Homestar Decemberween IOUs
And it did! Eventually. When it came in a month or so ago, he hurried over to my house with it. We took a look and the humorous contents and read the hilarious rulebook, but we didn't have time to play...
...until last night!
Some Good, Old-Fashioned Burninating
While the game's flavor definitely plays for ridiculous laughs, the actual game-play is pretty solid. The basic mechanics are a tug-of-war-style back-and-forth on your health and the tiles that make up the game board. The game is co-op (which I love), and the players take turns moving Trogdor around the board, burninating the countryside (tiles), peasants, and finally, thatch-roofed cottages. But after each player moves the mighty, beefy-armed dragon, they'll also draw a card for the movement of the peasants, knights, and archers which can repair some of Troggy's damage - and also damage him. You win if you can ever toast the entire board and everything on it.
The game was fun, and involves quite a bit of strategy (if you really want to think about it that hard). The turns are generally fun and satisfying - they give you options without being overwhelming. And they're pretty quick once you get the hang of it (unless you're agonizing over which card to play).
In our play-through, we seemed to get pretty unlucky up-front, and by the end of the game, we were having the dragon move and hide from the knights for multiple turns before we could bring some special cards into play and burn(inate) the final cottages to win. For an absurd game, there was quite a bit of serious discussion on what should be done each turn by the end of it, which I think speaks to some good game design.
Our session lasted a bit over an hour, but we were figuring things out and taking it pretty seriously (the cat-and-mouse at the end drug it out some). It probably plays a bit quicker on average.
The game plays up to 6 people, making it a good choice for slightly-larger groups (a lot of games cap at 4-5). Mechanically, you could probably even play with up to 9 people (there are 9 Keepers and Items), but the game experience might get a little fractured in one way or another.
The printed age range is 12+, but I'm betting my 8yo could probably handle it pretty well. While kids' strategy might be less-developed, the actual turn actions are pretty straight-forward.
Overall, I'm pretty impressed with this one and I'm sure it'll get a bit of play at our table. BGG is giving Troggy a 7.3 at the moment, which is pretty decent - I've found anything over about 6.5 or so is at least worth a look. Iron Dragon, one of my favorites, comes in as a 7.0.
The game isn't available for retail purchase quite yet, but they're promising it soon here.
You can see Strong Bad's (musical) game overview here - and you really, really should.
Oh, and if you want to know where this madness comes from, this is it.