One of the best things about wandering around PAX East is discovering all sorts of new and different things. I decided to hit the tabletop area to play a little Munchkin, and spotted a booth for a game called Kobolds Ate My Baby, which caught my attention. See, years ago I played this game when it was essentially a black and white printout, which has now been replaced by colour version. But what really interested me was the card game version, Knuckle Sammich, also on display. I sat down with the creators to play an extended round, and found a simple but funny and engaging experience.
The premise of Knuckle Sammich is to feed the ever hungry and disposable Kobolds. Sitting down, I was dealt one card, and it was explained that I was a tribe leader. My goal was to be the first to get full by claiming nine “sammiches”.
Kobolds eat everything (including each other). Each card has a “meat value”, what the kobold tastes like, and a “special power”. The special power might give you a guess at what a card in another player’s hand tastes like (if you are right you eat them and get a sammich), or sneak a peek at another person’s hand. There are not a huge number of cards, but the round is quick, and all but one Kobold is dead. Next round, new shuffle.
The game’s premise is very simple, but can be deceptive. I was playing with a group of four other people, and although we only ever had at most two cards in hands (or paws as the game calls it), there was still a lot of deliberation about how to play a given card. The game is very fast-paced, and generated a lot of laughs while we played. I also appreciated that they approached John Kovalic, the artist from Dork Tower and Munchkin, for the card art.
The best part of the experience was bumping my fellow Knuckle Sammich players with all over the conference afterwards. We’d all picked up our own copies of the game on the spot, and spread the word around the show.The creators, 9th Level Games, are a small company, but one that is full of enthusiasm and creativity–and it shows in their products.
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