Tuesday 31 January 2023

Cthulhu Wars session report

A guest post from my long-time gaming kaki Han who now lives in Johor. 


5-players Cthulhu Wars session over Chinese New Year

Factions in play:

  • Great Cthulhu
  • Crawling Chaos
  • Yellow Signs
  • Opener of the Way
  • Sleeper (me)

Everyone started at the designated place, Opener choose East Africa as their opening area.

All have played before but it has been some time ago, none are expert.

Most factions started expectedly by opening gates; usual opening moves are 3-4 gates before things get interesting. The arms race was started earlier, so most faction had 3 gates initially. No one tried to steal early gates as we were still trying to familiarise with the game. Yellow Sign (YS) player opted for 2 gates and summoned King in Yellow to begin their great journey early.

Crawling Chaos (CC) being a combat orientated faction, started building their armies and getting crucial spell books easily. They had early skirmishes with Cthulhu, with [Invisibility] and [Abduct] negating Cthulhu’s defences. They quickly had a 6 gates advantage, and jumped ahead in Doom points but this also painted a huge red mark on themselves. Everyone started targeting CC and later on, they were reduced to 2 gates and lost most of their cultists although their army was still sizeable.

I think for this game, Nyarlathotep only managed to use Harbinger twice, once bringing down Cthulhu and one time killing Yog-Sothoth (when it sacrificed   itself by entering Nyarlathotep’s space to fulfil Opener’s last spell book requirement) ; more combat should be better for CC. [Madness] is always a good ability to disrupt enemies pieces and place them in awkward positions. [Thousand forms] was only used once, the CC player forgot to use it in later rounds, and these are the problems with playing this game infrequently, you tend to forget the abilities you actually possess.

I think Cthulhu itself also did not do combat enough, Submerge is like a tactical nuclear war head that can target anywhere, the threat of it is tangible, everyone stays out of water; only CC built 2 gates in both North and South Poles.

High priest expansion was used in this game, only Sleeper / Cthulhu used them, (which is odd, as High Priests are considered essential, I guess the game was so tight, none could spare the power to summon one. Cthulhu used its High Priest on the last turn effectively, prolonging the threat of the submerged Cthulhu, waiting for everyone to run out of power, eventually Cthulhu High Priest was sacrificed for a Dream ability to grab a gate.

Opener dispersed its forces widely but played 1 crucial rule wrong, he thought Pained unit could not upgrade (Million Favored Ones). He did use his Dragon Ascend/ Descend nicely getting him 15 powers and 8 Doom points. Opener tried several gate kidnap tactic [The Beyond One faction ability]  but the first was thwarted by Sleeper’s [Cursed Slumber] ability. [Channel Power] (reroll failed rolls) was not used, [Dread Curse] (the only ranged attack in the game) was used late in the game, it’s good at killing things but unfortunately killing things itself is not going to earn Doom points. Opener was hampered by low power generation the whole game.

Sleeper did not do much other than turtling for the most early part. It is difficult to get spell books as Sleeper. Tsathoggua came out in 4 rounds, did not managed to build a good army, was killed twice (killed by Cthulhu & Hastur) and re-awakended using Serpent men’s ability to copy Cthulhu’s power (reawakened  with 4 power and 1 elder sign). I let Tsathoggua die to get elder signs because there is no other way for Sleeper to get elder signs. Otherwise, Tsathoggua with his buddy wizard using [Energy Nexus] can always escape as long as he has at least 1 power. I never had enough power to properly start a cycle of Energy Nexus/ Capture Monster combo (good at capturing lightly defended gates). I completely forgot to use Lethargy ability of Tsathoggua (Action cost 0, does nothing), it will be very useful to act only when everyone is out of power.

YS player managed to stay under the radar and later snatched away victory by getting  a lot of elder signs. 2 Great Old One will get 2 Elder Signs when performing ritual.

