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Welcome to Chez Dork! In this stand-alone card game, you and your friends (up to 6 people) enter the world of John Kovalic's Dork Tower.
Matt, Igor, Carson, and their friends compete to feed their fannish obsessions and collect the games, cards, and other geeky treasures they can't live without. The object of Chez Dork is to get more Stuff, faster than all your friends. But your particular Obsessions determine what you think is neat at any given time. And a gamer's obsessions can change...
Buy, trade, auction... compulsively collect... and if your friends get the thing you need, just yell "It Must Be Mine!"
I like the game quite a lot. The only thing that I don't care for is the auctioning/trading aspect. It's a little too freeform for me. The basic mechanic is a lot of fun, though. The cards are absolutely hilarious in true Steve Jackson fashion.
This game is simliar to [page scan/se=0902/sf=category/fi=stockall.asc/ml=20]Chez Geek in many ways, but it is different enough to be fun rather than regurgitated.
Welcome to Steve Jackson Games, where a semi-clever theme adds $10 to $15 to the price!
This game is yet another stepping stone in SJ Games downward spirial into board game oblivion. The artistry of the cards is wonderful, and John Kovalic is a superb, proven illistrator. However, unless you're a big fan of the Dork Tower series, you won't like this game. If you're a casual gamer, you won't like this game.
If you're an uber-collector who still keeps every toy in it's original packaging, and will spend every last dollar you have on adding items to your precious collection because someone else at the comic book shop says they have a rare, limited edition, European export version of a popular action figure that is no longer in production, and you want to show them up....
Then YOU might like this game.
The game play is slow and methodical. There is no strategy. Just get as much stuff as you can when you can get it, and be the first one to reach a certain goal. The game relies too heavily on luck of the draw, and the game can often be won with just a few cards played.
$20 for this game is an outrage! You get two decks of cards, and 6 cardboard cutouts of the characters you can play.
My only thought about the price tag is that Mr. Jackson must have had to shell out quite a bit to get the rights to use the Dork Tower name and characters. This is the only explination I can think of.
At least Frag, and the Munchkin series have a more universal theme and better gameplay, but almost all of the board games from SJ games are overpriced. If it weren't for Illuminati's legacy, Steve Jackson would have stopped producing board games a long time ago, and concentrated solely on Gurps.
Chez Dork is a cute, funny life-simulator game, a la SJG's other 'Chez' game, [page scan/se=0902/sf=category/fi=stockin.asc/ml=20]Chez Geek. The gamer/fen in-jokes and atrocious puns run fast and furious, and one doesn't have to be a fan or even a casual reader of John Kovalic's Dork Tower comic series to appreciate the humour.
However, there are some *glaring* problems with the game mechanics. The almost universal comment among my group was that the issues with this game are so obvious, and can have such a severe impact upon its outcome, that it seems like this went to press with no playtesting whatsoever. Hence the two stars.
1. The auction mechanism is a cute, and obviously deliberate send-up of eBay and convention auctions and the frenzy they sometimes inspire in otherwise level-headed fen. However, the impact on game outcome is negligible, except under a few rare confluences of circumstance... the games I've played have never even seen an auction take place, and these have been with games at max capacity. Players are simply too mindful of others' victory point status to risk giving them anything--it's s/he who has the most *stuff*, not *money*, that wins. The auction might make more sense if a) the timing of the auction were adjusted or b) some of the problems discussed in 2), below, were resolved.
2) Many of the action cards require more explicit explanation as to when they may be played, upon whom they may be played, and who chooses the exact effect when they are played. The cards are worded so vaguely, and the rules are so silent on the matter, that it is impossible to divine what was meant to be done with several of them.
Chez Dork is amusing enough, and I particularly appreciate that the game doesn't involve the gratuitous illegal drugs 'humour' aspect of Chez Geek. However, unless the auction mechanism is tightened up, and the action cards better worded (or explained in the rules), I can't promise a gaming experience free of some serious teeth grinding.