Knee Jerk Kickstarter Preview
This post is not a review, but a preview of a game currently seeking funding on Kickstarter. Final art, rules, and components are subject to change.
I don't think there's anything I love more than sitting around with my friends and family and laughing. That is why I love games like Taboo and Balderdash. They don't is not much to those games, but they produce such hilarious and memorable moments that I simply can't get enough of them.
Knee Jerk is a game similar to those two in a way. Players need only a deck of cards and about 10 seconds of rules explanation in order to play.
The game is dead simple - the active player (host) deals 2 cards to the table, and 3 to her hand. She chooses one from her hand, and lines it up with the other 2 so that the green arrow of the first card points to the blue arrow of the second card, which points to the orange block of the third card (the one she chose from her hand). This orientation of the cards will create a randomized story prompt.
After the host player reads the story prompt, the rest of the players begin offering up their versions of how the scene ends. The host then awards the player who answered first a point - in the form of the left-most card on the table. Play then continues with the host placing another card to the right.
Knee Jerk is so simple, but so much fun. The crux of the game, however, relies on the players you've gathered together. I think that the rules are simple enough that anyone thinking about bringing this out with a group would already have a pretty good idea of whether or not it would go over well. But because the rules are so simple, it is also fairly easy to implement variants.
The game rules also suggest playing where the host awards the point for a story to the first answer given. While this rule certainly fosters a wide range of hilarious answers shouted out without thinking, I also think that having the host choose her favorite story for each round is also a lot of fun. The last game of Knee Jerk I played with a kind of a blend of the two, where the host of the round chose which rule variant she wanted to use.
Knee Jerk is one of those party games that I love - it brings out a special kind of silliness in people that is just so much fun to be involved in. And just like the best party games, it is not only a blast to play, but it can also create discussions about where some of these ridiculous stories come from - either real or created. Knee Jerk is great party game - and an absolute steal at $10.