September 23, 2008


I'm pleased to announce my latest game to the throngs that have undoubtedly been waiting for it. Doublecross is a card game that's designed to set up a constantly uneven battlefield between the players. The game rules set up a web of relationships that attempts to keep everyone scheming and negotiating.

Each player starts with all the cards of one suit. Each card is worth a value equal to its number (face cards are 10) that can be played, once a turn, against any one other player. The goal of the game is to have the fewest points played against you after all cards have been played.

It gets interesting with the addition of a card-trading phase between each turn. Players can exchange one card a turn, and playing certain suits against certain players counts double against them. The game is set up such that the one player who has the most valuable cards (to you) can't trade with you; you have to get his cards through the other players. The result is that every player is constantly balancing his relationships with two others.

I only got the chance to playtest Doublecross once, with a group of friends at my summer camp. A single round of the game took the better part of an hour to play, surprisingly. That's mostly because there was plenty of scheming, as I had hoped. After about 8 cards had been played per player, the two sides were mostly set in stone and it was simply a matter of playing the rest of the cards. Reviews from the players were divided. Two of us loved it and two of us were ambivalent. One of them stated that I had obviously designed the game for myself, since I so love deceit in games (see Balderdash and the diplomacy in Risk). It's true, and I take that comment for a good sign.

I'd love to playtest Doublecross some more and continue to iterate, but it's proven difficult to get together three other people to play a card game that none of them know. I'll work on it.

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