This weekend at the Geek Media Expo we got to sample a lot of games, but among the pack stood one that was simple but possessed deceptive levels of strategy, that game is “Nuked.”If you’re like me, you’re not a big fan of party games. I love games with tons of complex strategy that can take hours, if not weeks, to play out fully; games like “Twilight Imperium” or “Arkham Horror.” These are not games for most people. When I come to a party, however, inevitably someone wants to bust out a game, and it’s usually never even something remotely close to Settlers of Catan … it’s “Apple to Apples” or it’s R-rated cousin “Cards Against Humanity.” Finally, I have a game that will not only be a great party game, but one that will hold my interest.

they're not wrong ...
They’re not wrong …

The flavor of the game is this: “It’s a card game for 2 – 8+ players that pits your post apocalyptic settlement against other players as you try to collect enough settlers to win the game. In the process, you can play cards to ruin other settlements or try to protect your own.” The game embraces it’s nuclear fire in order to great effect as there is always a sense of urgency to get your settlers out quicker than anyone else.

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Essentially the game breaks down like this: you always have five cards in your hand, you play one card per turn. You must have supplies to settle in, but those supplies must equal or exceed the value of the settlers. Once you reach 200 settlers, you win. The problem is that if another player has a nuke, then all of your settlers and supplies are gone and you have to start over. This leads to a number of levels of strategy; should I slow down my progress so that I’m not the first to draw fire, or should I rush straight to 200? More than that, it has the feel of when you’re playing a game of “Magic: the Gathering” or the “Dragonball Z: TCG” weighting the possibilityy that your opponent has a counter spell to block your attack, or whether they have a nuke themselves.

The game is also rapid fire. In the two games I played, I continuously found myself realizing it was my turn in what felt like seconds. The fact that you can only play one card at a time severely limits what can happen in a turn, so you don’t have to worry about that one player taking ten minutes to decide their next move. As far as time, the game has the potential to go for a long time depending on the number of players and how many nukes come into play. In the first game, three of the four player got nuked one after the other. If there had been another then it would have effectively restarted the game.

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Plus the art for the game is modern and fantastic. It’s not a retro fallback a la Fallout, like you would expect. It’s simple, but effective and does a great job of just looking fresh. They’re not even standard size cards, they’re square, small, and really stand out.

There’s only 3 days left of their kickstarter, but they’re fully funded as of now. I recommend jumping in and getting yourself a copy while you can, you’ll regret it if you don’t. You can also check out their website here

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