Pack O Games 2

Behold! Chris Handy has brought forth another batch of delightfully chewy micro-card games guaranteed to freshen your breath and brighten your smile. I was a proud supporter of the first batch of games back in August of 2014, and I’m excited to introduce Pack O Games SET 2!

packogame2

Each of the games available through the Pack O Games Kickstarter feature 30 cards, 1 inch by 3 inch in a tuck box the size of a pack of gum. The gum sized design is brilliant. It’s way better than my Reece’s Peanut Butter Cup shaped design, and you don’t have to worry about those pesky food allergies.

Chris was nice enough to send me some of the new games, and my son and I played a few of them:

  • Rum is a push your luck set collection game, with a nifty timing mechanism that not only keeps things tense but also makes the available draw pile work with a limited number of cards.
  • Orc is a quick and simple hand management game that has just enough strategy to make it worth playing multiple times.
  • Gym puts you back in middle school PE, where you need to pick teams for events and deal with bullies. This features some great art by Vjekoslav Zivkovic, who does art when not on nuclear submarine duty.

I also got to look at Sow, a mancala inspired game about planting seeds and collecting bouquets of flowers. I didn’t get to play it, but I have a sense that it will end up being my personal favorite. I wanted to play Sow, but my son wasn’t all that interested in giving this one a try. Apparently, gardening isn’t quite as exciting as stabbing orcs with spears, if you are a twelve year old. I did take a picture of the wheelbarrow cards and sent it to my sister-in-law. Jaime loves wheelbarrows.

Orc was my son’s favorite of the bunch. He loved this one. He wanted to play it again and again. I enjoyed it as well. It’s a very clever design using a limited number of the same kind of card to make up the contested regions, the troops that are deployed to gain control of those regions, and the population of the region that scores for you at the end of the game.

Rum is another example of a very skillful use of a limited number of cards. I was a little worried when I first heard about this one, since I am currently working on a pirate themed card game, but luckily, it’s wildly different than mine. Handy is a good designer, and it would have been sad if he had met his end after accidentally being bitten by scorpions and then falling into a random pool of acid.

Rum cards have two playable ends, one with a single bottle and the other with two bottles. Creating groups of like-colored bottles allows a player to gain control of captain cards. Each captain card increases in value as larger sets of bottles are played, with the indicated value shown by turning or flipping the card.

The parrot card drives the game clock and keeps the draw pile, or shipwreck, stocked with cards. Bottles that wash up on the beach can be added to a players hand or can be used in a set by all players if they remain face up on the beach.

There is a lot going on in Gym, and I imagine it will benefit from repeated play. It gets a little chaotic at the end, but there is a mechanism that uses the coaches to keep things from getting too crazy.

Check out the Pack O Games SET 2 Kickstarter from Chris Handy at PackOGame2.com, starting March 3rd and ending April 1st!