 was a “Tap Dance,” a roll of 3-3-3 was  a “Cha Cha Cha” and so on and so forth.  It was a fairly enjoyable game. Being master of the dice like I am, I won the game with Snot Nose nipping at my heels.

After that, the table split up. Mrs. Abyss and our new friend headed off to play some word game, I think. I ended up with our emcee and the two boys for a game of Risk. I’m still not sure how I got corralled into that. It had been some time since I played Risk so I figured it was worth checking out. What I neglected to remember was that some games of Risk can take up to six hours. Dun-dun-da!

The emcee set up the board and as Snot Nose took his seat across from me, I was already trying to figure out how to safely extricate myself from this bad scene. Snot Nose had snatched up a bottle of water and was blatantly ignoring the “no food or drink at the table” rule. Rather than drinking from the top of the bottle he somehow had punched two small holes in the bottom. (Most likely using his fangs.) It was from these holes that he would suck hard and noisily whenever he needed to slake his thirst.  It wasn’t very efficient, though, so by the end of our playtime together his shirt was completely soaked.

The emcee was gracious and extremely patient as he got the game underway. (In other words, everything I’m not.) First up was Snot Nose. “I want to attack.”

“Where?”

“Everywhere.”

“Don’t spread your armies too thin, or you’ll easily be picked off. You’ll want to reserve …”

I want to attack!!”

The emcee and I shared a wry look that the youngsters were too young to catch. “Go ahead. Attack to your heart’s content.”

Damn, what a frickin’ dumb ass. It was basically three rounds of that. When Snot Nose wasn’t attacking, he was gone from the table ignoring the rest of us (thank God for that rudeness), over at the snacks stuffing his face, and generally bothering everyone in sight. Strangely enough, mom had made herself real scarce. Go figure!

The other kid, though, surprisingly seemed alright. He was thoughtful, polite, well behaved, and seemed interested in learning the game and “I wanna attack!” was not the only phrase he knew. I actually enjoyed our interactions.

Then, the unthinkable happened. The emcee pushed up from his chair, looked me in the eye and said, “Looks like things are going well. You can handle it from here?”

Every fiber in my being silently screamed out “hell no” and “get me out of here!” but what really happened was I nodded, said “sure” and gave him a little smile. Why have I suddenly lost control of my body, I thought in vain to myself!

The next thing Snot Nose pulled was blatant cheating. I began to realize he was rolling a lot of sixes, which in Risk are the holy grail of rolls. I watched him carefully and caught his two techniques. First, he’d hold the dice about one-eighth of an inch with the six spot facing up. That was his “roll.” Or he’d place the dice on the table, again with six-spots showing, and cover them with the cup. The cup would be moved around a bit, then lifted to reveal, you guessed it, more sixes. I finally threw down and said, “You either roll them bones or I’m outta here!” He actually had the verve to feign ignorance.

It was a few more rounds of torture before I was finally able to escape, make my excuses, and me and Mrs. Abyss were finally out the door. It was inevitable, anyway, since those young attention spans had already been stretched way beyond their limits.

Oh yeah, that brings me to the point of this post. 🙂 The game, frustrating as it was, got me interested in Risk again. I went searching the net for a way to play online. You would not believe the size of the “Risk community” that is out there. It’s pretty amazing.

Eventually I found my way to a game called Lux Delux. It basically the same game as Risk only with a different name.

You can download a demo of the game from their web site. You can play up to 30 games before deciding if you want to buy it for $24.95. I think the game is well worth it and I plan to register my copy soon.

Once you learn how the game works, mainly the left-click vs. right-click and stuff, it’s actually very intuitive and a lot of fun. There are 11 AI opponents of varying skill for you to play against and you can also play against other people online, although I was never able to figure out how to get into an actual live game. There are also over 700 maps to play on, but I mainly just stick with the classic globe layout (which duplicates the real game of Risk) as shown in the picture here.

Overall I did enjoy game night, did something outside of my comfort zone, and even owe Snot Nose a bit of thanks for helping me rediscover Risk, even though that was accomplished at great risk … of my patience and sanity!