With a box lid that looks just like the cover of a fashion magazine, Cover Me casts players into the Devil Wears Prada world of fashion journalism. You are the editor of a trendy monthly magazine and you will be choosing models for each of your covers. Problem is, the pictures can only be used if they represent the peak of fashionable trends…
Oversized box to one side, Cover Me is essentially a card game with scoring tracks. The elevated catwalk score track seems a trifle over engineered but it looks good and, when packing away, it also serves as a box insert for the cards. The cards represent a range of models, with the pictures distinguishable by hair colour, hair length, dress colour and (bizarrely) background pattern. The game is played over 12 seasons (rounds), with dress colour scoring in spring and summer, background patterns scoring in winter and autumn, and hair colour and length both scoring every season.
Designed by Bram Verbiest and published by Jumping Turtle, Cover Me is a hand management game where players use their cards to promote trends and so maximise their potential end-game prestige points score. The game is easy to learn and, at first glance, might even seem overly simple. As rounds progress, however, you begin to spot more subtle ways of using the cards you don’t expect to score in order to boost trends that will help the model you hope will turn out to be the height of fashion in the next round.
Using modified rules, Cover Me is playable with two but it is best with four or five players. A game is likely to take around 45 minutes. The rules suggest the option of a longer 16-season game but we found little appetite for that. You might instead want to try playing Cover Me over just eight seasons so that it can be played in under 30 minutes as a light filler.
Cover Me offers a novel theme in a family game that could potentially appeal to some of the more reluctant games players in your family. It certainly makes a change from alien invasions and zombie plagues. And kudos to the publishers for successfully avoiding the pitfall of bombarding us with pictures of anorexic models: those shown on the cards represent a realistic cross-section – more M&S than Vogue.