The Game

7
The only way to win may actually be not to play.

I've never before played a game that was so thoroughly innocent yet so close to causing bloodshed. The Game is an incredibly simple card game. 1 through 5 players have a hand of cards labeled from 2 to 99. Their goal: to lay the cards down in four piles in hopes of putting down all their cards. Two of these piles start at 1 and go up, while two of the piles start at 100 and go down. 

I have no pictures of this game because no one wants to remember playing it.

The Game is incredibly simple tactically. You simply need to play close numbers and hope that everyone else is able to get equally close. You can also "go back" a bit by playing a card that is just ten off; for instance, you can play 5 on 15, or 25 on 35. So there's some wiggle room. But the animosity this game creates is the stuff of legend.

In The Game, you understandably can't say "I have an 8, 9, and 12." But you can say "I really like that pile," or something similarly vague. That leads to someone with a six card run saying they really like a pile and then losing it all because someone else couldn't play anywhere else. Even though it's a cooperative game, it's incredibly frustrating to everyone involved, because any strategy you have can be destroyed by anyone else at any time. 

It is strange how good and simple this game can be and how much people can hate it. I don't know whether to rate the game based on merit or the sheer amount of stress it caused absolutely everyone at the table, because surely the fact that a homicide can occur while playing it is a factor. The Game isn't replayable because all participants are dead. The game is difficult because it is impossible to finish from beyond the grave.

That being said.

It's impossible to deny that it's a good, fast game; the rules are intuitive and there's minimal setup. It's just a question of whether or not you'll survive.