Just in time for my trip home, I got the package that I was waiting for! I opened it up, and inside were two small boxes, about the size of playing card packs. They were the two new editions of the game Hit Manga.
I didn’t know anything about the game until Andy K pointed it out to me, but it started off as a cool little karuta/hyaku isshu variant. Basically, in the original game, there are 100 different cards that have a picture and the 2nd half of an ancient poem. Someone reads a poem from a deck of random cards, and the players have to grab the card that finishes off the poem before everyone else. It get’s pretty intense; kids bicker and grown ups use fans to smack the card and anyone’s hands that are in the way.
In this game, however, there are a ton of panels that are typically found in manga. The original game was just generic manga, but they’ve just come out with the sci-fi and school versions. In this game, the players take turns grabbing a card from the deck. Each card is exactly the same panel as a card that’s laid out on the table, complete with empty word bubbles. The person “reads” the card by acting out the voice of the characters or what-have-you, and the players try to grab the right card. Getting it right first nabs you a point, but getting it wrong means you have to sit out for the next round. If nobody gets it right, the reader takes a penalty card. It’s a simple game and it sounds like a ton of fun.
After all the karuta I did while teaching kids English, I never thought I’d want to play again, but there you go. You can check out this blog entry here for a video of it being played. It reminds me of another card game I got somewhat recently, Cat and Chocolate.
I picked this up a couple of months ago, but when I went back the other day to get some more copies for friends, they were totally sold out. I guess it’s super popular. It did have its own, sold out, panel at JGC…
Anyway, in this game, there are two decks of cards: one deck consists of dangerous situations you might find yourself in while in a haunted house. For example, you’re falling asleep but you can feel someone coming behind you, or the walls are closing in on you. The second deck is full of items–some mundane, some useful, and many whacky. You can find mirrors, flower bouquets, lighters, and the like. The object is to come up with a way to save yourself using the items you’ve got in your hand (1-3 cards at a time), while the others judge whether or not you’ve succeeded.
The example given in the book shows us a player who has pulled a danger card that tells him that the doors down the hall has opened, and blood is filling the hall. He’s got to do something before he drowns. Unfortunately, he only has the titular Cat and Chocolate cards. So he lures the cat using the chocolate, and as he sinks under the blood, he grabs the cat and sucks the oxygen out of its lungs to keep from drowning. Of course, the other players tell him that, Sorry, it’s not going to work.
Both games look like a lot of fun with the right group, and both are small, easy to carry, have little set up. Perfect to take with me to the US. Let’s see if I can get someone to play!