GIL Series: Ridiculously Stupid

Games I Love (GIL in the title) is an article series about games I sincerely love. Inspired by numerous "best 100 games of all time" lists, I initially sought to cover 50 games, as it's a nice number. However, upon reflection, I settled on a core group of 37 games. For each article I've grouped some of the games based on a label or quality I have deemed relevant. 

The category for this inagural post is Ridiculously Stupid, by which I mean games that are absurd, silly, and often make us laugh. Yet, despite that, there is still depth and a strong reason to play. What games do you love that belong in Ridiculously Stupid? Comment below. For this first group, I'm writing about 6 Nimmt!, Cube Quest, and Cockroach Poker

6 Nimmt!

A card game so abstracted in numbers it has to be German. 6 Nimmt! is an experience we've played over 250 times, and every game we ask "why are we doing this?" While there is a winner, it's less about that, and more about the incessant mocking of the person who scored the most points (and therefore loses). We have a current worst score ever (46, I believe) but distinguish this score as being in the modern era, as if we were talking pennants in baseball. 

The game comprises a deck of cards numbering 1 to 104, and each card has a number of points (which are bad) ranging from 1 to 7 (or is it 8?).  Players are dealt ten each, and each round they select one simultaneously and play them from lowest to highest. Here's why it's fun: The sixth card played to a row takes the five existing cards and leaves theirs to create a new row. After the 2nd or 3rd round, each play is a gamble of whether you can sneak in sooner than the sixth card, or hold back long enough for someone else to take it. Even better, in some instances players take a row before the sixth card is played, which means you'll be caught off guard and royally screwed. 

It's hilarious, and I wish I were playing it right now. This is the game that will be my dominoes when I'm old, decrepit, and grumpier than I am already.

  • 2-10 Players (ideally 4-6), about 5-10 minutes to play
  • Designed by Wolfgang Kramer
  • Published by Amigo
  • Small investment (under $25)
  • Easily Available
  • Expansions: No

Cockroach Poker

Cockroach Poker is the ultimate bluffing game that proves the rule that social gameplay is the richest gameplay. Whereas other bluffing games like Coup are perfectly fine with their rules and powers, Cockroach Poker allows your group of imbeciles to design a meta, create custom behaviors and implied plays, and will leave you cracking up as a result. The best part, really, is that one player loses and everyone else wins.

While this seems mean, well, it is. 

But! There are few greater dances than surviving the combined efforts of your group to sink you. As you properly guess every buff and get into your friends' minds, it is you who can emerge victorious. It's delicious, plus, on top of your personal victory, you also get to laugh at the one person who did lose. 

The game is preciously simple. There are 64 cards of eight suits, all bugs and such, divided evenly. If it is your turn, you pass one of your choosing face down and you proclaim it to be anything. They can call you (yes it is or no it isn't) and if they are correct, you get the card and must play again. If they are wrong, they get the card and they start. Or, they can look at the card, then pass it to someone else and proclaim it to be anything. Around and around the lies go. 

The game always start swith scorpions. Usually. Then, this is a bat, which in our group means it's a rat, but if they know that, and I know they know that, is it a bat or a rat? I see Romeo has two cards for rats and two for flies, so I pass him another fly to put him in jeopardy...wait, no, I'm an asshole and I passed him a frog just to screw with him.

This game is as stupid as a painting of Campbell's Soup, and like that, we should be in awe of it. 

  • 2-8 players (any number above two is fine), about 15-25 minutes to play
  • Designed by Jacques Zeimet
  • Published by Schmidt
  • Small investment (under $25)
  • Easily Available
  • Expansions: No

Cube Quest

I must admit I'm rarely drawn to dexterity games. I find the premise thrilling at first, but soon I poke holes at the flimsy rule set and lose interest. I've played quite a few, and most end up feeling like party entertainment at most. Not so with Cube Quest, which is perhaps the stupidest and most maddening of them all. It's a game that combines the shot calling of pool with the fact that most assholes are terrible at pool.

Players are each given a set of hefty, stickered cubes, adorned with knights, orcs, ninjas, ice, and so forth. Like a true miniatures game you agree to a point value for your armies, or you just play with everything. Players build forts of these cubes to protect their flag, which causes a loss if it is knocked off the fancy neoprene mat. Players take turns flicking a cube at their opponent. The twist is that based on what the cube hits, or where it lands, it may convey a special bonus.

That's it. You will experiment with tall walls. You'll toy with naked aggression. You'll conceive brilliant formations. But, all of it is rendered pointless after a flick. As you play you'll talk shit to your opponent like air is to be breathed, and then you'll feel the deepest shame as you screw up. Then, you'll go double or nothing, and by now there's money involved over this absurd game. Man, I love it. It's the perfect amount of stupid. 

  • 2 Players, about 10 minutes to play
  • Designed by Oliver and Gary Sibthorpe
  • Published by Gamewright
  • Medium investment (between $25-50)
  • Not Easily Available
  • Expansions: No