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UNO, MAGIC: THE GATHERING, Poker…there are innumerable card games out there to occupy your time. Luckily, in the past decade-plus there have been more and more additions to board/card games for the horror set too. FACEEATER is one such card game. Released by Variant Media this year, FACEEATER is marketed as a game that can be played quickly or enjoyed all night long.
FACEEATER is a beautifully illustrated game, the kind of art that can preoccupy you in the very best of ways. It’s also imaginative and well-crafted. It’s a souped-up version of Gin Rummy with the opposite goal: to win, you must have the lowest score at the end of three rounds.The game’s directions, otherwise known as the “Official Death-Avoidance Manual,” fold out like a map, and at first glance can seem obscenely overwhelming until you discover that only three small columns describe the rules of how to play the game. The other eight panels are an index of the cards used in the game. The card names run the gamut from Future Shaft (in the future, you can shaft your opponent) to Parasite (attach it to your opponent and they get 50 points added to them every time it’s their turn) to the comical Salt in Your Wounds, which does precisely what it says it does. One thing to keep in mind though is that while technically it may only take a few minutes to get the basics of the game, there are tons of defensive moves to learn. FACEEATER does indeed spell them out to a T, so as long as you are willing to give the game a little time to grow on you, you’ll be fine.FACEEATER can be played with two to six players, but the more players you use, the better it gets. FACEEATER’s tagline is, “The dynamic card game where death is your friend, mercy a weakness, and shafting your friends is fun,” and it is just that. Another great aspect of this one is that as soon as you make all of your “sets,” you can “go out” and watch the other players aim for the head of each other. Pull the chair out from under your friends before they pull it out from under you!The makers of FACEEATER want to make sure you keep that in mind, so they remind you that, “Recognizing life as a meaningless nightmare of suffering is the first step in mastering FACEEATER. Sharing that suffering with your friends by shafting them with a variety of Power Cards is the finest expression of that misery. Allow yourself the joy of Nerve Gassing a close friend, introduce a stranger to the Alien Probe, or destroy all life on Earth with the Extinction. It hardly matters, as long as you avoid having your own face eaten.”Games are meant to be fun, and FACEEATER is definitely that. If you are looking for a different night in with the gang, then this is your game.
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