Late game, all factions managed to unlock their 6 speed books. With unlimited battle, the tempo of game changed, it should have more battles during this stage but everyone was busy performing rituals, the power level was very low, in the end most GOO was left unawakened (no power to resummon them after their demise) and not many battles were fought.

YS won. All hail the King and He who is not to be named.

This game session took 4 hours, including half an hour of setting up, refreshing the rules, scrambling for components (because I left another box containing tokens, spell books and markers)

This game has so many extra factions, different map expansion, different neutral monster/ Terror/ Great Old One …. definitely rewards repeated play. 

King in Yellow with his undead entourage facing Formless Spawn from Sleeper faction

Nyarlathotep facing off Cthulhu but later chose to retreat

Star Spawn and Shoggoth with Cultist on a gate

Scary Hastur

Mid game, all the Great Old Ones on board


The lone Great Old One at the end of game

Sunday 29 January 2023

Gila Bola crowdfunding ending soon

The Gila Bola crowdfunding campaign will be ending on 4 Feb 2023. Gila Bola is from the Meja Belakang team who made Drama Pukul 7 and Nak Makan Apa. It is a game about the Malaysian football (soccer) league. Help your favourite team win! 

Link: https://rewards.mystartr.com/projects/gilabolaboardgame 

Friday 27 January 2023

Souvenirs from Japan

When I visited Japan with my family at the end of 2022, I did not initially plan to visit their boardgame stores or to buy any boardgames. However our itinerary was quite free-and-easy. We didn't really have many must-go places. So I decided to set aside some time for boardgame stores. Okay this is when non-gamers start rolling their eyes. Unfortunately for me, both the boardgame stores I visited were closed. I realised that some shops in Japan close in the last week of the year. Probably to do stock take, in addition to having a break. I wasted my effort going to these two places. I should have checked more carefully beforehand to make sure they were open. 

I was not satisfied and decided to look for non boardgame specific shops which might sell boardgames. I visited two places. One was BIC Camera, a departmental store which sells electronics and home appliances. The other was a bookstore, Shosen Grande. Unfortunately both their game selections were small. BIC Camera did sell Catan, and it was JPY 2980. That's about MYR 100, which is very cheap. I am guessing Catan is highly popular in Japan and mass produced, and that's how they can manage such a low retail price. 

The reason I visited BIC Camera was I had gone to another branch when I was in Yokohama, and that branch had many boardgames. Side note: No, I did not bring Yokohama (the boardgame) to be played in Yokohama (the city). I don't own Yokohama (the boardgame) but I have played it. It was by chance that I discovered the boardgames section at BIC Camera Yokohama. We had a little time when waiting for our train, so we went there to browse. I was thrilled to see quite a few interesting looking games. I didn't manage to buy any because I didn't have enough time. I used Google Translate on my phone and its camera function to help me read the Japanese on the game boxes. I wanted to get a few games from Japan, preferably something I couldn't get in Malaysia. I hindsight, I probably should have just bought a few there and then, even though I only had very little time to decide. At that time I hadn't visited the game stores in Tokyo, so I thought I still had plenty of opportunities to buy games. Such is life - sometimes we miss golden opportunities without realising it. This was why when I was in Tokyo I looked for BIC Camera. Too bad the one in Tokyo (Nihombashi area) wasn't as well stocked on boardgames as the branch in Yokohama. 

We visited Daiso in Tokyo - the 100-yen shop. Most of their products are just 100 yen, which is about MYR 3.30. I was pleasantly surprised to find a small collection of games, all for 100 yen each. I picked a few which looked interesting. I wasn't hoping to find games I particularly liked. I mainly wanted to try new ideas and see how people created and marketed games in Japan. I purchased not as a gamer, but as a game designer, publisher and marketeer. I hope to learn from what others are doing. 

When we were in Kanazawa, a city near the west coast, I saw some games at the train station and I bought them. 

The games on the left and at the bottom, with the yellow bars, are from Kanazawa. The other four are from Daiso in Tokyo. 

