Last Week’s Gaming – February 4th, 2019

20190204 Resident Evil 2 Results

A Tale of Lemonade and Blackmail

Board games this week took a hit playtime wise, thanks largely to two Video Game releases at the end of January.

Kingdom Hearts 3 has been taking a lot of my playtime, and I am loving every second of it!  But I am jumping ahead – let’s talk about what I played last week!

That’s Not Lemonade

Waiting for some people to arrive on games night, That’s Not Lemonade was a great bit of filler to begin the night with.

As I said in the review, it’s a light bit of fun that let us pass a bit of time.  No lengthy rules explanation and even the player that was fighting the pizza menu on his phone could join in with minimal downtime.

After a couple of rounds and confirmation that the fourth player would be longer than originally guessed, we moved to a slightly meatier time killer.

20190204 That's Not Lemonade
Taught and the first game played in less time than it takes to order 3 pizzas with a vegan option - on a mobile!

Archer Once You Go Blackmail

Love Letter is a great game, and as said previously the Archer version is still the hardest for me to categorise.

It still has the base Love Letter rules but changes the burn card to becoming part of the game, similar to Lost Legacy.  This changes the game just enough that I don’t call it pure Love Letter anymore, but not enough to change it to the big box premium versions.

That aside, the game did what it always does – the three of us had a great time playing until the fourth player arrived.  Another reliable light fun filler that will take about 20-30 minutes to play.

20190204 Archer Once You Go Blackmail
My only issue - first round Archers with calls of 'LAAAANNNNAAAAAAA' :p

Mythos Tales

The third investigation has finally been played!  While I had played the first two games with Harls, this week I decided to make it the main game for games night, introducing two new players for a four-person case.

Overall, it worked well.

The case itself said scoring was harder, but that said we beat the case well with a score of 15.  We didn’t get the ‘Beat Sherlock’ style score for the first time, but all four of us still had a great time.

20190204 Mythos Tales
New rules and a teasing of increasing difficulty through the cases makes me look forward to the next game

Resident Evil 2

So Monday night, I finished Leon’s campaign (Scenario A – Leon for the veterans).  Under the circumstances, I was pretty happy with my run – a B ranking (apparently saves don’t count anymore for your score so yay!) and I found a few bits and pieces.

I was exploring a bit, but when I found I could massively backtrack I just let it be.  Resident Evil 2 is amazing.  End of story.

I might just restart on Assisted mode (Easy mode) later and try for a Platinum run, because on Tuesday the next game came out…

20190204 Resident Evil 2 Results
Mix between enjoying the new visuals and getting through the story, not bad for a first result I thought

Kingdom Hearts 3

Well, I haven’t hidden how much I have been waiting for this series, and it is everything I was hoping for.

Right now I have 100 per cent on five worlds and am keen to get through the sixth world story.  I could be flying through the story, but backtracing a completed world and searching for treasures and other collectables is a heap of fun.

I will be talking about the game in more detail in a couple of weeks – I don’t want to spoil anything for new players.  If you want to know a little more, you can catch up with the last Blatherings and hear what I think 🙂

20190204 Kingdom Hearts 3 Memories 1
So much I want to show, but I don't want any spoilers less than a week in!

What about you?  I hope you have had a great week gaming.  Let me know! Feel free to comment below, or shout out on Facebook or @JohnHQLD me on Twitter!

Until tomorrow,

JohnHQLD

That’s Not Lemonade Review

That's Not Lemonade Cover
That's Not Lemonade Cover
Released 2018
Designer Matt Fantastic
Publisher Tuesday Knight Games (Website)
Players 2 – 6 (Best with 4+)
Playing Time 10-15 minutes
Category Push Your Luck
Social Game
Filler Game
BoardGameGeek View on BGG

Who hasn’t thought about ‘switching drinks’ with someone?

In the US, the idea of the corner lemonade stand and the red plastic Solo cups are icons.  The rest of the world has seen this perfect image of innocence thanks to many, many forms of media, and is the basic premise of this That’s Not Lemonade.

