I think that it is fitting that my first review as Major Fun should be Zobmondo!!’s frantic party game Party Gras. While it is true that my Hoosier roots run almost 40 years deep, I have a special connection to and fondness for the Crescent City. I started my MFA with the University of New Orleans in the fall of 2007—just in time for Hurricane Katrina to crash the party and unmask some of the uglier faces of the body politic. Despite the devastation (both social and physical) New Orleans prevails and a healthy dose of that contagious, joyful spirit made its way into Party Gras.
The game consists of a big deck of cards and a whole mess’a beads in a colorful plastic case. Divide the beads evenly among all players. Look at those beads. Covet those beads. The winner of Party Gras is the player who has the most beads at the end of the round.
Like any great parade, Party Gras requires a Grand Marshall. This person determines how long the round will last (10 – 15 minutes is good). The Grand Marshall begins the party, plays like everyone else, but is also tasked with settling any disputes. The Grand Marshall shuffles the cards, deals two to each player, and makes a pile of the rest. The party is about to begin. Look at your cards. Choose your mission…
There are six kinds of missions—six ways to take beads from another player. In brief the missions are:
- Mind Control: make another player do the action on the card.
- Caught in the Act: Catch another player doing the listed action.
- Talk it Out: Find one player who matches the description on the card. You will need to talk to them and ask questions.
- Fashion Police: Find a player wearing the listed item.
- Go Crazy: Perform a crazy stunt and get rewarded.
- Challenge: Challenge another player to a crazy stunt.
Each card has three missions from which you may choose one. Most missions earn you one string of beads, but some earn you two. When you complete a mission, discard the card and pick another. You will always have 2 cards for a total of six possible choices. If the Grand Marshall thinks too many people are stuck, maybe you can draw a third. Or a fourth! Or trade ‘em all in keep playing. The Grand Marshall is in charge and better keep the party moving!!
The missions are a blast. Stuff like: “Make someone apologize for insulting you” and “Make someone refuse to kiss you” and “Find someone who likes tea better than coffee.” Everyone is talking at the same time. You never know if you are being tricked into something or asked a legitimate question. You can’t lie (otherwise Talk it Out doesn’t work) and you can’t refuse to do an action but refusing to do silly things in a party game means that someone is unclear on the concept of a party game!!
Party Gras is loud and fast and frustrating and MAJOR FUN!! There are plenty of Major Fun party games out there, but Party Gras brings the joy and releases it to the world in gales of laughter and ridiculous antics. All for a handful of beads.
Major Fun fo’ tru…
Party Gras is recommended for 4-12 players over the age of 13. It was designed by Greg Zima and is published under license by Zobmondo!! Entertainment LLC.