This is just a standard deck of cards, with a bullet train (shinkansen) theme. Train enthusiasts will like this. I'm not one and I like it. It's a nice souvenir. 

There are 10 different types of shinkansen in the deck. In addition to trains, some cards are based on train tickets. It's quite evocative. 

The rightmost face-up card is the joker. That's the card back on the right. 

This is the other game bought in Kanazawa. This is a simple boardgame (I assume). I bought it not because I knew how to play or because I thought I would like it, but because I wanted those six beautifully painted shinkansen locomotives. 

Look how pretty they are! These are all based on real shinkansen locomotives. They are not just generic models. I should go find out which routes each of these locomotives actually serve.  

I have not studied the game rules. The game comes with 8 tiles which can be assembled in different configurations to form the game board. In addition to the 6 trains (which I think are the player pieces), there is one die, and many tiny cards. 

This is what I intend to do with those six locomotives. I am adding them as pimp-up bits for my Ticket to Ride: Japan! See how pretty they are! 

The size of the locomotives I bought is close to that of those in Ticket to Ride: Japan, so they are compatible. I am guessing these two locomotives in this photo are based on the same real-life shinkansen locomotive. The one on the left is what I brought back from Japan. The one on the right is the original Ticket to Ride: Japan locomotive. 

This is Werewolf: Dead or Alive from Daiso. I am guessing it uses the standard rules. I still have not read the rules. Until now I have only played with the most basic Werewolf rules, i.e. with just werewolves and villagers. I have not played with the additional characters. The game comes with four other characters. I'm not exactly a fan of Werewolf, but this set is pretty and cheap, thus a good souvenir. 

Left: card back. Centre: part of the rules. Right: Reference table specifying which characters to use and how many for the different player counts. 

I like the artwork - Japanese manga style. 

This is Topolomemory. There are a few versions of this game and it was not originally published under Daiso. I think Daiso ran a project to create a product line of simple and convenient games, and brought Topolomemory in as one of the games. They collaborated with some popular game designers in Japan. I still don't quite understand how this game works, after skimming the rules using Google Translate. Only after buying the game I realised it contains Japanese text. I had thought it was all symbols and drawings, and thus would be playable even if I didn't know Japanese. Now I'm not so sure I will be able to play it. It may not be language independent. I'll need to try to read through the rules again to understand how the game works, before deciding whether to try to play. 

That in the centre is the card back. At the bottom left is one of the rule cards. Round cards look pretty, but they are not practical. I find shuffling them and dealing them a pain. Round looks good and probably helps in marketing, but I don't like it. 

This is Stockbreeding, a 2-minute game. You can certainly call this a microgame. I have played this once now. 

The game has 24 cards and 4 animal pieces - sheep, pig, cow and horse. At the start of a game deal all cards out evenly to all players. Any surplus is discarded. You don't look at your own cards. Shuffle them and form a face-down stack before you. The four animals are placed at the centre of the table. 

To play a round, someone counts to three and everyone reveals the top card from their deck. You must try to grab whichever animal is shown on your card. If two or more players need the same animal, only the quickest player will win it. If you are able to grab the animal you need, you score 1 point, by placing your card face-up next to your draw deck. Otherwise, you discard your card. You end a round by returning all animals back to the centre of the table. 

The game ends when the players' draw decks are exhausted. Whoever has the most points wins. 

This game sounds a little silly, but it turned out to be quite fun. This is a speed game, a reaction game. I played this with Julian, Cindy and Tim. Tim was the fastest gun in the west, and never missed an animal. When the game ended, he had a perfect score. I bet this will work very well as a drinking game. You can probably play all night and have a wonderful time, playing it repeatedly. This is a game of skill. If you play with Tim, he will likely win all night and never get to drink (assuming loser drinks). He will be your designated driver. If there is a big skill difference, you may want to handicap the strong players by asking them to use their left hands. Or left feet. Okay sorry I'm getting a little drunk here. 

