Last night myself, my husband, and a close friend of ours settled in to do a bit of gaming. Just the three of us, which is quite the rarity in my house. We decided to try a couple of games we haven’t played before and “Trailer Park Wars” was first on the docket.
This game was given to us by the games creator during Gen Con ’10, for the purpose of writing a review and to add to the library. She also gave us a copy of “Redneck Life” at the same time. However, unlike RNL, TPW was not only funny, but had some substantial play too. Better yet? It didn’t take forever to get through.
When I opened up the box and pulled out the rules, I was pleasantly surprised. The rules tell you right off not to bother reading all the way through, just follow along as you play. This got us rolling in just a couple of minutes, rather than requiring us to devote a half an hour or more of time trying to figure out how to play. Given that I am usually the rule reader in the house, I loved this. Moreover, the rules were well written. I must give the creator kudos for that. I was never left flipping back and forth between pages, trying to analyze complicated diagrams, it was very straight forward. There were a few moments of temporary confusion, such as how a crime stopper was intended to work, but overall I was extremely pleased with the rules.
When I read that the game wasn’t over until all the pink flamingo tokens were taken from the pile, I was a bit worried. The game comes with a massive amount of these things, I would estimate around 100. I was panicked that this game would take hours, especially since we weren’t well versed with the rules and cards. What I found was that the game only took us about 45 minutes, long enough that I felt satisfied, but not so long that I was “over it”. Upon closer inspection later, the box says 1 hour for the play time, and with more players I would believe it.
The corner stone of this game is clearly the humor involved, much like Munchkin or Chez Geek. The creator went out of her way to add a few funny gems to the game, that didn’t affect game play, but made for a good laugh. Such as tiles for naming your trailer park, and much of the flavor text on the cards. There was a lot of laughter and a lot of painful “they went there?” groans as we played the game. But what else would you expect from a game where the goal is to become the “Best Darn Trailer Park Manager”.
The game also has a huge amount of back stabbing, also like some popular Steve Jackson games. Players can have bad tenants move into their opponents’ trailer parks, steal good tenants, sabotage each others’ amenities, and even summon forth natural disasters. Given that my players and I can be vindictive, this was a lot of fun. I particularly loathed the “Trailer to Air Missile” (because it was used on me).
After having played Redneck Life, I was expecting a similar style of game play. One that I would play once, and likely never pick back up. Something with a lot of funny but not a lot of substance. I’ll be the first to admit that I was wrong. I can completely foresee my group playing Trailer Park Wars again in the near future. It is largely humor based, so like Munchkin and Chez Geek I’m sure there will come a time when I can’t stand playing it anymore, but its replay value is good for at the very least a few games. For this genre of play, that really is saying something.
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