There is a competition between the local kids as to who can drink the most lemonade (Make the best lemonade?  Something like that.  It’s not really important).  But the nefarious ‘Little Johnny’ has decided to spice things up by switching some drinks for something That’s Not Lemonade!

Rounds are simple – drink the most lemonade by having the most lemons in your hand at the end of the round, but if get something That’s Not Lemonade you are out immediately.

Win 3 rounds, win the game.  Simple, quick and easy!

That's Not Lemonade Components
The box is as big as a soft drink can, and the play while simple is dceptively fun.

Setup

Setup is incredibly simple.  Up to 6 players pick up a cup and pick a character.

The characters don’t really add anything to the game.  There aren’t special powers or rules for different characters, just grab the one that puts a smile on your face 🙂

The information at the top of the card shows how many of each card type is in the deck, so that’s handy to know.

If you are playing with 2 people, pull out one of the That’s Not Lemonade cards from the deck.  Playing with 3 people, take out 2 That’s Not Lemonade Cards.  Pick a dealer, and let them shuffle the deck.

That's Not Lemonade Characters
The Characters are cute, but no player powers make them laregly summary cards only.

You will probably be ready to play in less time than it took you to read this explanation!

Playing the game

The easiest way to think of the mechanics of That’s Not Lemonade is to think of Blackjack.

On your turn, you can Hit or Pass.  Hit means you are dealt a card, pass means that you turn over your cup and can no longer drink any more Lemonade.

If you Hit, the dealer deals you a card and you look at it secretly.  If it’s a That’s Not Lemonade card, immediately turn over your cup and put the That’s Not Lemonade Card face up on top of the cup.  This means you are out of the round as you recover!

Don’t show the rest of your hand if any though – the only card that is revealed is the That’s Not Lemonade card.

Now the rules do say to put your cup on its side, but we had a bit of rolling so went with the ‘card on top’ rule.  Go with what works for you would be my advice here.

That's Not Lemonade Card Types
As long as you don't pull That's Not Lemonade, you can continue. It's this simple decision tree that makes for such a fast game.

If you get Lemonade or Ice, you are safe and the dealer proceeds to the next person.

If you decide that you are comfortable with the number of lemons in your hand, you can decide to pass on your turn which you indicate by flipping your cup.  You are still in with a chance to win, but you can relax a little bit and watch everyone try and work out what you have.

If there is only one person that hasn’t got any That’s Not Lemonade cards, they automatically win the round.

Otherwise once everyone still in has Passed, everyone shows their hands and counts the number of lemons.  There are 2 cards with Double lemons, so don’t forget to count 2 with these cards!

The winner puts a single lemon card under their character card to show they have won, and everyone resets their cups and play begins again.

That's Not Lemonade End of Round-Scoring
So two players have 3 lemons, but the top right will win as Ice is a tie breaker!

The quick amongst you will have noticed though that you have set back up for round two with one less lemon card.

That’s right – the more you play, the more likely you are to take a hit of Ice or That’s Not Lemonade as the lemonade runs out!

Winning The Game

Winning is simple – the first person to win 3 rounds, wins the game.  As I said, That’s Not Lemonade is quick, simple and fun – there is not a lot to get your head around!

The Good

That’s Not Lemonade is a game that is incredibly simple, but this is a good thing.  On each player turn, there is only one decision to make – Hit or Pass.

Analysis Paralysis is all but eliminated, but the social pressure of encouraging someone to drink and their squirming in indecisiveness is always fun to watch.

Each round only lasts a minute or two even with 6 players.  Only having a deck of 18 cards with 4 ‘dangerous’ cards means rounds cannot last a long time.  Almost everyone has been exposed to Blackjack, but even if they haven’t the Hit or Pass mechanic is easy to pick up on, and only counting lemons makes objectives simple to grasp as well.

That's Not Lemonade All Cards
There are only 18 cards, and as you play this amount gets whittled down. Play is amazingly fast.

