Alien Puppies is a light chaotic hand management card game for 2-5 players with cute puppy dog art.
There are 11 types of action card, 22 Earth puppy cards and 12 Alien puppy cards. It is the latter that you'll be particularly chasing because the object of the game is to be the first to play three Alien puppies to your 'backyard' (tableau). Any time you play an Alien puppy to your backyard you get to take the special action specified on the card (they are all different).
Each turn, players either play an Alien puppy to their backyard, play an action card to the discard pile and take its specified action or play an Earth puppy combo (usually two cards) to remove an Alien puppy from an opponent's backyard to the discard pile or take any card from the discard pile. After this action, you draw another card. When the Barkmageddon card comes up you're eliminated from the game unless you're able either to discard three cards from your hand or discard an Alien puppy from your backyard.
This all makes for a light quite swingy game where players will be focused at least as much on attacking other players as managing their own hands. It's playable with 2-5 players but it can be over quite quickly with two (most of our two-player Board's Eye View plays took around 10-15 minutes). On the other hand, game length extends and, for some, overextends as you increase the number of players because opponents are bound to gang up on any player who has two Alien puppies in their backyard so is theoretically only one Alien puppy card away from a win.
Alien Puppies isn't a game to be taken too seriously. The art and card text attests to its tongue-in-cheek design. It can be enjoyed as a chaotic 'take that' family game, tho' some of the action text may be challenging for younger children. If you're looking for strategy, it's often better to go several rounds taking no overt action at all (drawing a card at the end of your turn is mandatory but playing any cards is entirely optional). If you build up a large hand of cards before playing any Alien puppies to your backyard, you're more likely to be able to chain the Alien puppy actions for maximum effect and may have Stop cards that can be used an interrupts to prevent another player's attack. Just beware tho', there are action cards (Fetch) that can steal from your hand and others (Bark) that force a player to discard half their cards. And, if you have a lot more cards in hand than other players then you may be setting yourself up as a target for one of the Alternate Dimension cards that force you to trade hands...
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