Playing this card game is fun. The Computer says so, and The Computer is your friend. Stay Alert! Trust no one! Keep your laser handy!
If there was ever a RPG that I’ve only actually played once, but is forever in my heart, it is Paranoia (2nd edition). Several years ago at Gencon, I saw the card game (non-collectible) for sale and promptly bought it, thinking it would help reconnect me to the universe that I so loved in the RPG. Adding it to my collection, the game remained unplayed until a couple months ago. (Just like the XP edition of the RPG sitting on my shelf. Why does that happen?)
Details: A card game for 3-8 players, based on the role playing game. It is both cooperative and antagonistic. Each player has a security level, six clones, and a hand of action cards at the start. Each time a mission card begins, the players work either with or against one another towards various objectives. When the game ends (after the course of numerous missions), the person with the highest security clearance wins.
Review: Overall, it’s a solid fun game, especially when you have players that enjoy some “stab ya in the back” action, a la Munchkin. The cards are witty, silly, and desperate (as they should be). While playing the card game, I felt very connected to my brief experience with the RPG and that pleased me very much. Be prepared though, this is not always a quick game.
The game has a bit of a learning curve right at the beginning for some reason, but quickly it becomes playable without any regular rule consultations. Visually, the cards could have used extra graphics on the written side, like a little color-coding of the action boxes to indicate subcategories of “Play on Mission” vs “Play on Troubleshooter” to make it quicker to understand what actions you have available in your hand. The rulebook could use a minor edit to smooth out the learning process and adding a new element by making the Troubleshooter cards unique would be awesome.
Strategy: One nice part of this game is that the levels of aggression varies dependent on how the players are feeling, so there are different kinds of vibes that can happen around the table. The main strategy though, for any player, is that you truly are on your own in this game. Work with people, but don’t ever turn your back on them, or they might report you to The Computer as a mutant commie traitor… or worse.
Event Ideas: A nice evening around a table with friends… until suddenly “your friend” has a higher security clearance than you and can order you to get them a fresh drink or to sing a little song at their pleasure. Not to mention that it hurts when you loose a clone, so nothing short of a fine shot of “Happy Loyal Citizen Drink” will take the pain away. Enjoy!
Additional: The card game is currently out of print, though I’m certain that used game shops would love the business. Hopefully Mongoose Publishing will give it new life with a minor face-lift and a reprint. (I could easily imagine an expansion or two if the reprint sold.)
You are in error. No one is screaming. Thank you for your cooperation.
[tags]Board and Card Games,review,rpg[/tags]