Thursday, 20 January 2011

Lobo 77

The Game

This is a quick card game where everyone takes turns playing cards to a central pool, which will either increase or decrease the value of the pool (usually increase). If you cause the pool to reach a multiple of 11, you lose one life point. If you cause the pool to reach or exceed 77, you lose all life points. You don't get eliminated immediately though. You only get eliminated when you need to surrender life points but you have no more.

Card back.

Once the pool bursts, a new hand is started, with the pool cleared, all cards reshuffled and 5 cards dealt out again to each player. The game goes on until all but one player are out. Then you have your winner.

The cards are a mix of numbers. Some can be as large as 55. Some are small numbers. Some are 0. There are also some -10 cards. There are some cards which have no value but they can reverse the direction of play.

All of these are good cards. The second and third cards are the reverse cards.

This is a pretty decent hand too. Only the 55 card is a big card. The blue round tokens are the life tokens.

The Play

Chong Sean, Wan, Shan and I played this as a filler while waiting for Chee Wee to arrive. Chee Wee was arriving very soon so we challenged Chong Sean to pull out the quickest filler he could think of.

We didn't play to the end, just up to when the first person got eliminated. That was me. The game was over so quick that we had to find another filler. Chee Wee hadn't arrived yet.

The Thoughts

This game reminds me of Black Jack, but it has more control. You have 5 cards in your hand that you can choose from. There is a bit of bluffing because you need to guess what kind of cards your opponents have. You need to decide whether and when to play the big cards. There's a bit of brinkmanship in how close you want to push the pool to 77. Will it be too close to 77 by the time your turn comes around again, or will someone burst the pool before that? You tend to want to save up the good (small, or negative, or reverse) cards for yourself.

There is still a fair bit of luck. If you don't get any good cards, you can easily be the one to burst the pool. Not a lot you can do about it, but you are not completely helpless either. You can try to manipulate the pace of the pool growth. Slow it down hoping you'll draw some better cards, or push it suddenly to a big number hoping someone else with burst it before it's your turn again.

There can be big swing in fortunes, which makes the game exciting. Bursting the pool means losing all life points, so even if you do well in the earlier hands, one bad hand can bring you to the edge of defeat.

This is a quick, decent filler that feels a little like a gambling game. Definitely suitable for non-gamers. Can be played casually without thinking too much.


Anonymous said...

This seems very similar to Straw, a little card game we picked up recently. You add items of varying positive and negative weights to the camel's back and try to avoid being the player to exceed the limit. Surprisingly enjoyable little group filler. For some added challenge, I like the mechanism of having specific values along the way (multiples of 11) that you try to avoid.

Dave said...

Sounds interesting -- I like simple filler games like this that you can teach in under a minute: games like No Thanks, Slide 5, Loco, even Coloretto.

Lobo 77 reminds me a little of Uno 99.

playmobil train said...
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