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Nasty Neighbors

Miroslav Garigov's Nasty Neighbors is a filler-length 'take that' card game where the 2-5 players are neighbours in an apartment block who are getting on each other's nerves. Players each start off with three 'pills' (wooden markers) for stress and whenever you have an attack card played on you that gets on your nerves, you must either play a reaction card, which will typically redirect the attack, or you must pop a pill. When all three pills are gone, you're out of the game.

Players start the game with a hand of seven cards. On your turn, you get to draw a card - either from the face-down deck or the three-card open display. You then take an action and discard a card. You can expect your action to require you to play a card, so unless your action is one that lets you draw extra cards or steal cards from another player, you'll end up each turn with fewer cards than you started with. If you don't pick up cards that let you add to your hand more than the single card you draw, then this will be a short game. It can be short too if other players have attack cards that target you and you've used up any helpful reaction cards, which again is likely to be the case if you've run your hand down with a flurry of early attacks.

Nasty Neighbors is a tongue-in-cheek game, as evidenced by its cartoon art. We're sure the designer doesn't really suggest we pop pills to deal with stress. There's a very high luck factor, but there's still scope for some tactics in attempting to build some defensive strength before launching attacks, or playing cards that run down an opponent's hand before targeting them for an attack on their nerves. The game incorporates the option for players to push their luck and gamble on the chance of getting two actions on your turn rather than just the one. You can do this by rolling a custom six-sided die that offers two sides that will give you two actions, two sides that will give you the usual one action, and two sides that will give you no actions at all: so roll the die and you're risking a 1 in 3 chance of losing your action for the turn but with 2 in 3 chances of you benefitting or at least being no worse off.

Publishers Nastola Games indicate a 15-40 minute playing time for Nasty Neighbors but, even with a full complement of five players, our plays at Board's Eye View rarely took longer than the lower end of that range. That's actually a plus tho' for what we've enjoyed as a fun filler-length game: at 40 minutes, we fear Nasty Neighbors could outstay its welcome. And in a game which is predicated on player elimination, you don't want ejected players to have to sit out of a game for more than a few short minutes. And put aside the Xanax and Valium before you play!

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