Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Game Night

As I am sure many of you do, every morning I emerge from my blissfully bleary state to breaking news alerts that have sprouted overnight like toadstools on my phone.  It's a bit stressful. 

For those moments when you want to set aside your cares and take your mind off of the doom and gloom occurring in all parts of the world, I recommend a rousing game night.

After all the fun and games,  you will be refreshed and re-energized, and ready to turn your mind back to strategies and action plans for countering this authoritarianism regime which is steadily dismantling all of the institutions and liberties that we hold dear...

Oh, I digress.  Anyway, last weekend, we invited a couple of friends to our apartment and kicked back, starting with a light warm up game of Rummikub before dinner.

We then enjoyed a filling and delicious repast of calamari and Caesar salad, pastas (spaghetti with arabiatta sauce, rigatoni with a meat ragu, and farfalle with a spicy sausage sauce), and a chicken milanese (breaded and topped with cherry tomatoes, basil and mozarella cheese).

I didn't take any pictures of the night, including any of that beautiful food, however, I did buy some beautiful red flowers to dress up the apartment, which I have documented.
After stuffing ourselves, the hours whizzed by as we chatted and laughed our way through Monopoly Deal and Exploding Kittens.  Both of these games are card games and were new to me, and I loved them both.

Monopoly Deal takes a familiar and well known game, removes the board and small pieces, and adds a little bit more strategy.  With cards like "Pass Go" which grants an extra turn,"Debt Collector" which allows you to take or swap cards from your fellow players, "It's My Birthday" which allows you to collect money from everyone... the game rarely drags.  All it takes to win is to form three complete sets (although you can make the game last longer and/or be more challenging by removing some of the "Pass Go" cards or stipulating a win only after four complete sets or a hotel is built).  This game is definitely kid friendly and accommodates many players, which is also nice.

Exploding Kittens, on the other hand, is definitely not so kid friendly, as the cards are full of politically incorrect and rather raunchy commentary (which actually have nothing to do with the game, for the most part).  The game is incredibly simple - in a deck of cards, there are a certain number of "Exploding Kittens" cards, which you definitely, absolutely, do not want to pick.  These cards signify sudden death, unless you have a "Defuse" card - but every player only starts off with one such life-saving card, and they are gone once they are used, and can also be taken by another player.  There are two more of these "Defuse" cards that you can pick up in the deck if you're lucky.  The last player remaining, not yet taken out by an Exploding Kitten, wins.  It's a nerve-wracking game of chance and, save for a few action cards that may be able to help you stave off an unlucky future (cards like "Attack" or "Skip" or "See Into the Future") eventually those Exploding Kittens will come for you.... dun dun dun! 

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