Man Bites Dog
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It's the hilarious headline card game! This game is a little different: you're dealt a hand of cards with words on them, each with a point value. When it's your turn, construct the headline that earns the highest points... and often the biggest laughs! The first player to get to 500 points wins.
It's a great way to have fun with language for kids and adults alike. Compact enough to go on the road, this game is Extra! Extra! fun.
This game had us laughing from the start. The game itself is so simple to learn. Just a basic poker game. Deal 5, draw up to 3. Then the fun starts. Building these headlines is the joy of this game. Some leaway should be given as it is so short of a game. The more that play the funnier it gets. We are hope they have expansion decks soon as ours will probably be worn out.
Ok this really is a very cute game for anyone who loves language. This game is easy to pick up and start playing right away (the rules are on the front and back of one card). My only real problem is the quality of the cards, and they really arent that bad, I am just spoiled from the 'Killer Bunnies and the Quest for the Magic Carrot' cards. I also think a house rule or two might improve it.
This game consists of 110 cards, and thats it. 106 game cards, 3 'Exclusive' cards that double your score, and 1 rules card. The cards are bridge size and not as well made as a deck of Bicycles or Bee's. They are not poorly made, but they are nothing to write home about.
EASE OF PLAY:
This might be the easiest game to pick up and play right away I have ever encountered. I think the next closest is 'Fluxx', and the rules to that game are on the table at all times. If you know english, then you can play this game. You get a hand of 5 cards (with a word(s) on it, and a point value), you can discard up to 3 (like in poker) and then you have to construct a headline that makes sence and follows english grammar (at least as much as any headline does...'WAR OVER!!'). If you play an 'exclusive' card it doubles the point value of the headline. If half or more of the players think the headline dosent make sence, you have to pick it up and construct a new one. At the end of the round, shuffle, deal and repeat. The first person to 500 points is the winner. Thats the whole game.
STRATEGY VS LUCK:
I would say this game is very lucked based, not that some stratgic decisions arent made, because they are, but the game is mostly based on luck. I think of this like a language poker of sorts. In the draw stage you need to weigh the ability to use a card, and its point value. However the players dont interact with each other at all as far as the cards go. Its a great party game but you can't directly effect another player. They get their 5 cards, draw and play. All you can do is decide their headline dosent make sence.
HOUSE RULES OR PERSONAL CHANGES:
For this game it seems as if the creator wanted the 'cards to talk' like in poker. You lay your hand down, people vote if it makes sence and thats it. I however like the idea of 'lawyering'. If you have a headline you know will need context to pass you can laywer it for a penality before you lay it down (I still dont know what that needs to be, maybe 1/2 the points of the headline rounded down). So if the headline is 'Burns shoots prez' the players are open to say 'How can a burn shoot the prez, not a legal headline'. However if you allowed to lawyer it you can state...'Its a man named burns that shot the prez.' which would make it legal. That is just an idea, since the game dosent make room for it, and I think the loss in points makes it so you are inclined to make easier to understand headlines...which is harder to do.
You can also try some poker variations like 'flop games'. That means everyone gets a hand of 2-4 cards, and 5 cards are placed in the middle, and everyone uses a mix of hand cards and community cards to make a headline (no more than 5 cards long). If playing Texas holdem then 2 cards per player, and any mix of the 2 in hand and the 5 community cards to make a title. If you're playing Ohmaha Holdem then 3-4 per player and you have to use 1-2 in your hand, and 3-4 on the table to make a headline.
Just a few ideas, but I think the poker aspect, and possibly being able to gamble points in some way might increase the playability of this game. Although then you get into a lot of problems with other players not agreeing that a headline makes sence, but these are ideas I am playing with.