Following on from last weeks look at a Kickstarter game that really took me by surprise in the form of The Refuge: A Race for Survival, I want to bring your attention to a game that also exceeded all expectations by being utterly charming and engaging.
Braggart is “a game of heroes, liars and unfortunate fish” from UK based Spiral Galaxy Games, originally given a lo key release in 2010. However, a second edition came to crowd funding in September 2016, with 602 backers raising £10,322 helping to fulfil the project. When I took delivery of the game in late November 2016, I was once again taken back by a game that was much more enjoyably than I foolishly and incorrectly predicted.
Braggart (2nd Edition) is a card drafting and hand-management game for three to six players that can play in less than half an hour. The goal of the game is to score more points than your rivals by telling the most outrageous tale you can think of. Players group together cards of four different types (scene, deed, foe and result) and play them to form a very unlikely tale, with each card carrying a score value.
Starting with the player who can claim to have carried out the most heroic deed in the previous week, players have a choice of two options per turn. First of all they can “go to the bar” and draw three new cards from the deck to add to their hand, without exceeding the eight card hand limit. Alternatively they can “boast to your cronies” by playing at least one deed and one foe card, but up to a maximum of four with the option of a scene and/or a result card. Each card has a score value and the player with the highest combined score for all their cards wins the round. Any other players who played a boast can claim their highest scoring card as a consolation, but players must be wary that as soon as one player boasts, the round will end when play returns to the first player. The game ends when the draw deck is depleted.
What makes the game extra special is that littered in the deck is special interrupt cards that can be played by opponents to call you a liar, or indeed an”outrageous liar”. These cards allow the person playing the card to swap out one of the cards you have just played for one from their hand, usually for lesser points. However, these special cards can then be countered by a “yes I did” or the “witness” card and it sets up potential for a wild back and forth. Finally, there is a “bar brawl” card that can be played before scoring takes place, which instructs all foes cards to be retrieved, shuffled and dealt back out at random.
New for the second edition is symbols on each card that when matching sets are played players can get extra cards drawn from the deck, which brings another dynamic in managing your hand.
The end result is a wonderful unique little package with a really fresh and engaging design and style. While the cards are all amusing in a completely suitable for all manner, players should be encouraged to big up their boasts with a sprinkling of theatrics and with that it really becomes a laugh out loud experience. It is very simple to learn but has enough to it that it could appeal to seasoned gamers. For me, it is a perfect filler game that would be right at home in almost any environment – especially down the pub with your mates.
And yet again, I’m caught off guard thanks to this unjustified low expectations of a Kickstarter game I have supported. Sure Braggart was a game that caught my eye enough to back it, but the truth is it never quite filled me with any real excitement and I had almost forgot I had pledged. Yet for the second week in a row, I will admit I was completely wrong and paid a disservice to the game, which is not only wonderfully original but is a truly charming little game that will be a cherished addition to my collection.
It just hammers home that writing and reading about games is absolutely no substitute for the real thing.
Kickstarter Campaign of the Week
There really only is one choice for this week.
In 2014 a revolutionary first person video game was successfully funded through Kickstarter, going on to win critical acclaim upon general release in early 2016. I’m talking of course about SUPERHOT, which is now getting a card game adaptation. If it can capture the essence of the outrageously brilliant video game then we are surely onto something very special indeed. This completely slipped under my radar when compiling my Absolutely Gimongous 2017 Board Game Preview at the start of the year, but given my sheer admiration for the video game this would most definitely have scored top TITTIES!!
With multiple game play options from solo to team play, this offers great depth and variation for what appears a very quick to learn, yet strategically deep, deck-building game. With pledges from as little as $15 plus shipping, this is also an absolute bargain. Funding is already completely smashed with the promise of many nice little stretch goals now in play. For more details, check out the campaign page.
NEXT WEEK: I’m taking a break from my reviews to bring you all the latest news in the tabletop gaming world.