Saturday, March 22, 2014

Game Review: Argh!

Argh! The Nail-Biting, Treasure-Stealing Pirate Game! published by Fat Brain Toy Co.

Argh! is a push-your-luck card game with a pirate theme. Players try to collect more treasure than each other and not get caught by the pirates. Each player takes turns drawing cards one at a time from a pile in the middle of the table. The draw pile is called "Plunder Island."

J in mid-game

Certain cards are treasure cards, like gems or chalices or other pirate booty. Others are treasure chests. These are put face up in front of the player until scoring happens. Still other cards let players "Score some loot!" by taking all of one type of card from one other player (all the keys from J, for example). The set of cards is the pirates. If a player draws a pirate card, they have to stop drawing and the next person gets their turn.

Sample cards (the Argh! flag is the back of the cards)

A player can decide to stop drawing before a pirate card shows up and then gets to score the treasures collected. Treasure chests are worth three points each. Other treasures require at least three cards in order to score points. Points are given for the number of cards of each type. Any sets of card that have fewer than three don't score and are left in front of the player. So if J has drawn three chalices, four gems, two keys, and a treasure chest, he score three points for chalices, four for gems, three for one treasure chest, for a total of ten points. The two keys stay in front of him and could be stolen by other players if they draw the "Score some loot!" card. Play continues to a certain number of points depending on the number of players. In a two-player game, once one person hits fifty points, the other player has one last turn to try and beat that score.

The game is fun and fits the pirate theme nicely. It plays from two to six players and the games are pretty short, about ten to fifteen minutes. J has an unfair advantage in that he is more willing to press his luck and keep drawing cards even when he could score a couple of three sets. He's won every time I've played him.

Zombie Apocalypse Appropriateness:
This game is not suitable for solo play unless you're schizophrenic (in which case, is it really solo play?). It is just a deck of cards and a small rule book, so it is pretty portable and easy to learn. The owner could squeeze in a game with newly found friends.

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