Wednesday, December 19, 2012

ZGG Game Review: Give Me the Brain!

Give Me the Brain! by James Ernest

In Give Me the Brain!, the players are zombies working at a fast food restaurant. There's a lot of jobs to be done but most of them don't require any brains. Which is lucky because the whole group has to share just one brain. And you know how good zombies are at sharing!

Players are dealt seven cards which they will want to get rid of as fast as possible. The cards include Job cards, which are various thankless tasks in the restaurant. Some require only one hand, some require two hands, and some require brains. These Job cards also have special instructions, like "exchange hands with another player" or "draw a card" or more complicated tasks. Some Job cards are actually Object cards, which give special powers, like having a third hand or having a spare brain. The deck also include Bid cards valued from 1 to 30 used to bid on getting the brain.

Some sample cards

The brain in the game is a six-side gray die. At the beginning of the game, the brain is on the floor and players bid on who will pick it up first. A player doesn't have to bid but having the brain is required for some Jobs. Even if the player can't outbid others at least they can discard a card from their hand. Whoever wins the bid picks up the brain/die and goes first.

The player can play at least one Job card (though he could play two Jobs if each requires only one hand) and follow the card's instructions. Or he plays no cards and takes a Loafing turn. If the player Loafs around, he either draws a card or discards his current cards and draws the same number of cards plus an extra card. Play proceeds to the left. Jobs that require the brain also have a number on the card. The player must role the die and get a number equal to or higher than the card's number or else he drops the brain and a new round of bidding begins with the player who dropped the brain.

If it sounds chaotic, then I have describe it correctly. The game is a bit like Fluxx with lots of sudden changes to what's going on. It's also like Uno in that the ultimate goal is to run out of cards. The game is fun, fairly light, and fairly quick.

Zombie Apocalypse Appropriateness: This game requires at least three players, so it might be tough to get a group together. Since people's cards are hidden from one another, it would be difficult to play solitaire. On the other hand, it's just a deck of cards, a die, and a rule book, so it is very portable. The zombie restaurant theme is a fun idea but gives no practical skills in the event of a real zombie apocalypse.

Other zombie games to consider:
  • Zombie Dice is an easy press-your-luck game that even a four-year old can play. I know because J has played it!
  • Grave Business is a mad scientist/zombie game that is fun but definitely more challenging, requiring older players.
  • Zombie in My Pocket (Solitaire Edition) is a print-and-play game, so if you need a cheap gift this requires only internet access and a printer. And scissors to cut up the game pieces. But you can keep the scissors.

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