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Scream Machine

Scream Machine by Jolly Roger Games
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Manufacturer: Jolly Roger Games  Visit their site
Designer: Joe M. Huber
Players: 3 to 6
Time: 30 to 45 Minutes
Categories: Card Game
Mechanics: Action Point Allowance System
Set Collection
Card Drafting
Ages: 7 and up
Availability: Unavailable 
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Our Price:  $10.50 - Retail $18.00
Reward Points: 1,050
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From the Publisher...

Players portray rival amusement park barons competing for the mad throng of thrillseekers looking for their summer excitement fix by building unique styles of rides and entertainment venues to painlessly separate customers from their money in this amusement park-themed card game.

Our Comments...

Note that there are a couple points of confusion in the rulebooklet for this game and at least one rule was simply left out. A complete set of rules can be found at the Board Game Geek link from this page. The rules there are expanded, they include more examples and there's a two-player variant added as well. We recommend reading those rules before playing!

Here's a mini-review by Mike Petty from our 12/29/03 newsletter:

Scream Machine is a filler with a strong theme. Designed by Joe Huber and published by Jolly Roger Games, this is a quick romp for three to five players competing for the best amusement park.

Each round players have four action points to spend on things like drawing cards or increasing options. The main action each round, though, is to place attraction cards out that will appeal to the customers involved. Some customers like food, others like water rides. There are seven different types of attractions in all and each has cards with values 1, 3 or 5. The total of these values in each player's park determines which player will attract a customer on the table. For example, a customer in the middle of the table who wants "family attractions" will go to the player with the highest total value of family attraction cards in his park.

One nice twist is that each pair of players has at least two customers between them that only they compete for. So, even if you don't have the highest total value of an attraction, you may have a high enough total to beat out the park to your left or right. Also, some customers are "cheapskates" and they'll go to the park with the least total points of all attractions. This counteracts the usual strategy of just piling on as many points as you can in a park.

This game can be over in as few as four turns, depending on the number of players and it goes really fast once everyone knows the rules! The best move you can make on any turn is fairly obvious once you take in all the information on the table. All that remains is the question of what will turn up in the deck for a later player or what another player has in his hand, so luck will play a factor to be sure. All in all, if you're looking for a fun, light game with a very appropriate theme, give Scream Machine a whirl.

Read more information at the Board Game Geek website

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