With Wild Cats in stock and Cunning Folk arriving in the next two weeks, it's time to take another look at the next wallet games. Whether you are into bluffing, storytelling, or gaming with family and friends, there's something for everyone coming this fall.
On the family and friends side comes Fever Chill, a very light deduction game by Kenneth Thompson that puts everyone in the role of a doctor, not unlike Dr. Mario. Your role is to simultaneously assign cards to your neighbor to the left or right, revealing only one of them and keeping one for yourself. Each player has a virus (+1 degree change), medicine (-1 degree change) and two 0 cards that represent no change at all.
The back of the cards features a mirror image with an arrow in the center. When you choose a card to play, you'll place it face down and cover the arrow so your neighbors don't know which way it's coming. At the count of three, reveal! Cards are passed to the left or right and kept face down.In the main game mode, you only play against your neighbor to the left and right. So in a 4 player game, there is one player that you don't effect and they don't effect you.
In the second round, the same thing happens but the cards are revealed after they are passed (potentially giving information to your neighbors). The third round is played face down again, and the final card is saved for yourself.
Sounds pretty straight-forward, right? It's quick and easy to grasp and appeals to new deduction gamers, families, and light gamers looking for a quick fix.
Now to put a big spin on things, we made 2 additional cards that are shuffled into the 0's. The Contagion card gives +1 to all other players. The player that ends up with the card doesn't change. The Vaccine card gives -1 to all other players, and also doesn't effect the player with the card. Games may have one of these, both to them or none. Just knowing that they are in the mix can mess with your head.
So while it's not a puzzle game in any way, it reminds me a little bit of Dr. Mario. Dr. Mario is in my top 10 NES games and as we were considering the theme, this one felt too good. It became the inspiration for the art, but in a gameplay sense it worked out really well. It definitely reminds me of multiplayer when you can send the viruses to your opponent. It's also very light and quick to learn.
Next time I'll have to talk about Ken and his many designs per day, or on a similar note, the difficulties of theming a game that is made up of 1s and 0s. And not the digital kind...
Join us on August 16th for the Kickstarter campaign for Smoke & Mirrors, North South East Quest and Fever Chill!