Continuing Gaming: Alhambra, Give Me the Brain!

Continuing our foray into new board games (and following some recommendations from readers/friends), we went to the game store on Saturday and picked up a copy of Alhambra.

The four of us (Stu, Tif, Jenn and I) had a pretty good time with it. The object is to buy tiles that you place in a city. Each tile is of a different type (“tower” or “garden” or whatever) and scoring is based on who has the most of any given tile type (“I have the most towers, so I get X points; you have the most gardens, so you get Y points”). The mechanics were pretty easy to learn and after the first couple of turns folks seemed to get it pretty well. I liked the way turns were broken down and the way you lay the tiles to build your city, but I wasn’t too thrilled with the expense of rearranging the tiles in your city. For example, I can either remove a tile from my city, add a tile to my city, or swap a tile in my city for one in my reserve board (sort of a “holding area” for tiles). But I can’t take a tile from one place in my city and move it to another place

  • I’d actually have to remove the tile and place it in my reserve on one turn, then spend the next turn placing it elsewhere. I think there should be a “move tile” option.

Other than that, like I said, it went over pretty well and I look forward to playing it again. We only got one round in that night.

Tiff also picked up a couple of games, both by Cheapass. The first was Kill Doctor Lucky, which we didn’t have a chance to play, and the other was Give Me the Brain!, which we did play.

Give Me the Brain! is a card game that takes about 15 minutes to play through. The idea is that you’re all zombies working in a fast food joint and there’s only one brain (represented by a six-sided die) amongst you. The object is to get rid of all the cards in your hand, but certain cards require that you have the brain in order to play, so there’s a round of bidding to see who gets the brain followed by a round of card play where each person tries to complete “jobs” by playing cards. Each “job” causes some sort of consequence to occur (like someone else will have to draw a card). What makes things interesting is that there are a lot of “perpetual cards” (with things on them like “give this card to the person on your right” that will never actually go out of play).

It took a while to figure this one out because the rules are written in a sort of confusing fashion (plus it was getting late), but once we played a game through we figured it out and were able to play a second pretty easily.

It’s an okay game, and I’d like to give it another shot because I don’t think it got a fair shake that late at night, but it is fairly quick and not too deep, so if you’re looking for something to while away a rainy afternoon, this probably isn’t it… but if you’ve got a group of friends who maybe aren’t entirely sober, this could be pretty fun.