Two upcoming products from Buffalo Games are Gotcha and Phone Frenzy.

Gotcha is a game about following rules and catching other players breaking them. Each turn a player gets to assign a rule from their hand of cards to one or more other players; that is all. The difficulty is that during the game, players must always follow the rules assigned to them. Rules include such things as raising your left hand when speaking, or whispering, or holding your hand to your forehead. If one player catches another not following a rule and hits a buzzer, then the first player moves forward on the board two spaces, and the second player moves back one space. The first player to the end is the winner.

Phone Frenzy is a game in which players use their cell phones and contact lists (but it is not a mobile app). At the beginning, each player selects five contacts that may be consulted during the course of the game. The first team to complete four tasks is the winner. Tasks include such things as getting your contacts to message you three animal pictures, or calling a contact and getting them to hang up on you. The key here is that you can’t explain that these things are part of a game.

At first, keeping up with the rules in Gotcha is actually not that difficult. But as the rules change and accusations begin to fly, the game can get quite chaotic. If you’re looking for a simple but engaging game to liven up a party, it seems like a good choice. I’m not so sure, though, about Phone Frenzy. The concept is interesting enough, but it seems like it could get very irritating to your friends very quickly, particularly as you’re not supposed to tell them that you’ve volunteered them for the game.