Take Me Out. Walking Dead. Both brilliant pieces of television that have desperate beasts hungering over any piece of live meat with a pulse that strolls on by. But are their boardgame adaptations any good? One recent Sunday I bribed a few friends (two girls and two boys) with the promise of Chinese takeway and Mars bar vodka to try the games out and see if they make good home entertainment fodder.
Take Me Out
When I opened up the Take Me Out boardgame I was a bit confused. Rather than find a game that played a bit like your PE lessons where the rumpy pumpies get left behind and the popular kids go through, Take Me Out the boardgame plays like a weird pastiche of several other games. Suitable for up to 31 players, a die is rolled to figure out which player takes the position of “The Man” as they go through 4 rounds to find out which of “The Girls” understands him best before they win an Isle of Fernando (Note: The real isle is Tenerife, true stories) token – first to get four tokens win. The first round is essentially Pictionary, followed by a charades round, a session of call my bluff and the “Power is in your hands” moment is a version of blankety blank.
Disappointing that you’re paying money for a branded version of games you’ve been playing for years? Sort of. There is something about playing Call My Bluff after the game’s buzzer has just fired of another “Paddyism” (the buzzer has authentic sounds and recordings from the game) that just makes you say something more… Take Me Out-y? I had fun playing, as did the girls in my boardgame test group, however the boys found it basic and average, with one describing it as “Cluedo for single people”. When I pressed him for what that meant, he told me he had no idea himself. Strange….
Take Me Out The Boardgame Summed Up – Basic, fun, but ultimately a bit “meh”. Just play the four games it’s made up at home already.
Available from £19.99 from Amazon.
Now the Walking Dead boardgame is an entirely different kettle of fish. Taking its photos and story from the television series rather than the comic book, this boardgame is dense. Really dense. The rulebook for Walking Dead takes ten pages to explain the weird Ludo by Dungeons & Dragons crossover that’s perhaps one of the most confusing and hard to set up boardgames since Mousetrap. Players have survival resources to manage, zombies to fight via a dice roll battle system, as well as other players they can screw over as they try and get items from four parts of the gameboard. Suitable for four players, Walking Dead wants you to fail, as the first two participants to “die” turn into zombies themselves and try and beat the other survivors as the game morphs into one of the most interesting co-operative boardgame efforts I have ever played.
Similar to other boardgames like with a hefty learning curve like Settlers Of Catan or Civilization, Walking Dead was hard to get into, but utterly engrossing once you “got” it. Making the most of the source material, the boardgame really replicates the sense of panic and risk you imagine would be involved in raiding a abandoned petrol station and had all of my test group cursing, screaming and, the true sign of a good boardgame, slyly cheating their way to success.
Walking Dead The Boardgame summed up – A steep learning curve eventually gives way to a fun, strategic boardgame of substance. If you fancy a slightly left field boardgame, pick this up.
Available from £28 from Amazon.