PAX is about games. Not just about looking at games, and meeting game devs, and drooling over the big titles that will inevitably play through once and then forget. No, PAX is also about playing games with other people. In my personal couple times at PAXEast and Prime, this has mostly meant multiplayer demos and Cards against Humanity, but this year, a new contender entered the arena, hoping to snag the “Best Party Game of PAX” title. With its combination of chaos, quick play, and absolute insanity, it has risen to the place of my new favorite game to play with others.
And it wasn’t even play tested.
We Didn’t Playtest This At All is a card game created by Chris Cieslik of Asmadi Games, and, according to the box, was illustrated by a penguin. It is designed for 2 to 10 People, ages 12 and up, but I’d probably tend towards a slightly older crowd, just so swears, insults and curses can be hurled without any thought toward innocent young ears. Playtime can vary wildly, and its even fairly likely that half the people playing will be out in a single turn.
The entire point of W.D.P.T.A.A is to Not-Lose, and thus Win. If you Lose, you’re out, and can’t play anymore. Every player starts the game with two cards and on every turn you draw a card, then play a card. Simple right? Wrong.
Well, sort of right: the mechanics of W.D.P.T.A.A are simple, which is part of the reason the game is so great. However, there’s a definite hurdle that has to be surrmounted before play can really get moving at a good pace. That hurdle is your foolish notion that this game should a). Make Sense and b). Make Any Sense.
Throughout the game, players will be forced to do all sorts of ridiculous things: Cake or death, touching of noses, even locating a banana (yes, an actual banana. Not a card) are all cards that are fair game. the diversity of cards is astonishing and combined with the fact that games take probably about 15 minutes on average means that every game is different and chaotic.
This year at PAXEast 2014, I found W.D.P.T.A.A quite by accident, After finishing an interview a bit early, I was wandering the floor, and happened to walk through the Foam Brain booth. As my eye’s wandered from Muchikin Expansions to giant bins of dice, i saw a small table of people playing a wonderfully simplistic looking game. Invited to take part, I jumped in, grabbing two cards. Then I was asked to throw paper, rock or scissors. Then I lost.
Yes, I lost on my first turn of the first time that I played W.D.P.T.A.A., but it had me hooked. Something about it called me back, and got me to buy a pack to break out on the inevitable game night that always happens on Day 2 of PAX. When we did fin d our table on the night of day 2 in the free-play hall, we were planning to play Munchkin. However, I pushed, and the group consented, agreeing to play a round of two of W.D.P.T.A.A.
The first round was largely, unsuccessful. People were confused, unsure of how this made sense, and on person was playing Hearthstone while the game went on. But then we played another. and another. Soon, people were getting the chaotic sense this game made, and I knew everyone was hooked when the Hearthstone was put away.
In short, W.D.P.T.A.A is a brilliant chaotic party game I suggest that an group of friends pick up, break out and play over their beverages of choice. Just make sure you have a banana handy.