Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Dungeon Brew Reviews Paranoia Mandatory Bonus Fun Card Gam

Hello and welcome to Paranoia. I know you were expecting to come here for a review, but unfortunately that information is above your clearance level. But don't worry, Friend Computer is here to help.

Let me explain. In the Mandatory Bonus Fun Card Game, the players take on the role troubleshooters (people who find trouble and shoot it) in an underground complex run by a benevolent, albeit unbalanced, computer. Your job is to undertake missions all while remaining vigilant against mutants, and members of secret societies. By the way, you are a mutant and a member of a secret society. You are a traitor, a well armed traitor at that. But the problem is you are on a team of other well armed traitors, all bent on proving their "innocence" by proving you are a traitor against Friend Computer. I wouldn't worry too much though, because there will be plenty of chances for you to do the same to them, or even kill them outright.

The Good
The game is fun, the rukles are simple and mission structure keeps the game engaging with a variety of objectives to complete. Added on top of all that though is the fast paced and strategic game play where every traitor for himself and danger lurks around every corner. The game maintains a sense of dark humour with great art and quotes adorning every card, not to mention missions like "Bake the Traitor" and action cards like "Spurious Logic".

The Evil
Well the biggest problem with the game is that its out of print. Thankfully though RPGNow.com and the PDF format have come to the rescue, allowing you to purchase a copy and download it directly to your computer. Of course, this presents its own issues, mainly having to print out all the cards. While most of the cards are black and white, the clearance cards and some of the game tokens are in color. And the PDF is constructed poorly, with each card being presented on a page of its own. For the color issue I ended up using different color paperclips as tokens, and I placed a paperclip over the player reference card, sliding it up and down to denote security clearance. The other problem took a little more work, I copied each individual card as a jpeg and then placed them side by side on a .doc file. Although time consuming, this allowed me to print them out about six at a time.

Bang For Your Buck
The game costs a whopping $24.95. For this you get 20 different mission cards, which act like minigames, 39 different actions cards, and a variety of tokens and player reference cards, all of which have to be printed and cut out.

The Final Verdict
I had a lot of fun with this game, I picked it up at 20% off and I loved it. My friends and I played it extensively while I worked on this article. That having been said, this game is not for everyone. If you love, or you know someone who does love, the world of Paranoia, anything Orwellian or non-collectible card games you'll love this game. For those of you who don't, you'll be better off spending it on something else.

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