I shouldn't make this sound like a game drunkards play. This can be an excellent children's game. Without alcohol I mean. It's simple, quick and exciting. 

This one is called Long Long Animal. This is a card game and the rules are straight-forward. I have yet to try it. The art is cute. 

This is a set collection game. Most sets have two cards. There is only one long cat set which has 3 cards. You score 1 point for every set you complete, except for the long cat set which is worth 3 points. If you manage to collect all four of the regular cats, you score a bonus 4 points.  

The leftmost is the card back. The rest are the rules and reference information. You can scan the QR code for English rules. 

I am doing game design and publishing, and how these Daiso games are being produced and marketed is a strategy I can learn from. Go for a wider audience. Go far casual players, so that it is a bigger market. Bring joy to more people. My first game Dancing Queen takes a different approach. It is a microgame, and there aren't that many rules, but it is not a simplistic game. That is why I don't target casual gamers and non-gamers. I target gamers. I target gamer couples. I go for the deluxe treatment, using high grade materials and pre-sleeving every card. My rulebook is in full colour. The cost is higher for me, but that's okay because I'm not going for the low mass market price range. 

These 100 yen Daiso games take the opposite approach. 100 yen is only MYR 3.30. I'm going a niche market, going for specific gamers who like this kind of game, while Daiso is aiming at casual gamers who happily grab a small, cheap and light game to play at a gathering or on a trip. It's a different ballgame, and one I certainly want to explore and learn about. There will be different challenges and techniques. 

Wednesday 25 January 2023

Dancing Queen Valentine's Day Giveaway


The Lunar New Year celebrations are not over yet, but let's not forget that Valentine's Day is coming. Dancing Queen is a good dating / partner / spouse game. It is a 2-player game. Despite the short play time and simple turns, there is some depth to the game. You get into some player psychology and you get to know your partner's way of thinking in more depth. You learn more about each other as you explore the tactics in the game. I'm doing a small giveaway event on Valentine's Day. I will be giving away a free copy of the game. It will be a lucky draw. You don't need to do all those things like Liking and Following on Facebook or Sharing on social media. Well, doing these will be helpful to me and Cili Padi Games, but they are not required. All you need to do to participate is to fill in this form (there are only 3 questions). 

The deadline is 13 Feb 2023 (Malaysia time). The lucky winner will be announced at the Cili Padi Games Facebook page on Valentine's Day, 14 Feb 2023. There is no limitation to participation, as long as you live on earth, and as long as the Malaysian postal service delivers to your country. I will ship worldwide at no cost to you. So do share this giveaway event with your friends overseas (just that they might participate and reduce your chances). Who knows, if the participation is good I might give more copies out. 

Have fun! 

Cili Padi Games website: https://www.cilipadigames.com/

Tuesday 24 January 2023

HR: The Toxic Workplace Game

The Game

HR: The Toxic Workplace Game (I'll call it just HR hereafter) is a local Malaysian game by I-van Yee. It is a humourous game which pokes fun at typical corporations and their employees. It is a light card game which targets casual players. Even at the top of the box you start seeing the humourous elements. There is a warning that playing this game may cost you your job. 

In this game you play department heads. You have your own team of employees. There are two ways to win the game. Either get all the employees of all your opponents fired, or complete a project. You get employees fired by asking the Human Resources (HR) department to issue warning letters to them. Whenever an employee receives the third warning letter, he or she is terminated. 

Completing a project requires having four different project stage cards in play, all at the same time. 

You have a hand of 5 cards. Normally you'll play one card per turn. Instant cards are not subject to this limit. You can play as many of them as you want. When you end your turn, you always draw back to 5 cards. Cards have all sorts of powers, and the most common one is simply issuing a warning letter to an employee. 

These are some of the employee cards. You'll see many familiar characters and I'm sure you can relate to some of them at your workplace. The cards have much text, but this is mostly flavour text. Only the employee names have relevance to gameplay. Some warning letters count as two when issued to certain employees. Employees themselves do not have any unique ability or special power. All they have are weaknesses to specific warning letters.

