Saturday, May 30, 2015

Camp Games: Infernal Contraption

When Car Camping, particularly in a large group it can be nice to have some games along. The weather won't always oblige you, it might pour rain, or get so hot and muggy you can hardly stand to move much less sit beside a roaring fire. And sometimes it's just nice to do something with somebody that doesn't take a lot of energy. Card based games are excellent for this, since they're usually fairly quick to clean up, don't take much space or weight, and can be played repeatedly

One such card game I'm fond of isn't much like others you might think of when I say "Card Game." Called "Infernal Contraption" it's about a bunch of tinkering goblins making a rube goldberg machine out of their scrap pile. Each player starts with a power core in front of them, and adds cards which represent pieces of their machine to their creation. Each card must be connected to a power core, or it will stop functioning, and cards process left to right, top to bottom. Some of them let you reclaim things from the discard pile, others attack another player's machine or scrap pile (deck), others still modify what the cards they're attached to do. There are different power sources, indicated by icons on the edge of the card. Something mechanical might need a gear icon, to indicate mechanical power. Something electronic might need to be connected to an electricity icon. There are also chemical and all-purpose energy icons. other cards amplify or modify the behavior of a device they're attached to.

I personally prefer to focus on mining for more cards and building up my machine rather than going directly on the offensive. I also tend to try not to start things, and then dedicate my wrath to whoever provokes me first. Unless I'm training someone anyway. I might start things, or spread out my fury if I'm teaching. I like this for camping because one, it doesn't take much space, two it plays pretty fast, on the order of 30-60 minutes, while retaining playback value and three, it accomodates up to four players. The main downside is that it does take a good deal of table space to actually build your machines. But you can fit four players on the picnic tables that populate most Wisconsin state parks.

For the longest time it was near impossible to get your hands on the game. FORTUNATELY, they finally reprinted it, and the box now includes the expansion set as well as the core game. If you're interested, I'm including the amazon link to buy it below!

1 comment:

  1. I haven't been camping in way too long, but I do like to find portable card games I can take to get togethers. I'll have to keep this one in mind.

    My usual picks for portable gaming are The Resistance and Coup, with Fiasco or Microscope for when I'm feeling more like playing a story game.