Dear Joe Gamer: Why Do You Ignore Me? Part 2


Because of the response from Part 1 of this review series, I have decided to review 3 more funny standalone card games. Perhaps Joe Gamer is finally turning an ear?

Because of the response from Part 1 of this review series, I have decided to review 3 more funny standalone card games. Perhaps Joe Gamer is finally turning an ear?

Management Material: General Office Edition
Zipwhaa, Inc.
2 to 5 players

Management Material is a relatively new standalone card game with a corporate theme. In this quirky game, however, players do not want to succeed - in fact, the way to win is to avoid being promoted! All players work in a typical corporate American office. Players do this by using "lame" Excuse Cards to get out of having to do a project that is given to them via the Project Cards (which have point ranges from the 1-point "Making 547 Color Copies" to the 11-point "Make Sense of Everything" project." The better your excuse, the better your chances of "passing the buck" to the next player and making them do it! When a player cannot get out of doing a project with a good excuse, the Project Card is added to their completed projects file and adding to their point tally. Once a player acquires 30 points, they are considered Management Material, which means they lose the game. The last person to be promoted wins!

Management Material is reasonably funny in that "it's-so-true-to-real-life" way, because most people's worst fear is to be stuck in a dead end job, behind a desk, wearing a tie. And that's exactly what you got at the booth at Gen Con 2002 if you lost the game - a tacky tie with a "management material" button on it, which was one of the funniest promotional ideas I've seen in a long while. If you liked the movie "Office Space," you'll definitely appreciate this game, and in fact, quotes from the movie are practically the only things said when my gaming group busts out this game. Management Material is fun to play, and the mechanic is very different from other games, which is a refreshing change of pace.
Basically, I'd say, even though you may not recognize the small company that this little diversion comes from, give it a try. It's different and cute, and will really make you appreciate your job.

What you get:

  • 110 cards and rules

Price: $14.95
Art rating: 9
Humor rating: 8
Strategy rating: 7
Fun rating: 9
Overall rating: 8.5

Star Munchkin
Steve Jackson Games
2 to 6 players (but best with 3 or more)
Kill the Monsters, Steal the Treasure, Stab Your Buddy - In Space!

It was difficult to choose just one Steve Jackson game to review for this article, as there are so many humorous ones to choose from. But alas, the entire article cannot be devoted completely to Mr. Jackson, so I chose one of his latest greats - Star Munchkin.

For Munchkin fans already out there, Star Munchkin will be a great addition to your set. The games are completely playable together, but also individually as stand-alone games. I personally like to separate the themes and play them separately, but it was designed to go either way, so see what you like.

Star Munchkin brings the Munchkins to where no man has gone before - well, yes, many men have now gone there before, but we all know where I'm talking about - Space!

Players begin with their "character" and reveal cards which may be a number of obstacles, including monsters of varying levels. Armed (hopefully) with weapon and armor cards from their hands, players try to defeat these zany threats. Each card used gives the player points, and if the points sum up to or above the monster level, the player defeats the enemy. But what fun is watching your opponents beat up the monsters each round with no problem? No fun at all, the others say, and proceed to use cards from their hands to beef up the monster level so they're even harder to beat! Now that's what I call back-stabbin' fun!

Players who are successful gain treasure and a level bump, with the first player to reach level 10 declared the winner!
The cards feature the incredible artwork of John Kovalic (Dork Tower), and have the immense twisted humor needed to make this list. The different monsters are hilarious, as are their traits, and the nature of the game is fun, with a high replay value. Card quality could be a bit better, especially at the price point that this game rests, but all in all, well worth picking up.

What you get:

  • 168 cards
  • A die
  • Instructions

Price: $24.95
Art rating: 9.5
Humor rating: 8.5
Strategy rating: 6
Fun rating: 7
Overall rating: 8

Who Stole Ed's Pants?
Eight Foot Llama
3 or 4 players

A 2003 Games 100 honoree, Who Stole Ed's Pants? (from now on called WSEP), is a delightful game of who did it, with a twist. The game sets a perfect playing field for framing your opponents, which is just too much fun. Fear not, however, though it may seem like this game is like Clue, it really isn't. Instead of trying to figure out who did it, the much more important goal is to make sure nobody thinks it was you!

Though it almost looks like it could be a children's game from an outward glance, WSEP is actually rather complex and is brimming with strategy. The game has 3 types of cards: Fact cards, Evidence cards, and Witness cards. The basic idea of the game is to plant evidence cards on your opponents to make them look guilty. You can also try to change the official facts of the case to either again make yourself look innocent. Players use alibis to try to place the blame on their opponents, gathering as many credible witnesses as possible to back them up. The more guilty you look, the more points you accumulate, and at the end of the game, the player with the most points is GUILTY! The game's complexity makes diving in for the first time a bit of a chore, but after the first "go", players quickly catch on.

Really, there are only 2 faults I can find in the game: First is you can't play with more players, because it is a favorite among many of my friends and everyone always want to play, and second, for such a funny game, I wish the artwork was better, because it just doesn't live up to the artwork standards set by the other 5 games in this review series.

What you get:

  • 95 full-color glossy cards
  • 4 laminated player mats
  • 14 glass gaming stones
  • Instructions

Price: $14.95
Art rating: 4
Humor rating: 7
Strategy rating: 9
Fun rating: 8
Overall rating: 7

Another hilarious game by Eight Foot Llama is Monkeys on the Moon.

Basically you have tribes of monkeys stuck on the Moon (of course) trying to get on board space ships to take them back to the Earth and players try to score the most points while gaining favor and spite of the monkeys. A real hoot.

I think it should be more cheap!