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Final Challenge

From Serbian publishers Kerber Games, Final Challenge is a light 'truth or dare' style party game where 3-6 players have to complete silly or mildly embarrassing tasks in order to win cards. Complete a set of cards in all five colours and your 'Final Challenge' is to act out the random sentence that the five cards spell out... Except that this is actually more of a Penultimate Challenge because completing a Final Challenge initially just means you win the red card as a permanent ability; the game doesn't end until a player has won two red cards, so successfully completed two 'Final' Challenges.

Play is commendably simple - so if you break this game out at a party, you won't have any difficulty explaining it to non-gamer friends. On your turn you draw a card from the draw pile into which all the cards have been shuffled. You can choose to perform the task on the card yourself, you can ask for a volunteer to perform the challenge, or you can 'attack' another player by giving them the card to perform. This is a communal assessment game where all the players collectively decide whether or not a task has been completed successfully. If it has, the player who carried out the task wins the card and adds it to the colour-appropriate position on their board. If they've already won a card of that colour, then the card stacks on top. There are cards/abilities that let you steal from another player, and you can lose a card from your board if you are 'attacked' (required to perform someone else's card) and you don't succeed in the task.

Final Challenge is intended as a fun party pastime rather than a deadly serious game and the tasks are mostly designed to keep everyone engaged from the most extrovert to those who tend to be shy about performance. We'd have sometimes preferred if the rules hadn't required players to read the task out loud before carrying it out: some tasks proved greater fun when carried out discreetly - leaving other players initially guessing as to what you are doing. Tho' the designers expressly state that Final Challenge 'does not have to pose as a drinking game', you'll probably find players throw themselves into it more after they've had a couple of drinks - and, yes, it's easy enough to house-rule drinking penalties for passing on a task!

Of course, peer assessment means that unscrupulous players could skew their assessments of whether or not others have successfully completed tasks, but I'm sure you never have such folk at the table for your party games. Nevertheless, there are some valid elements of gamesmanship that can be deployed in Final Challenge. To attempt a Final Challenge, you need to have collected a complete set of cards so the 'attack' option of giving a tough or awkward task to another player can be a way of potentially depriving an opponent of a card they need for their set. The 'permanent ability' red card reward for completing a Final Challenge is the opposite of a catch-up mechanic tho': most of the red card abilities give that player a notable advantage and the only cards the player discards are the ones used in their Final Challenge (ie: the top cards on their board of each colour) so it's possible a player could be in contention for a second Final Challenge immediately after completing their first, and this time helped by an extra ability. However, we tend to play party games like Final Challenge for the fun of the game rather than because we're intent on winning.

Shown here on Board's Eye View is a demo version of the game produced ahead of its launch on Kickstarter on 21 October. The final version of Final Challenge promises many more cards, so many more challenges, and expansions that include 'R-rated' NSFW (Not Safe For Work) content. Click here to check out the KS campaign.

#FinalChallenge #partygame #truthordare #Kerber #setcollection #NSFW

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