Well, for a game for kids, I’m kind of glad Fairway didn’t make any jokes about 50 Shades of Grey. Shoot! In any case, today, he picks up a Kickstarter delivery, In a Bind Junior, a dexterity game by Behrooz Shahriari.
In a Bind Junior is a three- to twelve-player, dexterity game for adults and kids in which players draw cards that require them to get into more and more precarious positions to “balance” the card on them. I backed this Kickstarter campaign in part because I was intrigued by the art style.
Initial Impressions ^
- There’s almost nothing to learn about this game: it’s playable by almost anyone after about 30 seconds of instruction.
- Games are pretty quick at reasonable player counts.
- I’m terrible at dexterity games, but the kids think that’s great. There were lots of smiles playing the game.
- The art is a quasi-spray paint graffiti style that is both frenetic and loud.
Game play ^
In In a Bind Junior, there is a common deck of challenge cards. Each of the challenge cards contains one challenge that when drawn must be followed by the player. To play, the challenge deck is shuffled.
On a player’s turn, they draw the top card from the challenge deck and then do what it says. The challenge usually involves having to keep and maintain the drawn card touching your body, such as keeping it pinned to your forehead or nose or pinched between two fingers. Other binds require that you do some action each time you draw a new card, like moo like a cow. Whatever it is, the “bind” is with you for the remainder of the game.
One by one, players will attempt and fail. If they fail too many times, they’re out of the game. The game continues until only one player is left in an incredibly ridiculous pose.
On the Green ^
Game play. There’s no frills here, but the game is quite amusing. It hardly takes more than a few turns before players start dropping cards and failing at the challenges–it’ll be sooner if they get seemingly incompatible challenges.
It was hard to take a picture without a smiling kid. Although it was also hard to take a picture after my first round.
Play time, count and ages. This game is playable by just about anyone. The illustrations do a good job making it so reading is optional. The few words that are on cards can easily be read aloud by other players.
The game can last anywhere from a couple minutes to a few minutes. Perhaps if you were playing with a group of super heroes, you could make it last longer. But that wasn’t our experience. This means that it makes great fodder for down time.
The game says for three- to twelve- players. But this is likely artificial. You could definitely give the game a go solo and just track how many challenges you can do before failing. Likewise, while the deck does become a limit, our experience suggests players start going out after a few rounds anyway. So the upper cap is really probably just a suggestion — also, I don’t have 12 friends, so… there’s that.
Where it comes up short ^
If there’s one fault in this game, it’s that I really dislike the feel of the cards. I’m not sure where they were printed or what kind of finish or card stock was used, but it feels totally subpar. When applied to a game where cards are dropped frequently and subjected to a bunch of well-meaning grabs, bends, and catches, those cards had better be of good quality.
On the green ^
In a Bind Junior is an amusing dexterity game that draws lots of smiles and laughs as players are forced into ever-more ridiculous binds. The game is easy to learn and fast to play. Even for players that get knocked out early, it’s hilarious to watch as others find themselves performing the increasingly silly tasks. If you’ve got kids who are full of energy, this is one to definitely pick up.
In a Bind Junior is in the hole for a Par. ^