In another of our regular board game spotlights, Zatu playfully puckers its juicy lips and flicks its hair as it stares longingly across the bar at a well-groomed Game of Phones, the 2015 release from publisher Breaking Games.
Game of Phones is in no way the sprawling tale of a landline being telecommunicatively usurped by competing cellular brands using only the medium of sound. It is in all ways a simple to play party game for parties at which you want to play something simple to play.
The game was created with the help of a Kickstarter campaign, during which $16,856 was raised by 563 backers.
The game (of phones) is, essentially, a pack of cards, each with a smartphone related instruction. Each round, one player is the judge (much like Cards Against Humanity or Apples to Apples, as card-based party game knowledgeables will be aware).
The remaining players must perform the instruction promptly and effectively, things like ‘Go to photos, close your eyes and choose one at random’; ‘Play the first song that comes up on shuffle’; ‘Find the best #selfie’; ‘Lightly submerge your device in the tears of your parents’.
Then comes the judge’s judgement. They peruse the phone screens and sounds in front of them and decide who is the winner of that round. They then pass on their legal acumen to a different player, and another smartphone challenge begins.
The first player to win ten rounds wins the whole game (of phones).
Thus, Game of Phones repurposes your social history for your social present, a tagline they don’t use in any way.
Breaking Games do the opposite of their title. They are known for publishing tabletop and card games for family and party settings. They have a clear statement of how they like to run their business on their website which states:
"We are unique when compared to other game publishers in that we promote the game and the designer above the company because they are the stars. As board game publishers, we do things a little differently. We prefer to have as many designers as possible to demo their games live at our booth if they are available to travel to the various indie game conferences that we participate in on a regular basis. Our #1 priority is the getting our clients’ games out there and into as many players’ hands as possible."
Their best-known titles include Billionaire Banshee, Letter Tycoon and Keep Calm.
Game of Phones was created by New York City design students Sam Wander and Luke Stern. They explain on the game's Kickstarter page that the idea behind Game of Phones came from people's obsession with checking their phones.
They said: "We had a weird idea for a card game that involved phones, and when we tested it out on our friends it turned out to be super fun. Plus, by bringing phones into the game they somehow become less of a distraction. No time to check your email when you're in a heated round of 'Find the weirdest Google Image search result for your name'."
Ready to get your phone out?
If you want to try your luck in the Game of Phones, buy it from Zatu today!