Game Theory (Board Games)

Any sort of game whether it be board games, video games or playground games, they all have rules and objectives. A simple game such as the 1972 game Pong has an objective, which is to hit the ball more often that the other player and get the highest score, however it today’s video games, game have become more intricate, however they are still, if not, more enjoyable than Pong. The board games that I had looked at for this task were Cards Against Humanity (2011) and Cluedo: Discover the Secrets (2011).

Cluedo

Cluedo is a dice rolling strategy board game in which a group of players have to identify a weapon, location and murderer by eliminating the factors that other people hold. This game can consist of between 3-6 players, however there are 6 characters with in the game. Each player is selected a character, that may be Miss Scarlet (red), Professor Plum (purple), Mrs. Peacock (blue), Reverend green (green), Colonel Mustard (yellow) and Mrs. White (white). Each character comes with a power which they are only allowed to use once throughout the game, in my case I was able to randomly pick a card from someone deck that I just showed a card to. Additionally the rooms available are the Hall, Dining Room, Kitchen, Patio, Observatory, Theatre, Living Room, Spa and Guest House.

At the beginning of play, three cards — one suspect, one room, and one weapon — are chosen at random and put into a special envelope, so that no one can see them. These cards represent the facts of the case. The remainder of the cards are distributed among the players, as well as a checklist so the players can narrow down the cards in the special envelope. The cards distributed to me were ‘The Dining Room’, ‘The Living Room’ and ‘Scarlet’. The winner is decided when they have all their tick list checked apart from three in the special envelope, but if someone was to guess incorrectly then they would be out of the game.To get people to show you their cards, you must first start a rumour in a room, once you have announced it then you must ask the person to the left of you if they have any of those rumour cards, if not then you must continue going around until someone has a rumour card that you have said. This can only be done once you’re in a room of if someone moves you to a room (if you have been accused yourself).

The thing that was most enjoyable about this game was the suspense between players and the humour that came from other players accusing someone when you know they’re innocent, additionally the curiosity of knowing who was in the mystery envelope- it may have been myself.On the other hand this game can get very repetitive considering once you’ve narrowed it down to a handful of options but you have to continue to go round the group of players to see if they have any, that and if you’re close to a particular room on a dice roll and someone accuses you, you have to move, loosing all your progress on the map. I feel like this game does drag out for a very long time if you have a lot of players, but if there were few players (not characters), then it would be much more entertaining.

Cards Against Humanity

This game was originally made in 2011 however there have been many expansion packs that players can actually write in their own answers and questions to make the game more personal to their friends/ family. With Cards Against Humanity, each player is given 10 white cards, instead of sharing out a certain amount of cards like the games Uno, Sevens or even Cluedo. Each player takes in in turn to be the ‘Card Tsar’, this means that the player has to read out the black card- everyone else has to decide what card fits the best to the black card. The Card Tsar  then decides which card is the best and who ever placed that card gets the black card and recieves one ‘Awesome Point’, the person to a certain number of points (usually 5 or 8) wins.

Unlike Cluedo, this game can have an unlimited amount of players however, it does making winning much more challenging. The strategy for this game is to be the funniest with in the group however everyone has a different sense of humour so you may have to work around that and leave certain cards for people who’ll find that white card funniest.

Reasons as to why I enjoy playing this game so much is that as well as it being competitive, it is also very funny so it takes away the tension between players to win, whereas with games such as Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit and Pictionary, arguments are most likely to happen, however this game isn’t for the faint-hearted, so some people may protest against certain cards. Furthermore this game is great because of the white cards- some are very bizarre and the fact you white on certain cards means you can take the humour down to a more personal level. (I censored one of the white cards as it would seem rude to certain viewers). However this game has its flaws because it can be too offensive at times and it makes it difficult to play once a certain barrier has been crossed.

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From looking at both of these board/ card games, we can see that they both have factors that are mandatory for any kind of game; strategy, information set and a payoff. With Cards Against Humanity the strategy is to work out the other players sense of humour so you can work on their strong points, the information set is the black and white cards and they payoff is receiving the most Awesome Point, a.k.a winning, much like most other games. Cluedo: Discover the Secrets, on the other hand, the information is the cards other players have, strategy I would say is manipulating players into thinking someone else is the murderer by not showing them important cards such as person or weapon. Personally I prefer Cards Against Humanity because there are no boards, dice or figures, its just cards, however i do enjoy the suspense between each player when playing Cluedo.

 

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