Jack Dire is a great designer. I’ve been a fan of Superfight since I first tried it. Red Flags is a hit every time I pull it out. Blank Marry Kill is a great spin on an old concept. I haven’t tried it yet, but he describes You’ve Got Problems as “…the most ‘me’ game I have made.” So his new game, Business Panda Beach Party, is sure to be a great time.
There’s no judge for this one. You succeed or fail, as a team. As with many Jack Dire games, one teammate gets a Character and Attribute. They will attempt to act out both cards while only using a single (likely irrelevant) word. Their teammates then will be awarded points if they can figure out what card combination is being acted out from the larger group of cards on the table. But you will lose points if they guess wrong.
While I think this game is going to be a total blast to play with the right group, I don’t think it’s quite as accessible as some of Dire’s previous games. I’ve probably played his games in a bar as often as not, and more than almost any other games. They all work well, in a random public setting. The goofy physicality that is the heart of this game would work less well in public, for MOST people. I have a ton of friends that have a hard time breaking out of their shell for any social debate style games, so adding a physical element into that won’t make things easier for that type of person even in a private setting. The flip side to that is I am also friends with a lot of performers and improvisers, and I can see them bringing this game into their practices as a tool to hone their craft. In fact, if I can get a copy of this, that’s probably where I’ll play it the most.
I say “if” because changes to USPS’s handling of international orders have made shipping outside the US a nightmare for many small and medium-sized companies. Consequently, this Kickstarter (and probably many others in the future) is only being shipped to US mailing addresses. If you look up at the URL for this page, the .ca might tip you off that I’m based in Canada. I strongly debated whether or not to write about a campaign I can’t even pledge for. But at the end of the day, I have enough readers in the US, or with access to a US address, to still put this game out there.
Pledges levels are about average for this sort of game. $20 (USD) get you the 500 card Core Game, $35 gets you the Core plus either one of the 100 card expansions: Business Panda Geek Party or Business Panda After Party, $45 gets you all three. Every backer will also get an exclusive 18 card booster pack with their order. Other than the US only thing, there is no shipping information or estimates listed, so take that as you will.
If you have a US address this game could be a fun project to back. If you can’t back it, Skybound Games will be involved in producing this, so ask your Friendly Local Gaming Store to keep an eye out for it when it is released in the summer.