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Described as 'a comedy game', AH*LE is a fast-playing UNO-style card game from My Dad Thinks I'm Funny where the object is to be the first to get rid of all your cards.

The 2-4 players each start off with three cards in their hand, three face-up cards on the table and three face-down cards below those. Players always draw back up to three when they play one or more cards, so you only get to play first the face-up cards then those that are face-down (so you are playing blind) when the draw deck is exhausted. Game play is super simple: you just have to match or beat the card previously played. Except that there are a bunch of special cards that screw with the normal rules...

In AH*LE, designer Ari Groobman AH*LE has put together an unashamedly lighthearted game. If we described the game as tongue in cheek it would probably be interpreted as a double entendre. The asterisk in the game's title isn't there because the designer or publisher are being coy; it's intended as a graphic representation of a butt-hole! And in both the rules and the special cards you'll find a bunch of scatological references. Few will find these particularly offensive, so despite the game's tag line that it's 'Not Suitable for All Ages' we wouldn't necessarily classify it as NSFW (Not Safe For Work). The game is clearly aimed tho' at the 'Frat Boy' market - with the rules even offering among its several suggested variants the option of playing AH*OLE as a drinking game. We've no problem with that, it's just that it may perhaps narrow the market for a game which might otherwise have appealed to families. Perhaps if the game's Kickstarter run is a success, My Dad Thinks I'm Funny will consider reskinning AH*OLE in a more obviously family friendly format.

We've rather enjoyed our Board's Eye View plays of AH*LE. There's some initial strategy in the choice you make over your three face-up cards during set up. After that, with just three cards in hand, you often have little choice over what you play but when you you start losing and have to pick up a pile of cards from the centre then you'll have rather more agency over your play. Having to play what could be your last three cards blind might seem like a perverse rule but it does introduce a potential catch-up mechanic and you'll find it adds to the humour of the gameplay. There are tokens for keeping score over multiple rounds but, for us, AH*LE was at its best as a filler-length game played for just a single round, or maybe two.

And we mentioned that the rules offers several variants. Some are just jokey notions dressed up as rule variants but we found at least a couple that added extra dimensions to the game. Some of our team members complained that certain of the special ability cards were overpowered so there was much interest in the 'Reality Check' rule variant which applied conditions limiting the play of those cards. The 'IR-Ass' variant makes more use of the tokens, giving players an equal starting supply of them and having the option of paying a token as an alternative to picking up the pile of cards; use/lose all your tokens and you are eliminated from the game...

AH*LE is launching on Kickstarter on 1 June. Click here to link to the campaign.

#AHole #cardgame #MyDadThinksImFunny #UNO #NSFW

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