Updated: Feb 27
It is hard to recall any previous US President who has attracted the ridicule of the present incumbent. Even when directly threatened with impeachment and during the height of the sex scandals, Bill Clinton maintained a dignity that Donald Trump has rarely seemed even to aspire to. It’s as if he believes that if he presents himself as a caricature, he makes himself a difficult target for mockery.
It’s a doomed strategy. Yet Trump’s blow-hard persona does no favours for the satirists. It is hard to successfully satirise someone who already comes across as absurd.
That’s what makes it difficult for Thymia Games to land many punches with their tongue-in-cheek game. The President’s name made the title an obvious choice. Unfortunately, that pun is the joke likely to get the biggest laughs in this satirical game.
In Trump Card, players are essentially invited to each role play as Donald Trump. Few will play this game without at least having a go at an impression. The object of this “take that” hand management game is to be the first player to build a wall (ie: lay out three wall cards in front of them). Aside from the wall cards, the other cards have various effects; some playable only on your turn and some played as interrupts at any point in the game.
Among the cards is an Executive Order that allows a player unilaterally to make up their own rule amendments. An Executive Order can only be overturned by a Court Order: a majority vote of the players, with the Executive Order issuer unable to participate: representing the Constitutional separation of executive and judiciary.
The rulebook sets the scene by telling players: “You’re an arrogant dictator that has the mental state of a child, a loud mouth, is easily offended and throws a fit if you don’t get your way.” The creators haven’t exactly gone for subtle with this one.
If you’re a Trump supporter, this game is obviously not for you. If you are one of those (including the majority of Americans) who oppose or are embarrassed by the President then the premise of the game and the initial humour may well pique your interest. In play, the laughs wear thin after the first couple of rounds but, beyond that, Trump Card works as a light filler game among like-minded folk: one to play to round off a games evening. The graphic design leaves a little to be desired: some of the cards carry a lot of text that can be hard to read when cards are fanned in your (famously small) hand. Nevertheless, there is rather more of an actual game here than there is in the inexplicably popular Exploding Kittens.
Trump Card is probably not a game that people will be clamouring to play multiple times in succession but I can easily imagine it being brought out periodically whenever there’s an outrageous claim made by the President or to mark a mishap hitting the headlines. On past form, of course, that could mean Trump Card gets a very regular outing!
Alternative Fact… This game single-handedly makes card games great again. This is the greatest game ever devised. Without exception, everyone will love this game, from the mentally deluded who criticise America’s greatest ever President to the millions of ordinary decent Americans who work and pray for his permanent installation in the White House.