So in preparation for creating my own card game, I decided to research and dissect a few of the more popular ones that I’ve played the most with friends and family. Hopefully in this I can see appealing conventions and game mechanics that result in turning a standard 52 deck into something more. I decided to first look into “Cheat” (or more colloquially known as “Bullshit”).
This is one game I’ve found most everybody knows and can be whipped out without a seconds notice, no matter the amount of inebriation to boot. The mechanics are brutally simple, the deck is shuffled and each person dealt a hand that fits with the amount of people playing (seven is the usual most times I’ve played but can be increased or decreased due to number of players). The first card is then placed down from the deck and the person left of dealer places down a card or multiple of cards corresponding with number either one above or below the current card in play. Each player can then choose to put down cards which aren’t corresponding with this number and claim they have but that makes them susceptible to someone at the table calling them out. If they lied, they pick up the whole deck. However, if they were true, the person calling them out does instead. This is an interesting game due to its simplicity but there is a definite skill involved. This is in following how many of each card has already been claimed to have been put down by each player which then further corresponds to when a cheater is forced to pick up these cards. Keeping up with this is a tricky practice and, considering the usual length of the game being around 20 or so minutes, requires a deliberate attention. In remaining vigilant of what others have chosen to place down, it also informs you of the better options to take in order to not be caught out on your own turn. In trying to win the game, which involves emptying your hand, you’re usually hoping on sheer luck that the number is one which won’t backfire on you as most people will likely call you out on a final turn. This is a fatal flaw I find in a game that is otherwise such easy fun, but it certainly doesn’t discredit it completely.
What I hope to take from this game to include into my own is the vocal element as I feel it lends to a way more dynamic and engaging experience, both in terms of gameplay but also from an experiential perspective. I would like to tackle it in a very similar way in how causing an action against another player can be either positive or detrimental to your own progress. However, I want to make it a much more strategical end game as I feel the randomised element at play in “Cheat” is somewhat detrimental to the overall game.