This is one of the warning letters. 

If you manage to have four project phase cards in play like this, you win immediately. This is not easy to do. You need to be lucky enough to draw all the cards you need. You also need to be lucky enough to not have any opponent steal or discard any of these cards before you complete your set. 

The Play

I played a 2-player game with younger daughter Chen Rui. Both of us were new to the game. She was keen to read through the whole deck of cards. After we finished playing, she didn't want to pack up yet and wanted to read all the cards. I-van told me that indeed he spent much time and energy thinking up and writing the content for all the cards. 

HR is a simple and tactical game. You just try to make the most of what you are dealt. You always draw back up to 5 cards anyway, so just fully utilise your cards. Sometimes you do save certain cards for the right moment when they are most effective. This is an easy game to learn, even for non gamers. 

With 2 players it is less interesting, because there is no politicking. It's either you or me so it's straight-forward. There are no alliances, ganging up on leaders or betrayals. 

Be careful if you are browsing Jobstreet at the office.

The main thing you will struggle with is whether you want to race to fire all your opponents' employees, or to be the first to complete a project. If you are falling behind in one area, you can try the other option.  You best bet is probably to appear weak and let the others beat one another up before you swoop in for the final victory. But then all the buggers in the office are probably thinking the same thing. 

Back of the box.

The Thoughts

I enjoy the humour in HR. It is an accessible game. It works for party and gathering situations, when you meet up with non-gamers and casual gamers. E.g. Chinese New Year gatherings. The setting is certainly something working age adults can appreciate. This is a rowdy game that works for players who do not want to think too much. 

Sunday 22 January 2023

Please comment on and rate Dancing Queen

My first published game Dancing Queen was released at the end of November 2022. Till now I am still processing the preorders. Almost done now. Some friends from my hometown Sabah said it was okay to pass them the games when I was back for Chinese New Year. No need to mail them from Kuala Lumpur. I am grateful to many friends who supported my game. If you have bought Dancing Queen, do introduce it to your friends and family during the Chinese New Year holidays. I hope you will have a great time playing the game. 

Please help me comment on and rate Dancing Queen on BoardGameGeek. BGG is the most important boardgame website in the world. I hope to be able to introduce more players around the world to my game through BGG. 

Saturday 21 January 2023

Happy Lunar New Year

It's the Year of the Rabbit, but I'm not drawing rabbits this year. I'm drawing Egyptian gods. And this guy here is Khnum. Here's wishing everyone success and great health in the Year of the Rabbit! 

Friday 20 January 2023

My fanboy moment with Seiji Kanai (Love Letter)

In December 2022 my family visited Japan on holiday. When planning this family trip, one idea came to me - why not take the opportunity to meet a game designer I greatly admire, Mr Seiji Kanai, designer of Love Letter, one of my favourite games. Now I'm not exactly a young boy and it is weird to be still doing this kind of fanboy stuff. But YOLO. It's a little awkward reaching out to a complete stranger, and I didn't dare to have too high hopes. I was pleasantly surprised when Mr Seiji Kanai responded promptly and positively. I don't know Japanese and the email I sent out was translated using Google Translate. I guess it was at least understandable even if it probably sounded weird. We arranged to meet on Christmas Day, Sun 25 Dec 2022, in Tokyo Train Station, at the famous silver bell.  

We had hoped to be able to find a cafe to sit down and chat, but Christmas Day and a Sunday at Tokyo Station? It was mission impossible that even Tom Cruise couldn't have managed. So we stood and chatted a while. 

Both my daughters have played Love Letter and they enjoyed it a lot too. Unfortunately my wife Michelle could not be in the photo, because she was holding the camera and taking the photo. 

