Today's Gamer review has me looking at "Aye, Dark Overlord!" A game brought over from the good people of Italy!
The Games Designers: Fabrizo Bonifacio, Massimiliano, Enrico and Chiara Ferlito teamed up with artist Riccardo Crosa and Paolo "Spot" Valzania and created one of the more...fantastic party games.
The Publishers: Stratelibri and Counter franchising.
Players: 3 or more, and the more the merrier! Playtime: 60 minutes or more
Game Basics: The premise is simple as can be.... YOU..are the Dark Overlord Rigor Mortis. The other players are your faithful-but-not-so-reliable underlings and henchmen.You, as Rigor Mortis send out your minions to obtain the unattainable thinga-ma-bob of doom, only to have them return empty handed. This is a common happening yet it provides you with mild entertainment as you listen to their pathetic and often extremely improvised excuses!
Your team mates, play the goblin henchmen and must come up with the best possible excuse as to why the mission failed!
BUT HOW??Its in the cards!!
The Hint cards aid the minions by providing them with ideas for a viable excuse in three different ways!
1: The Picture.... it says a thousand words all by itself and can spur on a minion to buck-passing glory!
2: The Title... for people who need more than a 1,000 word picture...a snazzy title to jog your mind into Overlord-dodging action!
3: The Word-Picture. Details for people who are detail-oriented.These cards are meant to give you the muse of inspiration to extricate yourself from the dreaded " Withering Glare " from the Dark Overlord!
THESE ARE WHAT AWAIT YOU WHEN YOU DISAPPOINT THE DARK OVERLORD!
The "Withering Glares" progress in severity and the game ends when someone obtains a 3rd Glare.
We like to play the game with a small score pad.... to keep track of who is the best glare-dodging minion, but that's optional for you.
( Optionally, if you are the Dark Overlord, you can toss treats to the good minions)
There is one more set of cards to aid game play. these are the Pass and Block cards.
Played in conjunction with the hint cards,or to interrupt another player they can shift the momentum away from your fellow minions in order to get on Rigor Mortis' good side. ( Not that he has one...but just in case )
GAME DISSECTION: The guts and the glory!
ART: The game is based off characters in a comic book (Rigor Mortis) and therefore retain that same excellent style! I will admit that while at Gencon 2006, this is what got my attention. I'm a sucker for comic art and this style adds a good light-heartedness to the game.
PRICE: 20$ !!! Its less than four people to a movie!! Its less than a dinner for two! Its one yuppie-food-coupon's worth of kitchen table goodness! I got mine for 15$ at the convention and so I'm still all jazzed!
REPLAY: This is a game that is made for people who like to make up stories and laugh. This is for friends and family that like good stories or jokes. So needless to say, if that's your group... you'll be sure to keep this one handy. Buy a couple copies... so the cards don't wear out.
MECHANICS: 1Overlord + Many Minions = Hours of Fun. Its a card/storytelling game. There are cards to help you think, cards to help you pass the buck, and cards to help you get ahead. The hardest part is having other minions boo you before you're finished with your reason for failure.. strict Overlord's will discourage this....that's what the Interruption cards are for. Peanut Galleries are not tolerated!
FUN: Obviously if your story-telling skills are lacking, you might not enjoy this game as much as some, but if you have role-played, been in a school play, or have been to a family reunion, you should hold your own and laugh about ten times as much as you would playing any other game.
WHO ARE YOU? The Gamer Profile:
Casual: Anyone from Gramma Jo to lil Matt should be able to join in the fun, even if they don't usually play any games other than Go Fish or yell at the TV during Wheel of Fortune.
ACTIVE: This is a great game for a regular group of friends. Especially if you're in need of something different, or just don't feel like setting up a multi-pieces game. Shuffle and ago and laugh.
GAMER: This should be in your back-pack of goodness, right next to your favorite dice bag. Its great in the living room and you could prolly play it in the car on your way to the conventions. Competitive gamers should have appropriate crowns for the Overlord and Minions badges to denote rank.
CREATOR: Buy it for the art, study it for the fun factor. Its a solid party game, that is worth a good study. Its not from Germany too, help support your game making brethren in Italy!
FOR THE LADIES: This is just a fun fun fun game! If you have children who tend to be full of mischief....perhaps its not wise...because they will just learn new ways to create stories as to why they didn't clean their rooms.
ABOUT ME: I'm a Gamer, Game Designer, and above all, a good guy who loves sharing games with people! if you have any questions, write me at firstname.lastname@example.org