Shortly after I woke up this morning I began thinking about games with a birthday theme. Unfortunately, I could only think of one, Happy Birthday Robot!, and that’s only because my friend Jenn helped playtest it. Since I couldn’t think of any other games my mind naturally started working on some new projects, and after having been awake for 6 hours I now have two kinda playable games.

The first one, Project Birthday 1, is a card game. There are two types of cards, one for the presents and one for the celebrating people. Each celebrant card have a small picture and at the bottom of the card they have ratings for some general areas (let’s go with Animals, Sports and Technology for this blog post) that show how interested they are in that particular field. The gift cards have a corresponding rating on them (computer games will have high Technology rating, a saddle will have high in Animals and average in Sports), indicating what interest area it is best suited for. At the start of the game you all agree on how many birthday parties you will attend (the number of rounds you will play) and then you randomize out gift cards equal to the number of parties plus two to each player. Each round of the game starts with somebody drawing a random celebrant from the deck and putting it in the middle of the table for everyone to see. Every player then looks at what interests that person have and try to find a suitable gift among the cards they have on hand. After every person has placed a gift face down on the table you reveal your present and everybody gets some popularity points. The points are calculated by taking a gifts rating and multiplying it with the celebrants corresponding rating (if Joe the drummer who has a 2 in Sports gets a soccer ball with 3 in Sports that player can claim 2*3=6 points). You only count the highest combination, so giving a hockey game (0 Animals, 2 Sports, 3 Technology) to Malin the hairdresser (3 Animals, 2 Sports, 1 Technology) will give you 4 points, not 7.

The second game, Project Birthday 2, is a tile placement game. You have a small board, maybe 5*5 or 6*6 squares, and two different types of tiles. The first type is the gift tiles, each with a picture and a small number indicating how popular the gift is (a +5 gift is really awesome like a new computers and a -3 gift is something terrible like a pair of dirty socks). The other type of tiles are the birthday people (one set per player), and they are what enables you to get points. Everybody takes turns either drawing a random face down gift tile or taking a birthday person tile and placing it on the board. When the game board is full it’s time to calculate your points. Each celebrant can claim points from adjacent gifts above, below, the left or to the right. At the end on the game, the players with the most points win.

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