Updated: Apr 19
In BarPig, the clue is very definitely in the title: players are porcine adventurers drinking together in a bar. The title reputedly started life as BaRPG (ie: a drinking game version of a typical fantasy Role Playing Game).
Each of the 3–7 players has their own two-card 'bar tab' which you use in conjunction with your individual character card to keep score of how many drinks you have left, what level you've reached and how drunk you are. (You slide the cards over and under each other to keep track). Reach Level 5 and you've won the game but if your drunkenness reaches 'blackout drunk' you're eliminated (tho' you can keep playing by starting anew with another character). The drinks are used as currency to pay forfeits and buy item cards that may or may not help you...
The game comes with 10 different character cards, each representing an RPG archetype but with a punning pork or drinking reference (for example, the Palealedin and Barbeerian). Each round, players all roll a die and the highest roller goes up a level and gets to activate their character's unique 'power' (ie: setting a party game-style challenge to the other players). A few of the character powers are objectively assessed (for example, the Glassassin calls on all the players to point to another player and whoever has the most fingers pointed at them loses that many drinks) but most are subjective: for example, the Whisking tasks two players to dance and decides which of them is the worst dancer. Most of the character card tasks are suitably silly, and whoever loses the challenge usually loses both drink and sobriety.
Each round's Challenge phase is followed by a Market phase where players decide whether they want to buy an item (paying in drink) or refill their drinks. You announce whether you're seeking to buy or refill and then you flip the top card of the face-down item deck. Each card has a drink value and that's what you either spend to add the card to your hand or gain for discarding the card. You're 'buying' item cards sight unseen, however, so you have no idea what you're getting - as the expression goes, you're buying a pig in a poke. How appropriate! You might draw a card that lets you modify a die roll but you could find you've just drawn a card that forces you to switch your character.
In BarPig then, Jonathan L Franklin and Phillip Melchers have designed an unashamedly chaotic game that's intended primarily as a fun activity - maybe one that you might play with friends in a bar; tho' please don't play it as an actual drinking game where you're downing full pints of beer for each drink on your 'bar tab' or you really will end up 'blackout drunk'!
BarPig: After Hours is a standalone sequel to the original game, and with a new set of artwork from Frederick van de Bunt. You can play it on its own or you can combine it with the original version of BarPig. It's essentially more of the same but it has more of a 'take that' element. And now, coming to Kickstarter, BARPIG are adding The Great Festival: another box of characters and item cards that can be added to either of the two earlier editions of the game. It's mostly cards from this upcoming expansion that we've shown here on Board's Eye View. We'll add a link to the KS campaign when it goes live.