Like many games, the first round will be the longest, but That’s Not Lemonade has the advantage of thinning the deck everytime someone wins, guaranteeing that games wind up quickly.

The cups are more than a nostalgia item or gimmick.  If your cup is ready to drink from, your in.  If it’s upside down, you don’t want to drink.  If it’s on its side (by the rules) or covered with a card (my rules) you are busy recovering from a bad experience.  This makes the game state easy to take in with a glance, even with 6 players.

Also, each game takes 10-15 minutes even at high player counts.  That makes for a great social filler experience while waiting for people, and as the game is about the size of a can of soft drink, easy to have on standby for such occasions.

That's Not Lemonade State of Play
While all together, I bet you can tell which player is doing what just from this snapshot.

The Bad

That’s Not Lemonade is a game with a lot left to chance.  It has to be, or it couldn’t be the type of game it is.

Even knowing this, going out on your first card is never a fun experience, and this is something that can happen multiple rounds in a row if you are really unlucky.

It’s chance, and not likely to always happen to one person, but be prepared to potentially counsel players that could be hit by this.

That's Not Lemonade Unlucky Run
You have to be really unlucky, but this is a potential win scneario.

But really that’s the only real downside for me – there is the potential you can get hit with a run of bad luck run in a 10-minute game.

There are people that may look down on a such a simple filler game, but as a general rule I would guess such players would object to most games described as ‘Filler’, ‘Social’ or ‘Party’ games.

There are always exceptions to such rules though, so let them try it.  Even players I have met completely opposed to filler games will give one a try if it’s only a few minutes long.  But like any game, there is an audience for it and That’s Not Lemonade may have wider appeal to U Mad Bro, there are some that just won’t like it.

Wait, U Mad Bro?  What’s that got to do with That’s Not Lemonade?

Ahh, well a lot actually.  You see on a simple level That’s Not Lemonade is a retheme of Matt Fantastic’s U Mad Bro.

Gameplay is pretty much identical from what I understand, but instead of lemonade stands players were Jersey Boardwalk Bro’s trying to impress the Babes with washed up bits of Cthulhu.  Get the most pieces and win, but if you go Mad – you’re out.

Personally, I prefer the lemonade theme, it feels less forced with the mechanics and eliminates the eye roll that some players show with Cthulhu themed games, not to mention the Jersey Bros.

Until next time,

JohnHQLD
That's Not Lemonade

Final Thoughts

Want a game that’s quick, fun and takes very little brain power to play?  That’s Not Lemonade is probably right up your alley.

I cannot imagine game nights filled with just That’s Not Lemonade, but something to occupy the table while the new game is being set up, an opener, closer or straight-up time passer is the perfect time to pull it out.

Setup time is almost non-existent, and the combined social experience is silly but enjoyable at the same time.

Overall
8/10
8/10

Pros

  •  Easy to Teach and Learn
  •  Great for conversation during play
  •  Fun filler format

Cons

  •  Not for people wanting deep gameplay
  •  Going out first card is a real possibility

Last Week’s Gaming – December 17th, 2018

20181217 Cryptid

Do you have 5 Minutes to Geek Out over the Deep Sea? Or use Lemonade for Cryptid bait?  Let’s Go ask our Muse!

Wow.  I can’t believe there is only about a week until Christmas.  So much is being thrown around in last minute preparation in every part of my life, but I managed to get a lot more gaming in than I thought!

5 Minute Marvel

Another Alpal special this week, but the timing was excellent.  Last week I received my copy of 5 Minute Dungeon and the Curses! Foiled again expansion, so this retheme was a great way to warm up!

The idea is pretty simple overall – each player is a hero and has a pile of cards with icons on them.  You have 5 minutes to work your way through a pile of enemy cards by matching the symbols on your cards with the symbols on the bad guy.

20181217 5 Minute Marvel
It looks a mess, becuase it is. This is not a game to play neatly, but quickly!

It plays real time and time is tight, so cards go flying and mistakes are made, but that is always part of the fun!  First game, made it to the final boss Thanos but ran out of time.  Definitely will be compared to the base role play theme!

