Friday, October 07, 2005

Would you like some Poison to go with that sandwich?

Yesterday over lunch we played Reiner Knizia's Poison. This is a new release from Playroom Entertainment, a company that primarily does kids games. I think that this is intended to be a fast simple card game that kids can play and adults can enjoy as well and I think that it largely succeeds at that. It's certainly not a deep game but for light fluffy filler it's not bad.

One thing struck me right away though. This game could easily win a contest for most extemporaneous bits. The box is a standard medium sized game box (roughly 8 x 11) but when you open it up you'll find one standard sized deck of cards, a rule booklet (that's very pretty and sized to fix the box as opposed to the game), and three large cardboard mats shaped like cauldrons. The cauldrons are used as places to play the cards but they are completely unnecessary. This game could just as easily have been packaged in a standard sized card box and it would have been just as good. Oh well. I guess they wanted to get more visibility on the store shelf.

So how does the game play? Well I'll do a full writeup later when I have time but the short answer is that it plays pretty well for what it is: a very simple light card game. It's not bad as a filler and considering that a hand takes less than fifteen minutes to play (despite the 30 minutes advertised on the box) this is one of those games that you can easily play several times in a sitting. In fact, we played it four times over our lunch hour. I'm looking forward to playing it again but it's certainly no substitute for Tichu.


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