When I wrote to Mr Seiji Kanai, I said I was a fan of Love Letter and I would like to meet him to ask for his signature on my copy of the game. After he replied, I remembered that I actually didn't have a copy of the game! At least not an official copy. The old battered copy I had was a print-and-play version downloaded from BoardGameGeek.com. Someone created an Adventure Time retheme of the game, and that was long before the official Adventure Time version was released. I saw it and thought it was rather cute. That was what prompted me to print and make a copy of the game and to try it out. I really should thank this BGG user. This fan retheme was what introduced me to Love Letter, which I eventually fell in love with. 

For many years I have been playing with this old print-and-play copy. I never had the urge to buy the official copy because I liked the art style of the fan version more. Now that I was going to ask for the designer's signature, I certainly must buy an official copy. I bought the latest English edition, which comes with a classy velvet pouch instead of a box. The game has changed a little. There are two new characters. However you can still play with the original rules by removing some cards. I have been playing Love Letter since 2014, and I have introduced it to many friends, yet only now I own an official copy. 

In the latest English edition, the princess is a 9 instead of an 8. Don't take it the wrong way. I don't mean scoring beauty out of 10. I just mean the number value in the game. So this above is my designer signed copy of the princess card and my preciousss. I brought a silver marker pen all the way to Japan for Mr Seiji Kanai to sign on this card. 

In our email communication, I asked Mr Seiji Kanai that I would like to purchase a Japanese edition of Love Letter from him. When we met, he handed me a copy and insisted it was a gift for my children. It was not just a copy of Love Letter, but also two more games he designed. That was so kind of him. I brought a copy of my recently released game Dancing Queen for him too. Although Dancing Queen is a rather different game, when designing it I applied many principles I learned from Love Letter. I also brought three woodcraft bookmarks from Malaysia for Mr Seiji Kanai. I said if he ever visits Malaysia, he must let me know and I would bring him around. 

I love the art in this Japanese edition of Love Letter. Absolutely lovely. 

True and experienced celebrities are well prepared and professional when it comes to giving signatures to fans. Mr Seiji Kanai brought along a compact toolbox packed with equipment for signing games, including marker pens, his own custom stamp and an ink pad. His game signing includes putting his unique stamp. 

Secret Moon was the second game Mr Seiji Kanai gave to me (well technically he said it was for the children, but, you know, communism). This is an English edition game. It requires a minimum of 5 players and I have yet to give it a go. 

Naturally I grabbed the chance and asked Mr Seiji Kanai to sign this game too. 

The third gift was R. I have played it before. It is a 2-player microgame with only 16 cards. The version I played was a fan retheme using Star Wars characters. The original is certainly very different. 

Before meeting Mr Seiji Kanai, he told me that his English was poor and communication might be challenging. I was prepared that we might have to rely on Google Translate to speak and conversation might be slow. However his English was much more fluent than he had lead me to believe. We were able to converse smoothly and did not touch Google Translate or our smartphones at all. 

One thing I asked him was his secret to success in the boardgame industry. His reply was simple, and it was the same thing Alan Moon (Ticket to Ride) said in an interview. He said he was just lucky. I notice one common trait among successful people. They tend to be humble. I think it is because they are humble, that they have open minds and they are always ready to learn and improve, and thus they become better and better persons. Mr Seiji Kanai explained that he was an early mover in the boardgame industry in Japan. When he got into boardgames, there weren't many other people doing it, so he enjoyed the first mover advantage. He was a pioneer. I say his success is much more than luck. I believe there is much hard work and sacrifices to achieve what he has achieved. His games are clever and well-crafted. 

He shared with me that visiting the Essen game fair was an excellent learning experience. He learned how to market his games to an international audience. There is certainly a lot I can learn from him, his journey and his games. 

Thursday 12 January 2023

Drama Pukul 7

The Game

Drama Pukul 7 is a Malay language game, designed in Malaysia and uses the local 7 o'clock TV soap operas as its setting. It is a successful game in Malaysia and is now in its third edition. It is a game targeting casual gamers and it has wide appeal. You play characters in these corny 7pm dramas, and you compete to become the main star. You compete by condemning and disgracing your opponents, reducing their reputation. If your reputation drops to 0, you are out of the game. The last person standing becomes the star of the show and thus wins the game. 

