Posted by Lory Gilpatric as Card Games
A few years ago, a tech professional created a simple card game where players try to beat each other’s hands by having a card with the highest value. The part that made CPU Wars Volume 1.0 unique was the fact that the cards were all pictures and specs of computer processor chips.
The game was popular enough to spawn a stand-alone sequel. CPU Wars Volume 2.0 covers 30 CPUs that focus on the history of servers dating back across the past 40 years. The game can be played by itself, or combined with CPU Wars Volume 1.0 for extended play (and more players).
Two tech-savvy friends played CPU Wars 2.0 with me and were immediately giddy over the game’s packaging, which is an anti-static sealed bag. They also enjoyed reminiscing over the status of some of the older computer companies, like SPARC and Sun Microsystems.
I know a thing or two about computers, but feel like I’m reading a different language when it comes to the details of processor chip specifications. However, I could still play this game just as good as my opponents.
The game supports two to three players. All cards are divided evenly amongst the players and each player picks one card from the top of their deck. The active player picks a category from the list on the card (like Max Clock Speed, or Die Size). Everyone then reads the value listed on their own card for that category. The player with the highest or lowest number wins. Whether high or low wins is designated by an up or down arrow next to the category.
You can also play an alternate version of the game where a D8 dice is rolled and the category is chosen at random. I highly recommend playing this version, since it adds an element of chaos to the gameplay.
You don’t have to know a thing about computers to play the game. All you have to do is choose a category and hope your number is higher (or lower) than your opponents’.
From a gamer’s perspective, the rules are a little too vague, which can be frustrating. The game is also a little unbalanced, especially if your card is from a few decades ago. Older processors have lower numbers for nearly every category except Introduction Year and Max TDP. Additionally, just like the traditional card game, War, this can last hours because a player may be down to only a few cards and suddenly end up with most of the deck after just a few rounds. We ended up just stopping after about 20 minutes.
Overall, we enjoyed how easy it was to simply sit down and play the game. It would make the perfect stocking stuffer for your hardware engineer friend or as a secret Santa gift for anyone working in the tech industry.
You can pick up each volume for only $10 or the double-pack for $17. You also can really make your computer tech buddy happy with an actual electrostatic-sensitive device component gift box.