Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Review: "Punderdome" Card Game

Punderdome is a creative card game for at least three pun-loving people. Players can compete as individuals or small teams, as long as there is always at least one person or team to be the "Prompter" while at least two other individuals or teams can compete in the round.

Each round begins with a warm up question, where the first team to answer with a pun that fits  receives an extra 30 seconds to come up with their pun that round.

A suggested answer is provided, but any answer that fits is accepted and encouraged.

The round itself is played with the Prompter revealing a white card and a green card with which the teams have 90 seconds to combine into a pun and write it down. The Prompter votes on the best, and the winner becomes Prompter for next round. First team to 10 round victories wins the game.

This one took me more like five minutes than 90 seconds, but I'm proud to finally say my response to this is: Kung-Fu-cianism (Confucianism). I found it quite challenging to come up with something, so I could see wanting to play in teams especially at first, though you would need at least 6 players to do even teams.

An example given in the rules is Exercising Furniture:

  • You can only run sofa until you need to take a break!
  • Come on in here, pull-up a chair!
  • I never go to the gym--I'm more of a La-Z-Boy.

Winning the game involves choosing one of two mystery envelopes that the Host of the game has filled secretly before the game with a slip of paper that names a prize. The game suggests that one could be a good prize ("I'll buy you a drink") while one could be a rotten prize (a used napkin). A carry-over from the live game show the card game is based on, I'm sure it could be very interesting if you have great ideas for the prizes. However, as someone who plays games often, I could see it as being a hassle, a deterrent from playing, and frankly just unnecessary. Games don't need prizes to make them fun to play! I could see skipping the prize envelope entirely and just letting winning 10 rounds be the end of the game. If you had specific plans to play Punderdome, planning ahead could make the prize envelope part more fun.

This is the live game show the card game is based off.

All things considered, this could be a really fun game with the right group of creative individuals. Like any game, knowing your audience and their game preferences is important for knowing if this game would go over well. If you have a friend that is always inserting corny puns into everyday conversation like I do, you know this game would be a perfect fit.

A final note: as a game enthusiast/nerd, I have to express my appreciation that the box has dividers for keeping the two decks of cards separate. I love an organized game box.

I received a free copy of this game in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Can't Wait to Read: "This Is Not the End" by Jesse Jordan

"There's nothing I hate like arguments in the face of overwhelming logic. There are two reasons I know more than is possible about you. The first is simply that more is possible than you comprehend. The second is that we've been keeping track of you for a very long time, because you are a very special boy. I'm sorry--young man. A very special young man. You must excuse a certain amount of unintentional condescension from those of us who are very old. In any case, what I was beginning to say is that I've been watching you. And I've been waiting for this day, when I could finally meet you and begin." (44)

The biggest congratulations to Jesse Jordan on the release of his second novel:

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Review: "The Never-Open Desert Diner" by James Anderson

Working a delivery route on a remote stretch of Utah highway, Ben Jones is just an eccentric character as the residents that he serves. Ben's cash is running low from the route that isn't profitable enough to pay his bills. The first half of the book gives an interesting peek into the lives of those societal outcasts, such as Walt who owns a diner that hasn't been officially open since his wife died, a preacher who carries a cross through the desert everyday, and a mysterious woman squatting in an abandoned house in a never-developed subdivision.

The woman, Claire, is hiding out avoiding her husband, whom she is in the process of divorcing. Though she at first threatens Ben to stay away, he's drawn to the mystery of her after seeing her play the cello through the papered up windows of the abandoned house. When people start snooping around the desert, he suspects it is Claire they're after, but he can't give her up--he's falling in love with her.

I absolutely loved the first half of the book because of the detail and complexity of the residents of the desert. I enjoyed reading how each one had a particular way of interacting with Ben, and he respected and understood the residents in a way that no outsider ever could. When he met the preacher along the road, they'd pretend to smoke a cigarette together. Walt, the owner of the diner always could seem to sense Ben's presence and was never particularly nice, but Ben considered Walt his best friend.

As Ben learns more through his customers and a police interrogation, things start to get muddled for Ben as he tries to sort out the right course of action.The second half of the book definitely holds more surprises, but for all the shock value they provided, it was ultimately not as interesting to me as the first part. The mysteries are resolved through an information dump at the end to explain all of the loose connections, which was not engaging or rewarding, especially after my initial excitement with this novel.

It's a decent read for anyone who likes in-depth looks at unique characters, combined with some mystery and suspense, but some parts were a little too dark for me.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.