Thursday, 10 July 2008

Make You Gunfighters

Make You Gunfighters is a game that I played at Carcasean. Chong Sean, the boss himself, taught us the game. In fact, he played with us every time we visited Carcasean. I think most customers are not hardcore gamers, so he probably doesn't get many opportunities to play gamer games face-to-face. Well, Make You Gunfighters is not a gamer game by any stretch. It is definitely a filler.

This is a Japanese game (hence the strange title), in a small box, with very cute graphics. It's about teams of cowboys fighting it out. You win by killing all your opponents, or by robbing enough money from thost that you kill. Chong Sean told us usually the game ends with one team standing. I guess when you are having so much fun shooting at one another, who would bother playing bean-counter.

The game somehow feels thematic and abstract at the same time to me. There are six locations in the game, and each card in your hand shows one of these locations. They represent your cowboys being at those locations. Each turn, you can shoot, or you can run. When you shoot, you show one of your cards, and target one opponent. He must discard all cards of the same location. This represents your cowboy being at the same location and killing the opponent's cowboys who are also there. However this means you have revealed your location to other players. When it is their turn, they may in turn shoot at you by showing the same location card (i.e. they too have cowboys there). That why you should try to run. To run, you discard one card, and draw another, representing one of your cowboys running to another location. And apparently your cowboy doesn't have much sense of direction and doesn't know where he is going (you don't know what card you'll draw), and may end up in the same place (you may draw the same location).

You may earn money when you kill an opponent's cowboy, if the discarded location card of the killed cowboy shows some dollar bills in the corner. You can spend this money on buying special cards. Most are beneficial, but some are not. E.g. I bought one, and it made me lose 2 turns. What luck...

There are also superpower cards (or pity cards, depending on how you look at it). When you are down to your last cowboy (i.e. last location card), you draw one of these cards, which usually gives you a special power that boosts your survival chances. Unfortunately for me, when I was down to my last cowboy, I drew the "Hard Liqour" card, which says, literally, "No effect whatsover!" Is it any wonder that I was the first to get eliminated?

Some location cards, with cute arkwork. It has both English and Japenese (kanji), not Chinese.

The back of the location cards on the left, and the "pity" card on the right. Unfortunately the "pity" card that I drew was a joke. A coin at the bottom. It's just a thin cardboard piece, quite difficult to pick up.

The game board, which you don't really use, is just paper. It tells you that if you are located at the plaza, you can shoot at people at the four different locations (usually you only get to shoot at people at the same location as you are). However, if you are at the plaza, your enemies in those four locations can also shoot at you.

I played a 3-player game with Chong Sean and Han, which Han won. 3 is OK, but I think this game will be even more fun with more players.

Make You Gunfighters is a funny little game. Good for some casual games with non-gamers, and also a funny filler for gamers. Gunfighting sound effects recommended.

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