R & R Games brought to Gen Con advance copies of three family-style card games currently making their way in to retail.
In Flipping Flags ($10) all players lay down cards simultaneously. Each has the flags of three different nations. The first player to find and call out a matching pair wins the round.
Panda Head ($10) is kind of a trick-taking game, except in each round, tricks one through six are just a set up for trick seven. Further, in trick seven the goal is actually to avoid taking the trick. As usual, the person who played the highest card takes the trick, but in this case the value of the highest card is the point value they score, and scoring points is bad. When a player reaches 21 points, their score is reset to the lowest score at the table. However, when they reach 21 a second time, they’re out of the game. The last player remaining is the winner.
The cards in Face Chase ($15—it comes with a board) are just a series of faces made from combinations of mouth, nose, eye, and hair styles. As soon a card is placed in the center, every player immediately tries to be the first to put down a card matching each of those characteristics. When all four are matched, the board is swiped clean and a new face is placed in the center. Simple enough, the first player to get rid of all their cards is the winner.
For the more advanced strategy gamer, R & R was promoting two titles, both priced at $50 and scheduled to premier at Essen.
Rome is a tile-placement game with triangle-shaped tiles. The points where tiles meet represent buildings and as more tiles are added to each point, the value of the building increases.
Mombasa, Dan of R & R described in very excited accounting terms. The game is about managing a plantation that produces sugar, coffee, and diamonds. It’s played by manipulating entries in public and private books, which Dan assured me is more exciting than it sounds.