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What’s the move?

Two easy card games I found in my apartment

Board games for your bored brains

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You don’t know how grateful I am that my roommates and I went on a small card game binge during winter quarter. 

We’ve always had the nerdy classics. “Catan,” a game I manage to get screwed over in every time we play it because I’m not as cutthroat as my roommates, and a whole lot of “Magic: The Gathering,” where we’ve had a match last over four hours because of an infinite turn combo. However, we wanted to branch out a bit.

So for today, I’ll be sharing two easy card games that we picked up to pass the time.

The first game I want to discuss is “Control” by Keymaster Games. “Control” is set in a rupture in space-time. You and the other players are stranded time travelers and are all competing for the one chance to escape. 

Players do this by installing different types of fuel, stable and unstable, into their time machine and win when they reach 21 or more total installed fuel. Stable fuel are the blue cards that have added effects when they are played, or have persistent effects when they are in play such as protecting your installed fuel with the “Force Field” card. Unstable fuel, however, are the red cards that can be discarded from your hand to use a special effect like wiping the board of all installed fuel with the “Singularity” card.

“Control” is an easy-to-learn game and very fast. Matches only last around 10 minutes, and it’s great for beginners who want to get into the card game realm, but don’t want to start off with a daunting trading card game like “Magic: The Gathering” or “Hearthstone.” 

The game is also perfect for card game veterans who want to try their hand at game design. Sadly, “Control” doesn’t have any expansions, and it really needs them. I’ve noticed that after my roommates and I played the game, matches became predictable and felt relatively similar. 

The next game I wanted to talk about is “Cthulhu Fluxx” by Looney Labs. This game is an incredibly astral horror-themed version of “Fluxx,” which is by the same company. It’s even simpler than “Control”; every game starts with two rules: draw one card and play one card. 

The rules, however, will change quickly. One of the card types in “Fluxx” is the rule card. For the most part, these cards will describe how many cards you draw at the start of your turn and how many cards you can play. “Cthulhu Fluxx,” though, doesn’t pull its punches when integrating the astral horror aspect into the game.

One card in particular called “Fear of the Unknown” greatly contributes to the game’s theme, while also making “Cthulhu Fluxx” a total riot to play with friends. This card allows you to reveal a genuine fear of yours in order to draw and play an additional card. When this card is in play, shit gets wild. 

When I played this game with my roommates, I mostly found that games start off fairly boring, but get incredibly interesting around mid-game when more rules are in play. 

Make sure you also watch out for action cards that will allow other players to gain an advantage over you. You’ll mostly see these cards mid-game after more rules are in play, as well as a “Goal” card which will describe the win condition of that match.

I’d recommend “Cthulhu Fluxx” if you and your fellow nerd friends are looking for a good party game. The game supports up to six players and matches can last closer to 30 minutes with larger groups. 

Whether you want to get into the card game world with “Control” or want to figure out the deep dark fears of those around you, both of these games are perfect for breaking the slight amounts of tension built up from being around roommates or family for weeks on end.

Both games can be ordered online at Looney Labs and Keymaster Games

Reach Development Editor Kyle Bender at Twitter: @avatar_kyle 

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