" Desperate to 'Call in Dead' or that the 'Sprinklers were Activated in Server Room', you'll whip out any excuse in the book to keep from doing even the most menial of tasks and maintain your drone status. "
Title: Management Material by Zipwhaa Inc.
Format: Party Card Game
Reviewing Monkey: Dungapult
The Hype: Part of the rash of non-collectible card games that have swept onto the market in the wake of the ccg glut, Management Material is actually two games: the General Office and the Information Technology editions. Sort of an "anti-Dilbert", the goal of Management Material is to slack off enough that you avoid getting promoted and so can keep your cushy, low pressure mid level job just the way it is. Honestly, for a while there was rumor a law suit was brewing, because that's the prescribed day to day of life here in the Game Monkeys' office and we didn't get a single mention in the credits, but it turned out it was just a coincidence.
What This Monkey Thought...
Playability: Reviewed together here because
both versions of the game are almost identical, but with slightly different
themed cards to reflect the focus of each deck, Management Material operates
under the simple concept: promotions equal stress and stress is bad. Given that
reality, your goal is to avoid a promotion at all costs and so retain your lazy
and pressure free rank of mindless corporate peon.
These promotions are symbolized by "Project" cards, insidious tasks that you must perform if you aren't smart enough to get out of them. To avoid these tasks you only have two options: slack your way out of them or force your opponents to take them on. The former is done via "Excuse" cards, asinine reasons that you just can't seem to take on the Project, while the latter is done through awarding your fellow employees (opponents) "Recognitions", awards that keep the management's eye on the player so that it's harder for them to slack.
In play this works out as what could be described as a cross between "screw your neighbor" and "Chez Geek". Essentially, each Project card has a point value that you gain if you are stuck with it. Get 30 Project points and you are promoted and out of the game.
As you may guess, this makes for fast, frenetic, and bitter play-which can be a whole helluva lot of fun with the right crowd. Desperate to "Call in Dead" or that the "Sprinklers were Activated in Server Room", you'll whip out any excuse in the book to keep from doing even the most menial of tasks and maintain your drone status. Definitely designed for those who live and breath the cubicle life, the game is chock full of in jokes and corporate humor, and though cards are taken from randomly drawn hands and luck may be the greatest influence on gameplay, the ability to stab other players in the back and keep them hustling makes it exciting and adds a level of strategy to play. 4 out of 5
Aesthetics: Simply bordered and cartoonishly colored, the cards sport art by Roy Schneider (who Zipwhaa gives enough press to that you will never be able to forget the name), the card design and artwork are pleasant enough and fit the theme and play of the game. Most of the excuses and jobs are also fitting, though often seem under-developed and frequently fall a bit short of making the joke that would be funniest for the situation. Still, the first few times you play you will take a minute to look at every card and laugh at the joke and, in the end, that's really all that matters. 3.75 out of 5
Value vs. Cost: Fifteen bananas gets you
a 110 card fully playable deck that's enough to get 4 or 5 Monkeys in on the
action. And while that isn't exactly cheap, given what you're getting and that
the game has a nice, high replay value you'll get your money's worth for sure.
The only question left is about the two different decks, which are essentially identical but feature differently themed cards. Our opinion, after playing with each and then mixing and matching both, is that one deck is probably enough for a normal group so I'd pick the one that fits you best: Office Edition for those who are stuck in the general doldrums secretarial, middle management, or administrative life and IT for those who…you guessed it…work a lot with computers. 3.75 out of 5
|In the end, Management Material is a great concept for an easy to learn, fun to play little party game and a must have for anyone who works in the corporate sector. And while we would have enjoyed it if the humor would have been a bit more extreme or the variation in decks would have been a bit more significant, it none the less remains great and solid game all around.|
The Good: Killer little game that will remind you why you slack off so much during the day.
The Bad: That, honestly, could stand for a bit more edgy humor.
The Overall Ugly: It's the movie "Office Space" as a card game…and if that's not high enough praise to convince you to buy it you should have stopped reading the review 8 paragraphs ago.
What it's Worth: Market