Life is lonely for the mad scientist. Late nights waiting for the thunderstorm to reach maximum ferocity. Early mornings to get the best specimens before the cemetery opens to the public. Long hours driving forgotten highways to transport black market flux capacitors or dispose of all that residual anti-matter.
Is it any wonder that a mad scientist inevitably would turn to his or her own dark genius for company? Especially with a name like Dr. Gloom.
Crazy Creatures is a card game where the players grow and shrink the good doctor’s four most audacious creations in order to run out of cards and have the fewest points. Each creature has a color (red, yellow, green, blue) with card values of 1 – 6. In a four player game, each player receives 10 cards. Eight cards are left face down in the “lab” (the middle of the table. Four special “Machine” cards are also displayed in the lab. These Machine Cards are double sided: one side is the Growing Machine and the other is the Minimalizer. One machine for each color.
Grow my creations. Grow! Grow! Wait… not quite so big!
To get rid of their cards, players stack creature cards next to the machine of the same color. If the machine shows the Growing Machine, new creature cards must be equal to or greater than the value of the top card (if a 3 is showing the next card must be a 3 or greater). If the Minimalizer is showing, the card values must decrease.
Any time you play a card of the same value as the one showing, you have a choice. You may either flip one machine card over OR give another player an extra card from the face down cards in the lab.
If you cannot play, you pass. If all players pass in a row the round ends, but as long as one person can keep playing then you can always jump back in. The round lasts until someone runs out of cards OR everyone passes in sequence.
It’s really very simple. Deceptively simple. Rounds start off very easy but as the machines start flipping around, you find that you have no way to play some of your cards. Especially the cards that will count against you the most. The goal is to have the fewest points and the middle value cards (3s and 4s) are worth the most.
Some strategery required. And some luck.
The game moves quickly and you always feel like you have a chance to make a good showing. Evolving and devolving colorful monsters is definitely Major Fun.
For 2-4 players, ages 7+, designed by Michael Schacht, with art by Dennis Lohausen, from Stronghold Games