Longtime readers know from time to time I write simple games. I’m a big fan of the so-called “German style” of game design. Simply put: good games are simple and abstract. Bad games have cumbersome rules in a pointless attempt to simulate reality.
Somewhat like geeky programmers, I like to see how simple you can make a game and still have it be novel and fun. With that in mind, here’s an idea I had after reading William Poundstone’s The Prisoner’s Dilemma. It’s a great book, and a fairly easy read.
A Game by Zach Weiner
Gather 5 or more people around a table. Give each person a concealable surface on which to write.
One round has 3 steps:
Without conferring, each player writes down whether she will join coalition A, B, C, D, or E.
Each player reveals what she wrote.
All the members of the largest coalition get a point. If the two largest coalitions tie, no points are awarded.
First player to 10 points wins. In case of tie, the members of the largest coalitions receive no points and must pick different coalitions the following round.