Get the MacGuffin
Get the MacGuffin is a quick game where players must make clever use of a limited hand of cards ranging from ridiculously powerful to just plain ridiculous. A calculated risk might gain you the coveted MacGuffin, but can you hold onto it until the last card is played? Is the MacGuffin even out there at all?
To start, deal the cards out equally (maximum five cards). The remaining cards are set aside for The Tomb. On their turn, a player will have several options: play an Action or Object card, use an Object, or discard an Object.
There are several powerful cards that may become yours during the course of gameplay. The player with the MacGuffin will frequently win the game, but holding onto that card can prove quite difficult.There are cards with actions that force players switch hands, steal cards from other players, or collect cards from everyone and redistribute them.
When you’re out of cards, you’re out of the game. So the idea is to keep yourself in the game for as long as possible. Gaining cards from other players, the discard pile, or The Tomb is one way. Or, force other players to discard their cards quicker than you. The Rock, The Paper, and The Scissors are good tools for that.
You can play cards or actions that burn up a turn. When playing The Hippie, flash a peace sign as your turn. Play The Shrugmaster, and simply shrug as your turn. The Crown is a good card to have, as it allows the player, also known as “Your Majesty,” to pass their turn. That is, unless a MacGuffin is in play, blocking this card effect.
Of course, the MacGuffin is the card to have. (Or the Backup MacGuffin if the real MacGuffin isn’t in play.) It is infinitely replayable, as the owner can pick it up and put it down again as their play. But watch out… there are dangerous cards out there. The Thief allows a player to steal an Object card in play. The Merchant trades one of their Objects with another player (or outright steals it if no other Objects are in play). The Assassin can discard any Object in play or a card at random from a hand. So The Assassin might come after a MacGuffin in play.
When a player has an Object in play at the start of your turn, they may discard it as their turn action. If they are down to only Object cards on the table, they may be forced discard an Object as their turn. But remember, a player is eliminated when they have no cards, either in their hand or on the table. They are immediately and permanently out of the game. When only one player remains in the game—with all others having been eliminated for having no cards left in either their hands or on the table—that player wins.
A card game for 2-11 players?!? This makes me so happy! Because my gaming groups are just that… either it is me with one person, or me with many people, struggling to find a game that we can all play.
With an age range of 8 to adult, this is a game you can get younger or more inexperienced gamers to the table with. It is not a complex game, and once you get rolling, the gameplay is very intuitive. It is great for a family game night where you want to get both your young niece and older grandpa to the table and they both can participate on the same level. These types of games are always nice to have in the collection.
The component quality is excellent. The cardstock is thick for the oversized cards. They will last through multiple gameplays with ease. The artwork is original—it’s decent, but nothing spectacular.
This is a quick game that will only last 5 or 10 minutes maximum. I can see playing one, maybe two rounds with friends, and then moving on to the next game. I don’t know how often this will hit the game table with a regular gaming group. But, it’s fun while it lasts. It’s not an expensive game, with an MSRP of only $10.00. So you will get your money’s worth.
There is also an element of luck in the game. Players are dealt a hand of cards at the beginning of the game. The only way to get more cards is to acquire them from another player. There is no drawing of cards from a draw pile. If a player isn’t dealt any Actions or Objects that let them steal from others, their time in the game might be limited.
And the MacGuffin, clearly the most powerful card in the game, might not even be in play. There is a Back-Up MacGuffin, which maintains the power of the MacGuffin when it’s not in play. But there is a chance that it might be in The Tomb and not be in play either. There are Actions that can remove cards from The Tomb. And there are other cards that can be played for victory even if the MacGuffin isn’t in play. But it might seem anticlimactic to have a win without one.
If there is one thing that Looney Labs can do, it’s make a good card game. You can definitely feel the Looney design elements in this game. There are card actions that feel like something you would encounter in their best-known card game, Fluxx.
- Release Date: April 5, 2018
- MSRP: $10.00
- Playing Time: 5-10 minutes
- Age Range: 8-Adult
- Player Count: 2-11
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