Last time we broke down the game itself, some of the contents in the game, and how it all plays. This time we’re going to take a closer look at the 5-card mini-expansion that is free for all backers of the game during its Kickstarter campaign. As you will find, there are some interesting twists in here that will radically change the way your game of Handsome plays out when it hits the table with your friends.
A HANDFUL OF CARDS, A HOST OF VARIATION
Five cards come in the mini-expansion, increasing the number of cards for Handsome by roughly 22%. Each one of these cards serves an interesting function, although three of them are interconnected and unlikely to appear in the same round at the same time. The other two are able to be seamlessly integrated into any game of Handsome, even from the first play if you desire. Without further ado, let’s meet the cards in the expansion and learn a little more about how they enhance or alter the base game.
BREAKING OUT THE TIES
The simplest card in the set is the Tie Breaker card. In a game where you earn a point for using the most cards of a set in your word, there are going to be instances where several players use the same number of cards. Besides, even the fanciest of events can benefit from having some Ketchup available for the guests if food is served. Handsome is no exception to that rule, being made better with a larger group by having some catch-up in circulation. This card goes to the player who is last in points, allowing them to be the one who breaks any ties for the round and, thus, helping her to earn more points to get back into the game.
HYPHENS ALLOW FOR PROBLEM-SOLVING CREATIVITY
The most interesting card in the expansion is probably the Hyphen card. After all, hyphenated words demand a little extra restriction when trying to create a word using the letters available. However, there will be some strong motivation to the players to try and find an effective word to use when the Hyphen appears because it counts as all three suits. That could be the difference-maker for anyone who sees the card in their hand - or for anyone who opts to ignore using it when the Hyphen is among the common pool of cards.
NOUNS, VERBS, AND ADJECTIVES...OH MY
The final three cards can optionally restrict players into forming specific words. There is no penalty for ignoring the card shown for the round, of course, but there is the benefit of an extra point to be scored if you make a noun when that Noun card is showing (for example). If that sounds interesting enough, then brace yourselves for what I’m about to reveal: completing a word that matches this card’s requirement also allows you to count it as an additional suit of your choice. The twist, of course, is that you must select whether it is a necklace, a bow tie, or a bolos prior to revealing your words to the other players. Think someone else might creep in on your majority in a suit? This can help maintain that lead. See an opportunity to sneak in and take the points in a scarce suit? Go for it! But once you lock that choice in, just like the word you make itself, it cannot be changed.
A LITERARY DELIGHT FOR THE SOLO GAMERS, TOO
Handsome is a game that covers a broad spectrum of players, ranging from 2-6, but it isn’t designed to include solitaire play, nor are there plans to expand it toward that player count. But never fear, solo gamers, because we can help scratch your literary gaming itch as well with Banned Books. This game was our Board Game of the Month Club feature game during 2018, and now that all of our members have their content we’re opening it up for sale to everyone else. Take control of a literary character from books that have been banned, such as Holden, Huck, or Alice, and fight the Powers-That-Be to reverse the banning of your book. You will be racing against the three Powers-That-Be to get two of your Progress Tracks to the top before two of them reach the end of their tracks - or before your character runs out of Stamina.
You can snag Banned Books and its Animals expansion along with Handsome and its Brilliant expansion for only $20 on Kickstarter right now, a saving of over $10 on both games through this special offer.
PREPARE YOUR QUILLS AND PARCHMENT
Handsome is currently on Kickstarter until tomorrow and is priced as low as $10 plus shipping and will come packaged in our standard vinyl wallet for maximum portability. Prepare your favorite wordsmithing tools for a word creation game coming to a wallet near you.
In the meantime, keep your eyes open for some additional articles that will appear in the coming weeks about our next game to hit Kickstarter, and more features about Chain Mail: Adventures in Earthshine.
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