For those of you who don't know... today is the last day to back, Don't Turn Your Back. And you should totally back it:
"Why?" you might ask. "Why should I back a card game from Evil Hat? Don't they make RPGs?"
Well, there are the obvious reasons, like the fact that knows how to deliver on their promises no matter what they produce, or that the Mad City is a pretty amazing setting. But those are obvious. You probably want the real reasons, the stuff that you have to step through the door of madness to see... stuff you have to do to the Mad City to understand.
"Okay. I'll bite," you say. "Take me to the Mad City. What is it like?"
Well, my friend. It's intense.
DTYB is a deck-building/worker placement game. That means that each round, you're going to draw cards from your deck and place them somewhere in the Mad City. Each card represents a Favor owed, a Nightmare that's going to do your bidding for a short while. They can win you points in the game directly by occupying certain spaces, or they might get sent to the Wax King (and removed from your deck) to bank points for the endgame. You might put even send them up into the City Slumbering to see if you can snatch up more Nightmares to serve you.
Regardless, every round plays out the same... but different. There are some hotly contested positions on the board, but the Mad City doesn't stay the same for long. New Laws are passed in the 13th District. Cards that occupied the High School graduate out, leaving a twisting, changing lineup of new opportunities. And, of course, new cards bought into your deck change what you're capable of doing from round to round.
I loved that this game felt like playing politics in the Mad City. It's a strange place, with some counterintuitive trends and strange Laws, but it also has a certain logic to it if you know where to look. The game captures all that perfect, and it made me feel like I was competing with the other players are precisely the right level: we were all racing to win, but we weren't spending the whole game punching each other in the face. Politics, man. It's a trip.
The cards, the art, etc, are all awesome. Seriously, this one is worth your time. We very nearly broke it out a second time last night. My roommate won't shut up about playing it again. I just hope he finally get some sleep...
(Disclosure: I received a free POD copy of the game to test it out and write a review, but no one told me what to write about. Most of this madness is all my own... Most.)