Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Metamorphosis: Messed Up Games

Messed Up Games
Thursday, May 22, 3:30 p.m.

As part of our Metamorphosis program for teens I'll be sharing games that have transformation at their core. This thursday I'll be demonstrating some games at the library that you've probably never heard of, and more than likely have never seen played in your life. I'm going to tell you a bit about the games so that you know what you're getting yourself into, because all of these games are a little insane.


This groovy little card game plays a lot like dominoes, but instead of numbers on tiles you have the five classic elements (earth, air, fire, water and ether) on cards. The goal is to get 7 of your elements connected to each other by playing your cards one by one next to each other on the table top. It's beautiful to look at and easy to play.


You are a time traveler from a parallel world and you have become out of sync with your proper timeline. Your goal is to change the history of this world by reversing the fate of important people and events and to make this timeline your own so that you can find your way back home. This game is full of shifting ground, and bizarro actions. You can collect dinosaurs and lost works of art all while preventing the sinking of the Titanic. Who wouldn't like a game like that?


Just as the name implies Fluxx is all about change. The rules change, the goals change, the game play changes and you never know how in the world you're going to win. You may start with simple rules, but people can play new rules, change the object of the game entirely, and force you to discard all the cards in your hand. You never know what's going to happen. It's awesome.


Quiddler is kind of like Rummy and Scrabble. Each player is dealt a hand of cards with letters, and from those letters you have to make words. Each letter and letter combo has a point value and the player with the longest word gets extra points and the player who makes the most words gets extra points. At the end of seven rounds the person with the most points is the winner. The combinations of words that people make in this game often leads to hilarity.


Set is a game about matching. But it's far more complex than you think. The players have to make sets of three out of cards that are different in color (red, green or purple), shape (oval, diamond, or squiggle), number (1, 2, or 3) and pattern (empty, shaded, or solid). To make a set each of these qualities have to be either completely different or completely identical. It makes your eyes bug out after a while but it's incredibly interesting.


Have you ever played a game with a shrinking board? No? Well, then play this. In Zertz the object is to capture a certain number of similar colored marbles either grey, white, or black or a combination of the three. But in order to capture marbles you must force your opponent to make moves that establish the moves that you want to execute. All this is going on while the board on which you play is continually dissolving before you. It looks alien and is incredibly fun.

No comments: