I know I promised zombies, but I lied… you get this instead…
I signed up for and am participating in an online game design class. On our first day of “class” (which I actually read a couple days later), part of the reading was an example to show you that making a game is not a Herculean effort. Simple games are exactly that: simple. What follows is the game I designed in less than 15 minutes.
Get to da Choppa!
Welcome to the jungle! You are in the thick of it, and something is after you. But if you can be the first to the helicopter, you can survive.
26 Game Tiles – 1 “Start” tile, 1 “Choppa!” tile, 14 blank “Jungle” tiles, 2 “Tunnel Entrance” tiles, 4 “Lose a Turn” tiles (tangled in vines, stuck in mud, broke through bridge, and lost my way), 2 “Advance 1 Space” tiles, and 2 “Retreat 1 Space” tiles.
12 Opportunity Cards – 3 “Cover Fire” card (Advance another player 2 spaces), 3 “Decoy” cards (Advance yourself 3 spaces), 3 “Rest Up” cards (Do nothing this turn, next turn move 5 spaces instead of rolling), and 3 “Frag” cards (Cause another player to lose a turn).
1 Six-sided die.
12 player pieces (green plastic army men if you have them).
Game designed for 2 to 12 players.
The 26 tiles are placed in a pile, face up, on the table. The 12 Opportunity cards are placed, face down, on the table. Each player chooses a playing piece and roles the die to determine play order. Highest first, roll again to break ties. The “Start” tile is placed on the table and all playing piece are placed on it. Starting with the highest rolling player, each person in turn will take a game tile from the tile pile and place it on the table so that it connects to the previous tile. The game path can turn left and right, however when a tile is placed it must only connect to one other tile. When tile placing is complete, and the last player placed the “Choppa!” tile, you should have a board that takes 25 forward movements to complete.
Beginning with the next player in the rotation, each player draws an Opportunity card from the face down pile. Do not show your card to other players until you play it.
After each player has drawn a card, the game moves into the Movement rounds. If the player is on the “Start” tile, they must roll the die. A roll of 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 allows the player to move their playing piece forward that many spaces. If they land on a tile with an action on it, they must adhere to it (Advancing 1 space, retreating 1 space, losing their next turn, or moving to the other end of the tunnel). Tile actions “stack” in that if you land on an “Advance 1 Space” tile and doing so lands you on a “Lose a Turn” tile, you lose your next turn. If a player rolls a 6, the player believes they have been spotted and hides, not moving that turn.
After the player has moved off the “Start” tile, on their turn they may choose to use their Opportunity card instead of rolling the die. Any player moved by an Opportunity card onto a tile with an action must adhere to that action.
The game ends when a player “Gets to da Choppa!” and leaves the rest of the players in the jungle.
My first prototype of the game was as basic as possible. Sticky notes for the game tiles, more sticky notes (folded in half to hide the sticky part) for the cards, a die and some army men. If I am inspired, I may make a “better” prototype and post some pictures.
If, my dear reader(s), you are so inclined, feel free to make your own copy of this game and try it out. I’d love feedback on how it plays. I feel it might need more special tiles, or some other game element to spice it up. If you do play it, please come back and let me know how it went…