During setup everyone gets a character card. Every character has a unique ability. Your reputation starts at 7. That's basically your health bar. When it hits zero you are out. You start the game with 5 cards, one green and four blue. The green cards are assets, including equipment and friends. Normally you will pay money for equipment and you pay cards for friends. Equipment and friends are placed in front of you and give you additional powers. 

The blue cards are either episode cards or plot twist cards. Episode cards are action cards. You play them to use the effects written on them. Some help you, some hurt your opponents. Plot twist cards are response cards which can only be played when a certain condition is fulfilled. Sometimes they cancel certain episodes, sometimes you steal someone else's asset, sometimes you divert an attack back to the attacker. Things like that. 

The centre of the table is set up with 5 face-up green cards. These are equipment and friends you can pick from. Whenever one is claimed, a new one is drawn from the deck to refill the row. A turn is simple. The four basic things you do are earning $1 million, drawing a blue card, playing a blue card and condemning one opponent. As you collect assets, they may augment your basic actions and let you do other fun things. The most important action is condemning an opponent. That's your attack, and that's how you eliminate your opponents. Drama Pukul 7 is a free-for-all. The sole survivor is the winner. Yes, this is a game with player elimination. 

There are plenty of characters to choose from. All of them are double-sided, one side is male and the other female. The names are different but the abilities on the two sides are the same. 

You can marry one of your friends, by spending $2 million. The rulebook cheekily reminds you that you can only marry one person at a time. Once you have a spouse, he or she becomes a long-term shield, always neutralising one point of damage whenever you are attacked. Regular friends protect you too, but whenever they do so, you have to discard them. Spouses protect you for life. Well, at least until a divorce happens. This is soap operas so divorce is certainly one of the dramatic elements. 

The Play

We did a 5-player game and I taught the game. I was also the start player. Now in this game it is highly dangerous to be the rules teacher, because you will be perceived as the biggest threat. Before we entered the second round, i.e. before my second turn came, I was already eliminated from the game. Everyone decided it was wisest to gang up on me right on the get go. Drama Pukul 7 is this kind of game. Friends form gangs and attack one another. Ultimately you can't trust anyone, because there can only be one winner. Your friends will sooner or later stab you in the back. Or maybe in the front. If you want to enjoy Drama Pukul 7, you need to be prepared that it is this kind of game. 

This is one of my favourite cards. This is taking revenge for a 10-year-old grudge. When you play this episode card, your next attack (i.e. condemnation) has an additional strength of 2. This card was partly how I got eliminated so quickly. My reputation started at 7. With 4 opponents ganging up on me, using their basic attacks as well as special powers on cards, it wasn't surprising that I was taken out before Round 2. I probably should have pleaded harder for my life. 

Once I was out, my wife Michelle became the second victim. The kids worked together to get rid of all the adults first. 

This type of scooter is common in Malaysia. The game has many local elements which resonate with me. 

The Thoughts

The target audience for the game is certainly Malaysians. It is in Malay, and it is very colloquial, with some English and other local dialects mixed in. This is endearing. 

Some of the game mechanisms are not defined clearly. The game cards have many different abilities, and sometimes some combinations raise questions. The rulebook suggests to use the rules as just a general guide. If you come across any situation where the rulebook doesn't have a direct answer for you, just decide for yourself how you want to play. I generally prefer the rules to be explicit and exhaustive, but for a rowdy party game, being a little loose is not a deal breaker. 

Although a very Malaysian game, this may not quite work as a souvenir, because it has a lot of text, and it is in Malay. Non-Malaysians will struggle to play, maybe with the exception of Indonesians. I like the unique art in Drama Pukul 7 and the many familiar local elements (especially that Food Panda rider). I enjoy the humour too.