I thought about another microgame idea last night. In the vein of Shape Up!, this one has the working title Hands Up!
There are 18 cards, which each carry a symbol: there are two each of [red|blue|green] [circle|square|triangle].
Each card also carries a victory condition, which are all different. Each condition represents a possible combination of six cards as a mix of pairs of colour(s) and shape(s), eg. red red blue blue circle circle, red red square square triangle triangle, etc.
At the start of the game, each player (I reckon 2–4, although it might work for as many as 6) is dealt a face-down card which they keep. This indicates their personal victory condition.
The first player then deals a single hand of 6 cards off the top of the remaining deck. The idea is that this hand is passed around, and on their turn each player has ways to alter its composition. The first player to get the hand such that it matches their personal victory condition, wins the game. The 6 cards must all count: eg. if the hand has a blue triangle, you can count it as one of your required blues, or one of your required triangles, but not both.
So on your turn, what you do on your turn is: you draw a card from the top of the deck and add it to the hand. You then may either discard one of the now 7 cards, or play one of them. In either case that card is put onto the discard pile, leaving 6 in the hand: if those 6 match your victory condition, you declare it and win. When the deck is exhausted, shuffle and recycle the discards.
‘Play’ a card? Yes, this is the interesting bit: each card also has on it an action, which you enact when you play it. Actions are things like:
- exchange your victory card for one of the cards in the hand;
- look at another player’s victory card;
- draw another card imediately, and discard one;
- immediately shuffle the discards into the deck;
- [etc, ideally 6 different ones]
It seems to me that the main danger is of the game getting a bit tug-of-war-y, with people with very different victory conditions pulling the hand back and forth and neither getting close to victory. So the action cards are going to be very important as ways of allowing a clever player to manipulate vctory.
(Another thing I’m wondering about is whether to not shuffle the discards, but instead just to invert them. In general I don’t like games that strongly reward memorizing card sequences. But perhaps this should be an exception, if it gives people another tool to win. (Although a big question mark over how useful a tool it would be, even if you have a terrific memory.))
(I’ve always likes the hand-passing mechanism of Space Beans, which I expect is used in loads of other games too. Here it’s not so much used as an out-think-the-next-player dealy, though; more as a way to deal with there being so few cards.)
Any thoughts, at this early stage?