“…the whimsical 19th century parlour game that never was, 3-5 players build five card inventions with an eye to victory in the inventor’s contest at the Great Exhibition.”
Designed by David J. Clarke, this is the first game from both Sinister Fish and David. I first heard about Great Scott! And the designer David J. Clarke in May 2015 during the run up to the UK Games Expo (The UK’s largest game convention). I didn’t know a huge amount about the game, but being an independent UK designer I was keen to find out more. Sadly, I was unable to get a demo, but have followed David and the game’s progress quite closely ever since.
This is a very quick, light and engaging social party game. Each player is attempting to create the most wonderfully inspired inventions from a hand of cards they are given. Points are scored for constructing sets of cards from the same types of concepts and assets. Assets come in three types – Animal, Vegetable and Mineral. These need to be joined together with Concepts. Concepts are of the type Destructive, Productive and Supportive. Additionally, points are then scored for using alliteration (forming sets of cards that start with the same letter).
Finally, once you have unveiled your master invention each player has a minute to read out their creation and explain what it does, or is intended to do. For the shy among you this minute will seem like an eternity and for this reason I heartily suggest a glass of sherry to help you along, and after all it is in keeping with the theme; those Victorian’s did like a cheeky glass! (If you are under drinking age then you’ll need to find something else to bolster your resolve).
The game harks back to the Victorian era both in terms of the theme and the idea of parlour games. The graphic design and art, while simple, is really clear and crisp, and help mesh the game and theme together perfectly. I was provided with a prototype copy of the game, but the quality of the cards was excellent and suggests there would be little difference to the final version of the game.
In terms of game-play, the game is very straightforward. Players are dealt a hand of cards and each round can draw one more from the various stacks of asset and concept cards on the table. They then select one card to keep and pass the rest on. When each player has chosen five cards they then unveil their invention to the table. This is really where the game will either click with you, or not. If the very idea of dreaming up weird and wonderful stories to help bring your invention to life fills you dread then this game may not be for you. But if the ‘social’ in social games is something you really enjoy then this will probably tick all the boxes.
Great Scott! is currently running on Kickstarter. The campaign ends on May 4th, follow the link below to visit the project.
Sinister Fish Website: http://www.sinisterfish.com/
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