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Cheapass As In Free
July 23, 2011 6:07 PM   Subscribe

Did you know that popular, absurdly inexpensive board game producer James Ernest's Cheapass Games has released some of their most popular games as free PDFs? Among them Deadwood, Devil Bunny Needs A Ham, The Big Cheese, FALLING and Unexploded Cow?

Hey, they have a Sjöbergy* webcomic too, Brain and John. They also still have some stock of their older games available for sale. Here are some more, including professionally published versions of Kill Doctor Lucky, Falling, and Give Me The Brain.
* That's totally a word. Now.
posted by JHarris (34 comments total) 126 users marked this as a favorite

 
Fun; it's nice to see them back among the living.
posted by LobsterMitten at 6:15 PM on July 23, 2011


This isn't by CAG, but I imagine that at least somebody on the blue would think a print and play simulation of the American civil rights movement was kinda interesting.

Free at Last
posted by Winnemac at 6:21 PM on July 23, 2011 [5 favorites]


Why yes, yes I did!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:27 PM on July 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'll have to bring a couple of these to the next PDX game meetup.
posted by curious nu at 6:28 PM on July 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Montreal's 60 Second Film Fest has also just released a free board game using PDFs: Mount-Royal, the game
posted by furtive at 6:34 PM on July 23, 2011


I have Diceland: Ogre somewhere. Great game. Gotta dig it up.
posted by Splunge at 6:42 PM on July 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


I went looking for Kill Dr. Lucky and Give Me The Brain... but... but... they are now published as non-cheapass games. For $29.99. WEIRD.
posted by selfmedicating at 6:50 PM on July 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


I went looking for Kill Dr. Lucky and Give Me The Brain... but... but... they are now published as non-cheapass games. For $29.99. WEIRD.

These are the only two I've played, and I will take this an indication that they are by far the best of the bunch.

Thoughts?
posted by 3FLryan at 7:00 PM on July 23, 2011


(I love them, btw)
posted by 3FLryan at 7:01 PM on July 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Among the cheap games Cheapass is still selling itself, Enemy Chocolatier is the best of the ones I've played. It's a good strategy game, not merely a funny premise and funny cards. There are a bunch of Cheapass games with great funny premises but which are not that fun to re-play.

One we have in the "it's mainly about the funny cards" family is Captain Park's Imaginary Polar Expedition, which is consistently enjoyable - it has better replay value than Kill Dr Lucky, IMO. Deadwood was also right on the edge of "these cards are funny but the underlying gameplay is borderline not fun enough". The Big Idea is a party game rather than a strategy game, and was pretty fun the one time I played it.

Devil Bunny Needs a Ham is silly and simple and fun; not much to it. They have played it "life size" at Origins. The Great Brain Robbery is a good premise but not a good game IMO.

I also enjoyed their Very Clever Pipe Game.

Reviews of all of them can be found via this List of Cheapass Games on Boardgamegeek.
posted by LobsterMitten at 7:10 PM on July 23, 2011


Actually, the link in the post says they've revamped Deadwood, so maybe they have made it play a bit quicker - definitely worth a try.
posted by LobsterMitten at 7:12 PM on July 23, 2011


We sold most of our non-rpg (and unused rpg) games when we moved last year and our Cheapass collection went then, so this is really useful.
posted by immlass at 7:18 PM on July 23, 2011


curious nu: I'll have to bring a couple of these to the next PDX game meetup.

I came here specifically to see how long it would take for someone to say that. Thanks for not letting me down!
posted by Greg_Ace at 7:19 PM on July 23, 2011


You can't win Metafilter with Government Cheese.
posted by clvrmnky at 7:54 PM on July 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


My favorite of his is Nexus. Not among the free ones, alas. In any case it's quick to play, easy to learn, and strategic.
posted by LogicalDash at 8:06 PM on July 23, 2011


Falling! Yay. Thanks for this!
posted by nat at 8:18 PM on July 23, 2011


Yesss. I highly recommend "The Big Cheese" for playing during corporate-hive-mind-mandated conference calls. My coworkers and I whiled away many an hours placing silent bids with pennies, trying to scalp the game's "projects", and laughing our tails off (with the speakerphone on mute, of course) while some mid-level executive droned on about ROI, synergy, etc.

