Saturday, February 6, 2016

Dejak Vu - A Jak & Poi Reviewish Story

So, about a month ago in a Math Trade, I received a game called Jak & Poi. Here is a quick overview of the game:

Jak and Poi is a two-player card game based on the hand game Rock, Paper, Scissors. Everybody knows that Rock beats Scissors which beats Paper which then beats Rock. But when we were kids, we all tried to go around this rule by inventing our own hand symbols like Lightning, Bomb or Tank. Jak and Poi builds on this “anything goes” concept and the result is an accessible one-card-per-turn game that has surprising depth and strategy.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

In a nutshell, Jak and Poi is Magic: the Gathering with a Rock Paper Scissors mechanic.

You can play Rock, Paper, or Scissors cards, and based on the outcome, you build up energy (called "Permission"). The thing that I love about this game is there are multiple artists, with unique and varied aesthetic styles, ranging from the super-detailed...


...To the cartoonish. As you can see, to play this card would cost 2 Blue and 2 Red Permission.

There are tons and tons of inside jokes, ranging from My Little Pony, to Power Puff Girls, and many things in between. There are two separate decks. Do you yourself a favor and get both decks, should you decide to play. Now, back to the story!

In the first game, I had Tyler half-defeated due to his unfamiliarity with the cards.  I could see he was setting up for something big, because he had a Vengeful Piñatas card out, which doubles the damage on a card you choose to activate that round. I started to try to build energy for my Gazebo card.

This card, if played at just the right time, will block all damage for the round, as long as it is the high color card. If 2 Pois are played, the card priority is Green, Blue then Red. So we went back and forth with him blocking me from gaining my two Blue. I finally got the two Blue, and the next turn, I played Gazebo.  BAM!  ...Well, not 'bam' at all.  Less than 'bam'.

As I played Gazebo, he played Insurmountable Odds, which, as you can see, is a Green border. Which, combined with the Vengeful Piñatas, gave me 16 damage and killed me.

Okay, I got the hang of this game now, let's play again. So, we played, and I am more cautious. I am saving my mana--err,,,,Permission, and I'm not trying to waste any on bad cards. I cannot get my Gazebo, or any other card, to save my life. I play a couple Poi cards and knock him back a bit.  Okay, he plays Piñatas... Where is my Gazebo? It's four rounds later!  He clearly does not have that giant card of death because he has me at twelve and has not played it. So, this goes on a few rounds of back-and-forth. I draw my card at the end of the round and.... YES! YES, Gazebo, and I have enough permission to play it this round!! I play it, and he plays a Jak, right? This is going to be great!  But he doesn't, He plays.........Insurmountable Odds...seriously!  He says, "Green has priority over blue, you're dead. That's pretty funny, Dad, this game ending exactly the same as the other game." Yeah, Ty, that's hilarious.

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