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Games - G

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Give Me the Brain - Manufacturer: Cheapass Games - Designer: James Ernest - Year: 1997 - $3. 95 AT FUNAGAIN GAMES*
Review by: Nathaniel Dragon

The predecessor of Lord of the Fries is a strange card game about a bunch of zombies working in a fast food joint with only ONE brain.

Each player is trying to get rid of all the cards in their hand, which represent tasks that must be done before the player can "go home" and win the game. Some of the tasks require the player to have and use the brain. A six-sided die on the table represents the brain, which players must constantly compete to get and keep.

The strange cards in the game are really what make up the mood. If you aren't reading them out loud, you are missing alot of the fun and craziness of the game. Some of the cards that you play allow you to steal the brain, while others force you to draw more cards. Sometimes you even get a card that you definetly DON'T want to play. In this situation, you hope to be able to pass the card before you are stuck playing it.

For having very few cards in your hand, this game seems to last quite a long time, due to the amount of cards that cause you to draw new ones. Although the concept of this game sounded very insane and entertaining to me, I was somewhat disappointed by it and usually choose to play Lord of the Fries instead.


The Great Brain Robbery - Manufacturer: Cheapass Games - Designer: James Ernest; Phil Foglio - Year: 2000 - $5.95 AT FUNAGAIN GAMES*
Review by: Nathaniel Dragon

Just like the previous games from Cheapass, this one is your standard – cards and game board printed in black and white on thick paper, although now they are stored in a thin cardboard box rather than a paper envelope. No dice are included, no pawns, and especially not the hand-full of counters to represent brains. Despite the “Cheapassness” (to quote them from their official site) of the game, it’s still fun and worth the meager cost.

The theme of the game is that you are all zombies in the old west, bumbling around with only one brain in the bunch. Somehow you come up with the idea to rob a train, a train full of brains. Starting in the caboose you head toward the engine, grabbing brains along the way. You don’t have enough hands to carry all the brains though and sometimes you have to drop one in order to get something else. Another thing to deal with is that everyone wants to be the smartest – but there can only be one, so if you have a brain that someone else wants, you might end up fighting for it.

The game is made up of a set of cards describing the brains and a board that represents a train including the caboose, engine, and various other cars. Players also supply dice, counters (for brains), and pawns – I like to use the zombies and skeletons from Hero Quest as pawns. As you run through the train and land on a brain (I use pennies), you draw a card and pick up the counter. Each card has a different cost to “install” the brain, with simple brains having low cost to the best brains having high costs. At the end of each turn you have the option of installing any brain that you are carrying. On the first turn you will only have one, if any, and one counter, so unless your brain is made of cheese or some simple minded creature, you will be stuck holding it. When you are holding a brain you are slowed down so you roll less dice to move. If you get stuck with full hands (two brains) you won’t be able to move unless you get rid of one. Once you have a brain installed you don’t have to worry about that anymore unless someone beats you up and steals your brain.

By landing on the same space as another player, you have the option to fight them. Players roll dice and the highest roller wins. Some brains give benefits to fighting so you always want to consider what you’re up against. On the other hand, you can always use the brains that you’re carrying as weapons to improve your attack, but they will be lost in the end whether you win or lose the fight. The winner of the fight has the option of rearranging everyone’s brains and even throwing them all away. Without the fights, the game wouldn't be half as fun though. In the end, when someone gets to the engine, hits the brake, and stops the train, the winner is the zombie with the smartest brain.

(Whew... I've stopped.)

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