Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Card Games for Writers

Maybe it's because I spent so many years surrounded by toys, but I love games. Especially card games because they're so portable. My favorite games ones always seem to have something to do with words or writing. Here are a few from my shelf.

Once Upon a Time by Atlas
This is one of those games where it doesn't matter who wins, it's the process of playing the game that counts. The goal is to tell a fairytale story using the cards in your hand while trying to steer the story toward the ending that you were dealt. Players can interrupt each other to take over the story. I especially like this game because it works for a large number of players.

Man Bites Dog by University Games
The idea is to come up with the silliest, craziest headlines possible using cards in your hand. The crazier the card, the more points it's worth, but the harder it is to use it in a headline. The winner is the player who gets to 500 points first. I haven't played this one in a while but I remember laughing a lot when I played it last.

Quiddler by SET Enterprises
This one is on my shelf but I haven't gotten around to figuring it out yet so I cannot give an accurate review. I can say, however, that the company that designed this game is the same company that created SET, which is my favorite card game of all time!

Mystery Rummy Case #3: Jekyll and Hyde by U.S. Games Systems, Inc.
This is more a strategy game, rather than a word game, but it's based on the Robert Louis Stevenson novella so I think of it as a writerly game. This is essentially rummy with a twist, where depending on whether it is Jekyll or Hyde who is "awake" you can only play certain cards. Playing it the regular way is fun, but the real challenge comes from trying to get a "shut-out" (where you play all-Jekylls or all-Hyde cards). I think this game may be out of print, which is unfortunate because it's one of my favorites.

What about you? What's your favorite writerly game?

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