Friday, February 16, 2018

Grave Robbing, I mean, archeologist in my pocket

Raiders in My Pocket was an interesting PnP project for me. While I’ve played the original Zombie in My Pocket literally dozens of times, I’ve never actually made or played any of the variants. I also found it interesting that the entire game fit on one double-sided page of counters.

If you’re not familiar with the family of games, you build a map of of tiles while playing event cards as you move your pawn from tile to tile. Part of what makes it clever is the event deck serves as a timer. Every time you reshuffle, time passes. And if you don’t complete your objective, time _will_ run out.

The main difference between Raiders and Zombie is that you have one more stage of time. However, you also have to get back to the start tile. And, when you grab the idol that is your goal (BECAUSE IT BELONGS IN A MUSEUM!), you automatically start the last time stage. 

If you’re like me and ended up using all the tiles to find the idol (more than once), that’s pretty much a death sentence, even using the ‘free’ flee action. The original Zombie in My Pocket was a luckfest but Raider in My Pocket is even more of a one.

Buuut... that doesn’t bother me. While there is some strategy to how you build the map and use resting and fleeing, luck was always a huge part of Zombie in My Pocket experience. What really sold the game was the theme and how it told a story.

And Raiders continues that tradition. It is very thematic in how it uses art and how it tells the story of being a grave-robbing bandit, er, I mean an archeologist. And it definitely keeps the tension high.

Is it more fun than Zombie? Eh. However, I don’t have a set of Zombie made right now and I’m just as happy to spend a few minutes playing Raiders in My Pocket.

Truth to tell, my biggest take away from the experience was from the crafting. While it was neat to only have one sheet of components, the tiny bits made it a real pain to cut and laminate. I definitely learned some lessons about PnP crafting.

If I were to craft it again, I’d definitely do things differently. But the next time I craft a In My Pocket game, it will probably be something else, something new to explore.

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