Quelf

Quelf is a silly game. For those of us who are mature enough to appreciate silliness as an art form, it is both a bench- and a watermark of wackiness.

If you find yourself unwilling to, for example, “suck your thumb in silence and start rolling the dice. When you roll a ‘3,’ shout, ‘Get off my land!’ in your best chipmunk voice,” mayhap Quelf is not exactly your kind of game.

There are five decks of cards, each a different color. There’s a board. Each space on the board is a different color. Hence, each turn you must draw from one of the decks. Each turn. The decks? There’s “Showbiz” (e.g. “You are now a professor of archeology with a lisp. Give us a dissertation on archaeological discoveries in your backyard during the last 10 years.”), and Quizzle, (for another example, “How many fingers does a one-armed and thumbless woman have?), Scatterbrainz (everybody takes turns, trying, without repeating, to add to a list of answers for such questions as “Ways to get your leg out of a spring-loaded, steel bear trap.”), Stuntz (see “suck your thumb,” above), and the fortuitously Curses-like deck of “Roolz” (“For the remainder of the game, every sentence that you speak must end with the words ‘Hear me, for I have spoken.’ If you forget, pay the penalty.”).

Then, on every card, there’s also a “Quelf Effect” – additional rules, adding clarity sometimes, creating chaos others.

Quelf is the kind of game you’ll want to devote most of the evening to. Not that it’s complex or profound, but rather because the consequences of all those different decks become more apparent, and more hilarious as the game unfolds. It may take a while to manifest themselves. It takes a few rounds before you can truly grasp the implications of the various decks and the exacerbating joys of their Quelf Effects, but by that time you’ll probably be laughing too much to notice.

Quelf is a masterpiece of silliness. Hence, Major FUN.

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