Murder Most Foul
Storytelling games have been around for centuries. Stories are one of the most important parts of human society so it is no wonder that they made their way into so many parlor games over the years. 2010’s Snake Oil took this notion of improvisational storytelling and focused it on trying to sell absurd products. By mashing up two cars you might find yourself trying to flog ‘Revenge Candy’ or a ‘Hope Blanket’. Around the same time, the cult smash hit Cards Against Humanity started spreading across hidden shelves of adults the world over. Cards Against Humanity took the basic premise of Blankety Blank and gave you incomplete sentences with incredibly R-Rated options to complete them. Well, here is 2021’s GRIM INC. Taking the pitching mechanism of the first and the adult not safe for work humour of the second, this card game sees you pitch ideas of how to kill someone, in order to get the job from your boss, the Grim Reaper.
Until Death Do Us Part
You are the latest employee of the afterlife’s biggest employer G.R.I.M. INC, which stands for “Grim Reaper's Institute of Murder, Incorporated”. It is your job, along with your colleagues, to come up with new and creative ways of disposing of those still living. Your boss is, of course, the Grim Reaper - however they are far too busy to give their time to a lackey like you. You will instead report to a Line Manager who will assess the value of your pitches of demise, and recognition will be given to the employee who impresses them the most!
The role of Line Manager, will pass from player to player giving everyone a chance to judge. As Line Manager you will pick two cards. One to decide which unfortunate soul will be next to depart this earth, maybe a cult leader or a bingo caller. The other to decide the setting. A could be a haunted house or perhaps a funeral. The other employees will then pick up their implement cards, giving them a selection of devices with which to end their clients life. In turn, each player will come up with their choice of elimination and the most creative will be deemed the winner. Each round’s winner is given an ‘employee recognition’ card, and three of these will win you the game.
Before setting up the round, the line manager will also roll a custom dice. If you roll a skull then you just take a ‘message from the top’ deck. This will dictate whether you have the power to give either a bonus or a disciplinary in that round. A bonus will be given to the favourite pitch of the round and instead of getting a recognition card they will receive the bonus. Then on a Future turn they can trade in that card in order to draw as many implement cards as there are players and distribute them amongst the team, taking the best for themselves. The disciplinary however means that the next time you win, you won’t be able to take the recognition, instead discarding your card instead. There is a nice level of power being the line manager but it can easily turn to simply picking on the current leader rather than honestly choosing then funniest, most creative pitch.
Despite, on the box, stating “foul f***ing language”, there are very few cards that are in fact ‘not safe for work’. One favourite of these being the implement, “f***ing velociraptors”! I guess the creativity and freedom of a warped mind can take the storytelling anywhere, but it’s a shame that the designers didn’t commit to the adult nature of the game.
GRIM INC is a silly game that, with the right group of people, will surely create some laugh out loud moments but you have to commit to the absurdity and leave your sense of embarrassment at the graveside.