Muse

An early Christmas present was unwrapped at games night, allowing a game I wouldn’t have looked at twice to be enjoyed by all!

Muse is like a guided game of charades, but even that isn’t really correct.  One team draws six cards with fantastical art on them, and 2 cards with ways the other team’s Muse can give a hint.

Hints can be sounds, poses, shapes, anything really – but most of the cards we saw had a non-fictional stipulation, much to Alpal’s horror :p

The first team to get 5 clues correct wins, but it’s one of those great party games where you can just play as long as you are all having fun.  If you see a copy and enjoy party games, grab a copy – you will enjoy it!

20181017 Muse
Pick the right card. It doesn't sound hard, but it led to a whole lot of fun!

Geek Out

I enjoy a good trivia night, but there are a lot of topics I am at a bit of a disadvantage in.  Pop Culture, Music past the 60’s, Most names – these are all things my brain has trouble holding on to.

This is a situation a lot of people find themselves in and can be why some people do not like trivia.  There are also people that are the other way – a topic or genre is so ‘easy’ for them that trivia isn’t challenging for them.

Geek Out bridges this gap by having not only having a huge range of topics but adding a bidding mechanic where you have to answer questions with multiple answers.  Examples are in the photo, but if you want a surprisingly fun trivia game Geek Out is highly recommended.

20181217 Geek out
It's a trivia game, but one that allows a suprising amount of flexibility and incclusivity

Deep Sea Adventure

Oh, Oink Games, you subtle and many-layered publisher of greatness.

You have heard me talk about Kobayakawa and A Fake Artist Goes to New York.  Deep Sea Adventures is one of their earlier efforts, and one that is incredibly deep – no puns intended.

Players are competing to dive for the richest treasure haul, but thematically you have had to work together to pool your resources and hire a single sub.

20181217 Deep Sea Adventure
I hear a lot of people call Deep Sea Adventure a push your luck game, but that's only a small part of it.

Now many have described Deep Sea Adventure as Push Your Luck, but this is only a small part of the game.  The best description is Competitive Coop, with a potential traitor mechanic.  Everyone must work together to a point, or everyone will fail.

Not for everyone, but expect a review in the near future.

Cryptid

The search for Cryptids – animal or creatures that are unsubstantiated – has kept public attention for a long time.  Creatures such as the Yeti, Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster – these are all names people know.

Cryptid takes the idea of searching for such creatures and makes it a deduction game.  Each player has one certain clue such as ‘Within 2 tiles of water’ and the first player to locate the creature wins.

Apart from the deduction aspect, an intriguing aspect is the ‘honest lying’ of the game.  When answering other players with your information, you must always be truthful – but you can ask questions you know are ‘wrong’ to identify other players clues and locate the creature yourself.

20181217 Cryptid
Cryptid looks complicated, but it's a very simple and straightforward game. That doesn't make it less challenging though.

That’s Not Lemonade

Originally a game called ‘You Mad Bro?’, Tuesday Knight Games has taken Matt Fantastic’s game and released a quick, fun and quirky push your luck game.

Similar in mechanics to Blackjack, instead of reaching 21 you are trying to make the best lemonade possible.  The theory is pretty simple – have the most lemons in your drink, you will have the best lemonade!

But this is a competition, so someone may sneak something in That’s Not Lemonade!  Quick to play and learn, expect to see more on this game freshly delivered from Kickstarter soon!

20181217 That's Not Lemonade
That's Not Lemonade is simple, yet addictive. And the longer you play, the riskier it gets.

Pokemon Let’s Go

Another round of Pokemon Let’s Go was played this week.  Not too much progress overall, but I am getting there!

This week I took on Team Rocket and rescued a Cubone, allowing me to get the scope I need for Pokemon Tower.

I also think I am getting close to unlocking Pokemon Go and Pokemon Let’s Go integration, as some people have started referring to Go Park in the game.

I don’t know how much I will get in this week, but it’s still a fun pick up and put down game.  And I am still walking around with my Poke Ball Plus!

