August 30, 2006

Roll'em Show'em Drinking Game Review

Roll'em Show'emPicture this - you're sitting around in your living room having a few drinks and socializing with friends and acquaintances. It's a mixed crowd, and there are a few peeps there you wouldn't mind seeing at least partially naked, maybe kissing up on a little bit. It starts to get late and people are thinking about going home but you realize there's an electricity in the air that's unmistakable. Instead of letting them take off, you pull out a risque party game, dim the lights, and proceed to get frisky.

Sounds great, doesn't it?

Unfortunately, those are not the conditions we had for review Roll'em Show'em, a dice and card-based game that promises a shot at that very situation. What we had was a group of drunk, surly and (more or less) hetero male interns we'd conscripted for the sole purpose of road testing the game. What can we say? All the chicks bailed on us for some reason. So what did we think about Roll'em Show'em under these decidedly non-optimal conditions? Read on to find out.

The Game Play:
Basically, there are two stacks of cards, six white and six blue, that include the numbers on the dice. These cards are divvied up among the players, and then someone rolls two dice (you guessed it - one white, one blue). The people with the cards showing the numbers on the task dice then must perform a task that is dictated by a roll of a third die called the Big Black Task Die.

Box ContentsThis die, true to its name, is big and black and has icons representing different tasks on it, such as doing a shot, kissing another player or removing an article of clothing. You go around the circle rolling the dice, performing the tasks, and hopefully getting drunk and naked, until there's only one player left standing. That person also gets the fistful of money that was in the pot.

Oh, didn't we mention the money? There are certain tasks and aspects of this game that require the use of cash, including paying in when the dice tell you to. The makers of this game have nicely included some fake Monopoly-type money in the game case but we recommend you use real money for reasons that will become clear later.

The Learning Curve:
If you're introducing a game at a party for the first time, complicated rules and long, drawn-out explanations can be the kiss of death. Luckily, Roll'em Show'em had an extremely short learning curve, and even the dimmest of our interns was able to piece together what he should do at any given time. We picked up the game, doled out the cards and money, grabbed the dice and started playing in a matter of minutes with little or no explaining - a true plus when you have a few pops in you.

The Fun Factor:
Here's where it gets interesting. We have a feeling the interns would've been much more invested and had a much better time if there had been a real chance to see actual breasts. As it stood, they would just say "this is where I would ask someone to take off their shirt" with a faraway look in their eyes. Still, the gameplay itself was fast and furious and everyone was interested in the game even without the possibility of cheesecake, thanks most likely to the "Do a Shot" side of the Big Black Task Die.

Also, remember earlier when we said you'll want to play with real money? This is where we tell you why. The mechanics of the game generally call for only two people to be doing a task at any given time, and since we had seven people sitting around the table it left some of the others with little to do while the tasks were being performed. The money came in handy when people started doing their own little side bets about whether the tasks would actually be completed. We also thought it might be helpful to let players pay their way out of challenges they didn't want to do, but maybe that's just because we were a bunch of dudes who didn't really want to kiss each other.

Even more interesting was the idea of starting a side pot and bidding to get people to perform a task. For example, if the dice says a player should take off their shirt and they're reluctant to do so, it would be interesting if other players were able to add money to the side pot to coax them to do it. When you play yourself we recommend you think about using this mechanic to keep everyone invested in the game.

The Verdict:
All in all we had a good time, even if our demographics were skewed a bit male. The game was different from what we're used to playing, and it also offered a chance to possibly one day see a girl naked. That's worth the price of admission any day. You can pick up a copy of Roll'em Show'em at the company's website for $39.95; the price seemed a bit stiff if we were planning to buy it for ourselves, but we think the game would make a great gift for the college student or perennial bachelor in your life. And what's a few bucks when you're helping your buddy have a chance to see some boobies?

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Posted by Jake Jamieson at August 30, 2006 10:17 AM
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