You’d be forgiven for thinking that G.I.F.T or ‘Good Interesting Fun Times’ is an odd name for a title. I thought the same when I first received a prototype copy from developer ‘ClueJar’. Once you’ve played the game though it makes perfect sense and is quite pertinent.
“You’ve been invited to a party where everyone’s dead. You’re having a great time when you suddenly realise… you’re dead too!”
Yeah, that puts a real downer on my evenings too. In this case though all is not lost as one of us is coming back to life by appeasing the God of Life. The only way to do that is to ‘speak witty sentences and entertain for your passage home’.
Fail and the God of Death who is loitering by the food buffet to one side will drag you off to the afterlife.
The object of the game is to collect all five organs, the first to do so being the winner. You can collect organs either from the decks on the table or by stealing them from other players.
Set up is pretty straight forward; shuffle and lay out the five decks of lettered body parts. Shuffle up the key cards and have each player draw five. One player then begins with the God of Life token and takes three to five letters and places them in any order on the table.
Players then look at the key cards in their hand and look for a match between the letters on the table and the start of a word printed on their key cards. Once you’ve done that you’ll then need to make a sentence using both fictional words and the key word to make a cohesive sentence.
So using the above image as an example, the player with the God of Life token might pick U, I, and C for the letters they wish to use and would place them on the table in the order of C, I, then U. It’s now up to the players to look at their hand and find a key word. Again, using the cards in the picture above I’m going to choose ‘Cul’ on the left most card. I could have picked ‘Iso’, ‘Cov’, ‘Cal’, or ‘Ins’ instead.
Then I need to make up my sentence using my chosen key word. Let’s go with ‘Cultists Irregularly Update’. Your sentence has to make some degree of sense. You can use names (but it’s frowned upon) and you can’t use made up words. You can’t have two or more players recite the exact same sentence either.
After a player has recited their sentence, the other players are free to chat amongst themselves to determine if they want to make an accusation or not. If a player wishes to make an accusation it’s first in first served, and they denounce a word in the sentence. If the accuser is correct they are the winner of the accusation. If the accuser has picked the wrong word then the accused is the winner. Either way the winner can either take the appropriate body part associated with the key word or take any part from the losers collection.
If there is no accusation made then the player whose turn it is simply takes a body part relevant to the key word.
You can use more than one key word if you wish, this makes you more susceptible to accusations but also allows you to choose from more body parts if you win.
It might take a round or two before everyone at the table completely understands, but once the penny drops it’s pretty straight forward. The nuances and strategy come in the form of disguising your keyword(s). “Cats Are Bulbous” points heavily to the word Bulbous as being the keyword. But perhaps it’s a trap and the key word is Cat? Poker faces might be useful here.
I don’t feel G.I.F.T is the sort of game you’d play multiple times in a single session, but it’s perfect for a quick game to get players thinking before diving into something else (in our case it was Dungeons & Dragons).
The version of G.I.F.T that I received is still a prototype so it would be unfair to pass comment on the quality of the components (although they were perfectly fine for the purposes of testing). Artwork was great, although used a little sparingly.
G.I.F.T will appeal to anyone who enjoys word games, and because players are making their own words, it can be pretty flexible. Those not particularly blessed with a strong vocabulary might struggle a little though, and while it might act as a great learning tool for younger players I suspect they might get stuck thinking of sentences.
I can certainly see the potential for a number of alternate game modes, and hopefully we might see a few in the form of stretch goals when the game hits Kickstarter soon.
For more information head over to the official website and keep and eye on our social media as we will announce on Facebook when the game has gone live on Kickstarter.
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Tabletop gaming is in my blood. My father used to play miniature war games in the 70′s and 80′s (Napoleon, Rome, World War I and II, etc) and then discovered Dungeons & Dragons in the very early 80′s. He taught me how to play D&D when I was only 10 years old. I’ve been hooked on tabletop gaming ever since. Growing up I spent a lot of time playing D&D, Hero Quest, Fighting Fantasy, Magic: The Gathering. Fast-Forward 1000 years and here I am now. I use to own a tabletop gaming store in Bayside Brisbane (twice) but now I focus mostly on ATGN and playing tabletop games with my friends. Life is good.