For In Us Is The Blood Of Kings!: King’s Blood

2 01 2011

Image Courtesy of Steve Jackson Games

Happy New Year! A new year means a new theme and new posts.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to do more regular posts this year.

Anyway, to start thing’s off for 2011, here’s one of my old favorites – a simple UNO-like card game from Steve Jackson Games, King’s Blood.

It’s actually an old game – it came out 2003 – but I managed to snag a copy and I’m telling you that it definitely brings bang for the buck. For around 700 pesos plus shipping (which thankfully evaded customs) – which put it at around 1000 pesos, I got ninety high-quality cards with very nice “cute anime” art. Here’s a sample:

Image Courtesy of Steve Jackson Games

The colors are bright and the drawing style is great for a casual game. Which jibes well with the mechanics. The goal of the game is similar to UNO – you need to get rid of all the card in your hand. To do this you need to be able to add to the royal  family tree being built on the board. Your card need to either match in color or number with an active card so that you can play it. When they do, you lay them beside each other, creating a line or a “generation” as the game calls it.

Image Courtesy of Fujimi Shobo

The unique mechanic here is that when male and female cards of the same color match up – they’re considered to have gotten married. This means that the top card of the deck, if it is a personality card, becomes their child and starts a new generation; you can then immediately play a card on the child, whether it is another personality card or an action. You can keep on chaining these actions as long as a Marriage happens.

Added complications to the mix are special abilities of the characters that can make people draw cards or skip a turn. Plus, there are action cards that do things like returning a card to the hand or forcing the entire family tree to be discarded.

It’s fast, furious, and very simple. UNO on Speed would be a good description of the game.  However, if given a choice, I’d prefer to play this game – the great art and the unintentional comedy and storytelling the game goes through is a fun addition to the game. The theme’s may be paper thin but it meshes well and a light game doesn’t need all that of a theme. Very good filler and better than UNO.

Unfortunately, UNO may be easier to find. The game is out of print; there are some copies floating around though. Your best bet is to get it from Noble Knight Games, an excellent webstore of OOP games and very good at helping buyers evade the crushing Philippines customs. You can also check out the Boardgamegeek page for any sales going on.

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