Toc Toc Toc!
AKA: Knock! Knock!
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In this game you want to have the best Halloween party in the neighborhood. Of course your guest selection is the most important thing, as the organizer, to think about. You must make sure that only the most prestigious guests attend, while ensuring that the unwanted ones go to your opponents. Don't be fooled, everybody wants to get into the party. You need to be smart and send the bad ones to the other parties. It will not matter anyway, they take anybody.
Bruno Faidutti is one of my favorite designers, so even though I heard that Knock! Knock! (Jolly Roger Games, 2004 -- Bruno Faidutti and Gwenael Bouquin) was mostly a bluffing / children's game, I was interested in trying it out. And, I must admit, I'm always on the lookout for fun games to play with kids -- bluffing or no.
Knock! Knock! IS a simplistic game, and it is best for children. The game is basically a one trick pony with the same thing happening again and again and again. Fortunately, the game lasts only about twenty minutes, before it gets tiresome; and each time I've played it, it seems that the game ends exactly before all the players get bored with it. Adults, while finding the bluffing idea interesting, find the game tedious, but teenagers and kids have had a blast when I taught it to them. As a small game that can be easily taught and played in a quick amount of time, Knock! Knock! qualifies as a "teen filler."
Up to five players can play, and each player is dealt two random cards which they place face-up in front of themselves. These cards are either ghosts, monsters (Frankenstein), or vampires. All the rest of the cards are shuffled into one deck, which is placed in the middle of the table, after which each player is dealt a hand of five cards. One player is chosen to go first, and then play proceeds clockwise around the table.
On a player's turn, they simply choose a card from their hand, slide it face-down across the table towards another player, and say "knock, knock". The player they are offering the card to has a choice; they can "open the door" (accept the card) or say "go away" (refusing the card.) If they accept the card, it is flipped over, with its effects applied to them. Refusing the card returns the card to the sender, who flips it over and applies its effects to themselves. The different types of cards are...
The game continues until the last card is drawn from the deck. At this point, players continue to play the cards from their hands; and when the last card has been played, the game ends. Final scores are then tallied. Each player gets one point for all normal guests (two if they have a rocker of that type), and three for each headless horseman. The player with the most points is the winner.
Some comments on the game...
There's not much else I can say about Knock! Knock! -- it's a simple little bluffing game that is mediocre for adults but fairly fun for children. It makes a great game to play in between more thought-provoking games and is simple to play and teach. Knock! Knock! won't get played every week at my gaming club, but it will get played, because the kids will remember the funny game and occasionally request it. For a game of this size, that's not a bad thing.
"Real men play board games."