Black Pocket Series introduces Reiner Knizia and Bruno Cathala on Spieleschmiede

ghosts

Spieleschmiede, a German “Kickstarter type” site for board games, has two projects up for card games in the Black Pocket Series of games by Reiner Knizia, Zero and Ghosts.  Both games are quick, family weight filler card games and feature simple rules to be able to be picked up and played quickly.

ghosts comp

In Ghosts you are trying your best to not get scared through the taking of fear tokens.  How you avoid taking fear tokens is by playing cards to where the total doesn’t go over 7, but with cards that go up to what looks like 3, it’s seems like you can easily hit that number, but that is where clever card play comes in.  If the ghost card is a different color than the previous one, the number is added, upping the total, if the colors are the same the total does not change and play reverses direction, fog cards have the same effect except they don’t change the direction of play.  But inevitably you might have to play a card that pushes the total over 7, in that case you don’t play the card but instead take a fear token.  You will continue to play a card, draw a card until the deck runs out, thus ending the round, and if you happen to have survived the round without taking any fear tokens you bolster your courage and are able to discard up to 3 of your fear tokens.  The person with the fewest fear tokens after three rounds wins the game.

zero

Zero is another quick card game where the object is to get the fewest number of points through collecting sets of either the same number or the same color.  The game will start with everyone getting 9 cards dealt to them and then 5 additional cards placed face up on the table, on your turn you can either swap a hand card with one from the table or pass.  When you pass the first time nothing special happens, but when you pass a second time you trigger the end of the round and everyone else gets one final play before you stop and count points.  Another way the round can end is if someone manages to get a hand worth zero points, then they can call out zero and the round ends immediately with everyone else counting up their points.  How you get or avoid points is easy, if you have five of the same number those five cards are worth nothing, if you have five of the same color those five cards are worth nothing, any cards that fall outside those two conditions are worth the number on the card.  This sounds easy but there are seven colors (suits) and each color ranges from 1-8 so getting the elusive zero hand, a set of 5 of one number and 5 of the same color with one overlapping card, is not as easy as it seems.  At the end of the round whoever has the lowest score is the winner, and with fast playing rounds you can expand it to whoever has the lowest score after a set numbers of rounds wins.

Both campaigns are running now on the Speileschimede site and so you can go to the Ghosts page to pledge for a copy or the Zero page to pledge for a copy of that game.  Also available on the campaigns are sleeves for each game as well as the ability to add on the another game in the Black Pocket line, Korsar (aka Loot).  Just keep in mind when pledging that this is a German based site and service, so shipping to your home country may be more expensive than usual due to VAT.