Eighteen cards, except just one
October 24, 2019 8:08 AM   Subscribe

Button Shy Games is a small board game publisher, in many senses of the word "small" -- most of its games are "wallet games", consisting of just 18 cards (some require tokens and dice, which the buyer is expected to furnish). That wasn't minimalist enough for Button Shy publisher Jason Tagmire, who has started a monthly 18 Card Challenge, each of which puts an additional restriction on the 18-card rule. The first month's restriction: Create an 18 Card Game Where Every Card Is Identical. Tagmire and friends winnowed 228 entries down to 20 finalists (27-minute YouTube video), which show amazing ingenuity in how much information you can pack onto one standard-sized card -- or how little you need to. posted by Etrigan (10 comments total) 40 users marked this as a favorite
 
Very interesting designs given a hard constraint!
posted by justkevin at 9:12 AM on October 24


I just recently received my copy of their Kickstarted game Tussie Mussie, by Elizabeth Hargrave of Wingspan fame.

The game Palm Island kind of meets their next challenge already. Each player has 17 cards (the game can be played solo) and the cards are always held in-hand, with their orientation and position signifying what's in-play and how.

There can be a bit of dexterity involved when playing.
posted by dhalgren at 9:59 AM on October 24 [2 favorites]


This is very cool -- from watching the videos I'm having a hard time seeing how some of the games are actually using identical cards (the one with the wolves particularly so).
posted by Mchelly at 10:00 AM on October 24


As a lapsed cineaste, I'm reminded of Lars von Trier challenging Jorgan Leth in The Five Obstructions.

No doubt an upcoming challenge will be to play the game in Mumbai in 3 second bursts without using your right hand while von Trier narrates.
posted by The Pluto Gangsta at 10:17 AM on October 24 [1 favorite]


I'm having a hard time seeing how some of the games are actually using identical cards (the one with the wolves particularly so).

The "trick" that most of the games employ is to use both sides of the card and sacrifice secrecy (which isn't necessary for a lot of games -- Monopoly, for instance, has none; ditto Risk). Desert Pack divides one side of the card into two different statuses, depending on which one is facing the other player, thereby getting three different uses out of the one card.
posted by Etrigan at 11:53 AM on October 24


If all 18 cards are identical you wouldn't have any secrecy anyway. You can't hide what a card is when there's only one thing it could be.
posted by RobotHero at 11:57 AM on October 24 [1 favorite]


I desperately want to invent a card game I can call "UNOulipo"
posted by chavenet at 12:07 PM on October 24 [4 favorites]


Mike should record his video and audio locally.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 12:09 PM on October 24


If all 18 cards are identical you wouldn't have any secrecy anyway. You can't hide what a card is when there's only one thing it could be.

Cards can still be used differently based on position, orientation, or order; and secrecy can be maintained via stacking or hiding them behind a screen or below the table -- both of which seem to be done in Desert Pack.
posted by Etrigan at 12:22 PM on October 24 [1 favorite]




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