Game Review – Stuff and Nonsense by Cheapass Games

The hubby LOVES to scour Kickstarter for new and interesting games – we’ve found many great board games through the fund-raising site and don’t plan to stop anytime soon. When he tripped across Stuff and Nonsense by Cheapass Games it was an automatic buy as we love the company and the game looked awesome. This week we received our copy from the Kickstarter campaign and copies should be on the shelves of your local game store or available through the website in a few weeks…

pic2446127_mdpic2446128_mdStuff and Nonsense starts off with the news about Professor Elemental, a famous adventurer, spinning his yarns at the club in Victorian London… but you know that he’s nothing but a windbag! All of his tales are nothing but lies – stories backed up with items he’s purchased from the local stores! But you’re not going to let this continue because YOU are going to start visiting the stores and collect the artifacts and specimens in order to go to the Adventurers’ Club and tell YOUR tall tale in order to dethrone the Professor! But beware because the Professor is on to your plan and is now actively chasing you through the city to make sure you don’t get the items and return to the club to tell your own story and steal his thunder!

This is a great card game for 2-8 players who love to chat and enjoy a good laugh. Each player takes the role of one would-be adventurer. Your goal is to visit the shops and collect cards that will allow you to claim to have visited one of five places (Africa, Mt. Everest, China, Antarctica and the Amazon). Each location requires a number of cards with the same symbols on it and you score points by adding up the points on the individual cards plus the location bonus. For example Africa only needs two cards to score while the Amazon needs six – meaning you need one card from each shop since you can’t duplicate the locations. But even as you return to the Club and get points for your tall tale the other members are tiring of the location so as soon as you finish the points for that location degrade and one other location rises, showing the new popular site.

10f2da49a9e499cf0b9130361131ebe6_originalAnd while you’re seeking out the most points for your story Professor Elemental is chasing you around – the good Professor starts at a random location and effectively locks that site down – if you go to the site to collect a card you’ll pay a penalty of either losing a card from your hand or giving up one point per card in your hand. But the Professor doesn’t stay still – you must have eight cards on the various locations at all times so when you take a card off the stack to replace the one you just took you will check the bottom of the card to see if there’s an arrow there to indicate the Professor’s movement. If the number is equal or higher to the number of players in the game he moves one spot clock-wise, coming closer to you and your ill-gotten gains. If he catches you in the shop you pay the penalty as mentioned above so it’s good to keep ahead of the good Professor as long as you can!

Each of the cards has a funny little story and cartoon to be read when you detail your adventure using the cards for reference – being a writer I don’t like games that make me basically do for fun what I do for work but S&N works in a lovely way where even if you’re not a wordsmith you can just read the cards and a hysterical story comes out.

Price-wise you couldn’t get a more fun game for your money. Small, portable and it only takes up a bit of space as you lay out the cards and tokens. We enjoyed a great game last night and expect to be introducing more of our friends to the game as time goes on. The replay ability is high on this since you never know where your cards will lead you and while there’s various strategies that can work in the end it’s all up to how the cards are shuffled, adding a luck component to the game.

Cheapass Games has a great deal of support already available for the game, starting with a faboo video here. You can also download the print and play version and give it a trial run before laying out the hard cash for a full cop.

Stuff and Nonsense is a great pocket game for anyone who loves to either spin tall tales or listen to them – the format is easy to understand, the cards entertaining and amusing and the gameplay fast and furious as each of you try to out-perform the other. Another great buy from Cheapass Games and Kickstarter!

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