Monday, December 11, 2023

Parry games and creating your own content

A few years back, I found a nine-card PnP game called Cryptic that was a party/social game. At the time, I found the idea of a game like that fascinating, a party game broken down into nine components.

(Which is kind of odd, since charades has probably been around since time and memorial and doesn’t require any components at all)

Since then, I’ve played other games that at least can be party/social games like Word Chain and Flipword and, more recently, the Apropos family of games, that are all also micro games. All of which were better than Cryptic, by the way. 

I realize that a lot of the party games from my childhood had a lot of content. Games like Facts in Five or Pictionary or Cranium or, in particular, Trivial Pursuit came with buckets of cards. Plenty of more modern party games like Dixit or Wits and Wagers or Apples to Apples or Cards Against Humanity also come with tons of cards.

And, while there have always been tons of party/social games that don’t require five pounds of cards, it was still part of my concept of how they work. (No, it’s not rational)

What I noticed with Word Chain is that the tiny handful of cards create a framework. You’d have to add the content yourself. And the same can be said for Flipword or the Apropos family.

And I quite like this. Having to actually add the content yourself to a party/social game forces you to be clever and to reach into your reference pools. Which is the complete opposite of Apples to Apples, which gift wraps the thinking for you.

And, no, clearly these recent games didn’t introduce the idea of supplying all the content yourself. Not by a long shot. Charades, which I keep on coming back to, can be played that way. Really, adding a stack of questions or topics is actually quite new in the grand scheme of things.

I’m not too big on party games, although I definitely see their value. But I do like being forced to be clever.

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