" A $25 price tag. Twenty-Five Dollars?!? What were they thinking? "
Title: Spammers by Atlas Games
Format: Party Card Game
Reviewing Monkey: Dungapult
The Hype: The tag line for Spammers is not only one of the best catch phrases ever but also tells you everything you need to know about the game. Its "Oh God, do you have mail!" Spammers, as the name implies, is the card game of internet mass mailings and lets you live your wildest dream- drowning millions of unsuspecting internet users in a deluge of unwanted, and often completely immoral, spam.
What This Monkey Thought...
Playability: At first glance you might
be likely to think Spammers is overly complicated. On each turn, a player gets
to make 3 plays and almost all of the cards interact with each other in fairly
unusual ways. But you'll only make that assumption because you're over thinking
it. Amazingly refreshing in its simplicity, Spammers manages to combine some
fairly involved actions in to nice, basic interactions that are easy to follow.
The cards are balanced fairly well (not great, mind you, but fairly well) and
play is smooth and intuitive.
To break the game down for you in a hundred words or less, you play cards from your hand to attempt to access new groups of email users, harass the ones you already have access to, and prevent other players from doing the same. It's fast, fun, and just engaging enough that you'll lose track of a few hours. 4 out of 5
Aesthetics: Though vibrantly colored, aesthetics is definitely not Spammers' strong suit. The illustrations, while entertaining, are understated and really don't warrant any attention. The card layouts are awkward and often leave large empty spaces. And, most importantly, much of the text is printed in a light font and appears on a bad acid trip-rainbow prism display and is a pain in the ass to read. It's not actually a bad looking game, which is nice…But it's not nice either which is, well, not nice. 3 out of 5
Learning Curve: It's short. Can I just write that and move on? No? Fine. Then I'll say once you get the card interactions down, which takes about ten minutes, you'll be good to go. Actually, the only real delay in going is the rather cumbersome verbiage on the cards- but that's because of the subject matter, not a design flaw. 4 out of 5
Balance: All in all, balance ranks in pretty nicely. There aren't really any unreasonable god cards and only a few that seemed a bit unbalanced. Since the game is random draw for all players, it doesn't have those annoying deck-building issues to deal with and that's good. Really, the only balance issues we ran into fell into what type of card you draw, but I'm willing to write that up as much to our style of play as to a problem with the game. Pretty good over all. 4 out of 5
Value vs. Cost: Amusingly enough, I didn't actually check the cost on Spammers until I was writing this review. It was then I shook my head, rubbed my eyes, and wet myself. Spammers rings it at an incredibly steeeeeeep $25 retail! Ouch! While I certainly pay that much for games, it is officially the most pricey single box card game I've encountered. And since it only comes with a handful of counters, 120 cards, and a single dice, I think they're a bit off their gourd to push the price point this high. Personally, I couldn't imagine paying a quarter pound for a party game and, unfortunately, there's really nothing in here that warrants that kind of tag. 2 out of 5
|In the end, Spammers is a very cool and mostly memorable gaming experience. It's fun, it's witty, and it's even enough that you'll jam on it for a while. Truthfully, if not for the lackluster graphics and astronomical price tag this would have secured an absolute place in your gaming library.|
The Good: Fun concept, novel execution, good balance, and short learning curve.
The Bad: So-so art and a $25 price tag. Twenty-Five Dollars?!? What were they thinking?
The Overall Ugly: Pick it up…on a good sale.
What it's Worth: $12-15