For the triumphant return of Game Combos, I blindly slapped post-its on games in the dark. I did this at 2am during a bout of insomnia. How better to beat insomnia than to challenge yourself to make a new game?
Today’s two randomly post-it slapped games:
Deuce (1985): The game that’s “Twice as much fun as any other card game”, but basically consists of Uno combined with a double-stack scenario in which both of the last cards played on any stack are still in play. The form of the game is rank/color matching, again a-la Uno. The spirit of the game is more or less “going out” while playing cards and trying to play on your opponent’s stacks while simultaneously keeping your stacks unplayable. https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/2450/deuce
Quizzard (1987): This trivia game insists “Not only do you have to be right, you have to be quick”, but sources (and numerous play sessions) would disagree… instead it’s more like “You should try to be right but you also need to hope you don’t have the broken Quizzard buzzer,” because the poor plastic craftmanship by Random House games means you probably only have about a dozen good play sessions before the hemispherical slap-targets stop registering your fierce drubbings. Form of the game: hand slapping. Spirit of the game: trivia knowledge. https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/3558/quizzard
Initial thoughts: On the plus side, these are two games with a sitting-side-by-side structure, so the big challenge for game combining will be in equating the stacks of cards in Deuce to the stacks of trivia questions in Quizzard. Best if we simply start imagining two stacks of trivia cards instead of Uno cards. I give this a medium rating for combinability. Let’s see how it goes…
As with any game combo, the game with the more interesting gear will likely be the one whose form we use as the starting point. In the case of Quizzard, you basically have an octopus-shaped game unit with unfolding “arms” that have a buzzer at each end. The battery-operated center module will register who hit their buzzer first. Apart from that, it’s a quiz show buzz-in game like Jeopardy with a large booklet of trivia to select from. I can already see that the most compelling combination will consist of playing with the spirit of Deuce and within the form of Quizzard.
In Deuce, players each have two stacks of Uno-style cards (number/color) and the object is to play all your cards be adhering to one simple rule: You may play a card on a stack as long as it then matches either the color or the number of the card on the stack next to it. And yes, you can play on other players’ stacks.
Adding the plastic octopus to the mix will result in a game of Deuce with two stacks of cards at the end of each octopus arm. When it’s your turn, it’s everybody’s turn! In other words, someone counts “3… 2… 1” and then everybody slaps a card down on a pile, but only the player who hits the buzzer first gets to play. You basically have to hit the buzzer in front of the player you want to play on in order to go next. Hitting your own buzzer is probably easier, but not always beneficial on any given turn.
Beyond that rule, the game proceeds normally apart from the “everybody playing at the same time” aspect.
And yet, something feels like it’s missing…
I’m already thinking about what the opposite version of the game combo would be. It’s going to bug me if I don’t see it through, so here goes: Imagine the form of Deuce (playing a card NEXT TO THE ONE you are matching) with the spirit of Quizzard (trivia answers). First, make a bunch of cards with your name on it. (Or post-it notes). Now, get a bunch of trivia questions on cards and place them into two stacks in front of each player. On your turn, you play a card with your name NEXT to the card with a trivia question you want to answer. You are covering up a question you DON’T want to answer. After everyone has played all their name cards, the actual answering progresses in reverse order after a fashion. Each turn, a trivia question is revealed and the player (or players!) who had offered to answer it must do so. The questions that were not chosen can be saved for a future turn.
Both combinations are intriguing…