20181217 Pokemon Lets Go
Giovanni was taken down for the first time. Pokemon Tower Next!

What about you?  What have you been up to?  Have you had time to play, or are you flat out in the Holiday lead up as well?  Shout out on Facebook or @JohnHQLD me on Twitter!

Until tomorrow,

JohnHQLD

What is this? It tastes… That’s Not Lemonade!

That's Not Lemonade Box

Small and simple doesn’t exclude a bunch of fun

I have been enjoying the efforts of Tuesday Knight Games for some time now.  Two Rooms and a Boom and its expansion Necroboomicon are great games for new groups of people.  World Championship Russian Roulette is a game I have already reviewed.

And today I can’t wait to tell you about the next Tuesday Knight Game I will be playing – That’s Not Lemonade!

If the name sounds familiar, it may be because I bought it up briefly in the last Blatherings.  You may have heard about this game over the last couple of years as a convention test game under the previous title U Mad Bro? where people have had a ton of fun playing it – and now it’s finally on Kickstarter.

Mechanically That’s Not Lemonade! is very similar U Mad Bro mechanically from what I understand, it’s just been rethemed away from the normally dark Cthulhu theme to a more lighthearted one to match the tone.

So what is That’s Not Lemonade?  Well, there really isn’t much to tell.  Each play is trying to make a living selling lemonade, but it’s hard to stand out in a crowd like this.  So everyone has decided to settle marketing rights in the only sensible manner – by seeing who can drink the most lemonade!

But of course, it can’t just be that simple.  ‘Little Johnny’ has decided to get up to some hijinks and make his own lemonade, so be careful what’s put in front of you!

That's Not Lemonade Characters
For such a small amount of cards, the art style manages to be fun and unique. Just check out the video on the Kickstarter page to see for yourself!
That's Not Lemonade Lemons and Ice
Lemons! The one time you want to draw lemons 🙂 Double lemons are rare, but give you a score boost. Ice is used for ties.

Gameplay is ridiculously simple.  There is a deck of cards that show either lemons, double lemons, ice, or That’s Not Lemonade!  On your turn, you decide to drink (take a card) or pass.  If you drink, take a card – but if it’s not lemonade, you’re out of the round!

Play continues until all players have passed, there are no cards left or there is only one player left.  All players not eliminated then count the number of lemons on their cards, and the highest count wins!  In the event of a tie, count the Ice cards to break them.  If you win, you get to pick one of your cards and place it face down in front of you as a mark of winning a round.

The deck is then reshuffled, and the next round begins with all players back in the game.  The first player to win three rounds wins the game!

I can hear you asking “But you keep one of your cards in front of you.  Doesn’t that change the number of cards in the deck?”  And the simple answer to that is yes.  Yes, it does.  It’s one of the small touches that makes That’s Not Lemonade! so fun for me.

So you not only get a point for winning, but the card you keep becomes very important as you then get to mess with the count of the cards.  Every card that a player gets to score means the chances of drawing the That’s Not Lemonade! card.  But it also reduces the chances of drawing lemons, making it harder for everyone to score as highly as the game continues.

And that’s it!  Small and easy to transport, it’s just a deck of cards and some shot glass sized red plastic cups.  It’s also been designed to be a ‘drop in, drop out’ style game so people can come and go as they please during a game.

Plus it’s a super easy Kickstarter – pledge USD$10 for the game, done and dusted.

Word of warning though for non-US backers – shipping is more than the game.  To Australia and apparently the UK, it’s USD$15 to ship, which frankly hurts.  But if you order additional copies, it’s only USD$11 for the extra copy and shipping, so I suggest doubling or even tripling up with some friends to save on the shipping that way.

That’s Not Lemonade! is not a game meant to be taken seriously.  It’s a game that is supposed to be fun to play and teach and suck in those people around you into giving it a go.  As such, I think it will be a great filler and icebreaker game, and one I think should be in many gamers collections.

Check out That’s Not Lemonade on Kickstarter here.

Until next time,

JohnHQLD