Unfortunately for some of us, we have to deal with annoyances daily because we have TERRIBLE NEIGHBORS who just won’t stop ding dong ditching. Well, today is your day. You finally know exactly what makes your neighbor rage. You are ready to annoy your neighbor out of the street and conquer the cul-de-sac!
About the Game ^
Cul-De-Sac Conquest is a 2-8 player party game from Atheris Games in which players are trying to be the last one standing, claiming conquest over the Cul-De-Sac. To do so, player will play cards that may annoy their neighbors, accidentally annoy themselves, make themselves relax, or even shield themselves from annoyances.
Each player begins with a meter to track their rage, and a character card chosen or given at random. Each character has icons above the character image which represent the annoyance category that they are proficient in, as well as icons below the image, which represent the annoyance categories that bother them the most. Some category examples are Kids, Old People, Animals, and Sketchy People. Characters may also have special abilities described underneath the picture. Each character also has its own rage limit: the final straw, if you will. Reach your limit? You quit! You’ve had it with this neighborhood AND YOU’RE OUTTA HERE!
Players are given character sheets which list all the characters in the game, showing their annoyance proficiencies and weaknesses.
Player are also dealt a hand of five cards, which may consist of Annoyance cards, Upgrade cards, and Relax cards. There is a fourth card type, Self-Annoyance cards, which players do not keep in their hand, but instead play them immediately upon drawing. Annoyance and Self-Annoyance cards are the cards which deal damage. If a player is proficient in an Annoyance card’s category, she deals one extra damage as a bonus, and if the card is played on a player whose character is most bothered by the category, he will also take one extra damage. It is possible to take double bonus damage! Some cards apply to all players. These cards deal the minimal damage, but effect multiple players. Self-Annoyance cards deal damage to the player who drew the card. The damage is dealt immediately upon drawing and playing the card.
Relax cards are one-time use cards which help players, well, relax, as well as draw new cards into their hand. When played, the player reduces his rage on his rage meter (or the meter of whomever he plays the card on) equal to whatever the card says. Upgrade cards are similar in that they help you reduce your rage, but they also serve as a shield which must be broken through before more rage can be dealt.
Players set their rage meters and character cards on the included game board, and the game is ready to begin. On a player’s turn, she draws enough cards to have six in hand. If she draws Self-Annoyance cards, she resolves the rage damage, and continues drawing until she reaches her hand size of six. She can then play one card of each type on her turn, and as long as her rage isn’t at her character’s limit, she passes turn. The game plays until one neighbor is left standing on the cul-de-sac!
Final Thoughts ^
Cul-De-Sac Conquest is a light take-that party game. While it’s not classified as a party game specifically, it definitely works better with a larger group. The game states it can play 2-8 players, but a 2-player game is quite boring as you have only one other player which you are attacking. The sweet spot I feel is around 5 players, because the game doesn’t take too long to play through and you feel like you have a diverse amount of opponents to play against. The mechanics themselves are simple. Draw enough cards to reach six, and play up to one of each kind, if you wish.
The rulebook was very nice, but some information was a little ambiguous, such as when dealing damage to multiple players on the table, the rulebook states “while a game has four or more players one other player has to be saved from the attack.” I am assuming this player is chosen, but the rulebook doesn’t say so. Some information about the Upgrade cards was mentioned in the gameplay section as opposed to the Upgrade card section, which meant flipping back and forth a little bit. After reading through the rulebook a few times you do understand the game, and with a few educated guesses, the game plays just fine.
The art is very cartoony and fun. The card art is representative of the type of card it is, and the background to the art works well. Exclamation bubbles look like they make up the background of the annoyance cards, which helps influence the “oh no I’m being dealt rage damage!” feeling. The relax cards have a swirl background that make you think of hypnosis. The board art as well is quite cartoony and relevant to the game. Rows of homes line a cul-de-sac. Some homes have fences, one home has a bunch of cats (I can only guess that home belongs to the crazy cat lady), one home has a mote, they all have a little bit of flavor to them.
Product Quality ^
The product quality is very nice. The box is tough and and sturdy, the cards are of nice linen finish, the board is nice and sturdy, and the plastic holders and sliders for the rage meter work just fine.
Is It Fun? ^
This game is fun, but I might not get it to the table too often. My reason for saying so is because it does indeed play better, in my opinion, when played with larger groups, and I don’t find myself in groups large enough for this game too often. It has so much simplicity that I don’t find myself craving to play it all the time. I do, however, think that groups who enjoy playing take-that games and party games will find great value and enjoyment in this game. In fact the game has a NSFW expansion available, which may add to a party gamer’s enjoyment and replay-ability. If you’d like to learn more about Cul-De-Sac Conquest, visit the game page on BoardGameGeek.com.