Only Looney Lab's Flux was more popular, and that's hard to play while on a conference call. It's best reserved for late-night support parties. With beer.
posted by introp at 8:23 PM on July 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


No CAG thread is complete without a mention of Before I Kill You Mr. Bond James Ernest's Totally Renamed Spy Game. That and Kill Dr Lucky are their best concepts IMO.
posted by ceribus peribus at 8:24 PM on July 23, 2011


I have to say that I'm pretty glad I found out about CAG all those years ago, I've have a good amount of fun and entertainment from just reading the instructions and various cards. Funny, fun, and cheap make for a great combo.

Maybe this isn't the right place for this(mods, delete if needed), but I have a handful of old CAG that I was going to get rid of when I move later this week and it seems that a number of people might want some of these. So MeMail me if you're interested in a free copy* of the following:

Give Me the Brain
The Great Brain Robbery
Before I Kill You Mr. Bond
Devil Bunny Needs a Ham
Kill Doctor Lucky

All the pieces are in pretty good condition though the envelopes look like something was spilled on them at some point.

*Limit one per request unless there's not much interest
posted by mindless progress at 8:55 PM on July 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


My fave Cheapass game is Light Speed - it fits in a pocket, the rules take 30 seconds to explain, and the game takes 30 seconds to play (and 2-3 minutes to resolve.) Perfect filler.
posted by xiw at 9:09 PM on July 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


Kill Doctor Lucky! We used to play that when I lived in Los Alamos. Sad to hear it's not a cheap-ass game anymore.
posted by dirigibleman at 9:27 PM on July 23, 2011


Devil Bunny Needs a Ham has the greatest premise for a board game ever in history:

You and your friends are living pleasant and full lives in Happyville. You are highly trained and well-paid sous-chefs, who have decided to climb to the top of a tall building, as fast as you can. Devil Bunny needs a ham. And he's pretty sure that knocking you off the building will help him get one. Perhaps he is right. Perhaps he is not.
posted by Paragon at 10:21 PM on July 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


This is starting to feel like another NYC game night should happen. Yeah. That's what it feels like. There's a storm a-brewin'.
posted by Splunge at 10:30 PM on July 23, 2011


"P.F.C.: These cows are the opposite of generals. They can steal a bomb from any other bomb in the same field. This can be useful if you want to steal a bomb away from a negative cow, or keep one cow alive while the rest explode from the effect of a Mad Bomber. He can even steal a bomb when he's already holding one, although he still only explodes once."

There is nothing like the rules of a Cheapass Game for quoting out of context.
posted by JHarris at 10:33 PM on July 23, 2011


Er, actually that name in the webcomic's title should be Brian, not Brain. (Take the brain away from me! I can't use it anymore!)
posted by JHarris at 1:29 AM on July 24, 2011


Yay, Cheapass Games!
posted by Eideteker at 7:26 AM on July 24, 2011


This is starting to feel like another NYC game night should happen

So in.
posted by griphus at 8:35 AM on July 24, 2011


Jacob Marley, Esq. remains my favorite Cheapass game. There's just something about the Dickensian street names and shameless usury that appeals to me.

I'm also glad to see Agora free. It's a fun and easy game that I always like playing.
posted by willhopkins at 8:35 AM on July 24, 2011


Devil Bunny is made of win. It taps into the deep species-subconscious backgammon continuum that contains and the Royal Game of Ur. Also, you can't go into the square with Wesley Snipes in it. Because you fear him.

Agora is also excellent, and saw lots of play at our board game club, though you need a lot of counters.

And although it is deeply stupid and far too long, I also have a soft spot in my head heart for Bitin' off Hedz, especially when played with small toy dinosaurs. (Not available for free, but I don't know why on earth not.)
posted by BrashTech at 9:59 AM on July 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Huh, my Senet link is there, but the word Senet got eaten. Possibly by a dinosaur.
posted by BrashTech at 10:01 AM on July 24, 2011


I'd be up for NYC game night.
posted by mark7570 at 12:31 PM on July 24, 2011


Not having previous experience with Cheapass Games, when I saw Deadwood, I thought, "ooh, dice-based RPG extending the HBO show?!"

This is pretty awesome, too, though!
posted by smirkette at 9:41 PM on July 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


In case it's not obvious, I'm also down for NYC gamenight.
posted by Eideteker at 11:44 AM on July 25, 2011


This post ties in perfectly with the Altoids tin post. I've just made me a Pennywise pocket game.
posted by unliteral at 6:13 PM on July 25, 2011


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