We recently threw a dinner party for seven, and I don’t believe anyone made great pains to avoid sitting next to anyone in particular. Similarly, I don’t think anyone tried to intentionally sit next to anyone else. The reason is we all share similar interests, and we all enjoy each other’s company.
If the eclectic cast of characters from the upcoming card game Find Your Seats by Button Shy had been invited, I would have cared deeply about my dinner mates, and I would have made a beeline for a seat next to “The Nerd” who only wants to talk about games and hobbies, while steering clear of “The Millennial” tapping away on his phone.
So, ask yourself, do you want your dinner party guests to find a place to enjoy themselves between and among the young and the old, the nerds and the jocks and the weird and the normal? Then where everyone sits truly matters, and that’s what Find Your Seats is all about.
From three to four players are each responsible for seating three guests at a dinner party. One will sit to the player’s left, one in the middle, and one to the right. What’s important is to place people adjacent to people who enjoy some of the same conversation topics, as well as people of the same age (young with young, old with old, etc.).
You score a point for each matching conversation topic and for every neighbor of the same age. But that’s the simple part. When you throw in some extra scoring considerations printed on many of the guests’ cards, and account for the guests the other players are laying down to your immediate right and left, you have a lot of moving parts and lots of strategy to chew on.
Can’t We All Just Get Along?
Consider some of these interesting card abilities and interactions, all of which sound like setups to a comedy routine:
- A Pastor walks into a dinner party, and guess what? If The Metalhead is already at the table, The Metalhead basically checks out (turn his card over). Of course, if the Pastor is seated first when The Metalhead arrives, The Pastor checks out.
- The Old Timer has plenty to talk about, but he can’t hear anything out of his left ear. That’s right, forget about conversing with The Old Timer if you’re sitting to the left of him. He’s perfect for dashing the hopes and dreams of the player on your left.
- The Assassin sits down and eliminates a guest from the dinner party, allowing The Assassin to flip a dinner guest over. This is the one character we thought seemed a bit out of place. While her ability is balanced and fun, we thought that keeping the theme to people that could really show up for a dinner party would be preferable, though maybe we are assuming too much and this is a common occurrence in some circles. We thought The Assassin might instead be named, “The Buzz Kill.”
- The Gossip is a great, thematic card. When she is played, the player has to name another guest that has yet to be seated. If the named guest never shows up, The Gossip’s points are doubled. (Here is where a player aid card listing all the cards would be of great use. Unless you’ve played this game enough to memorize a bunch of the cards, this great card may fall flat.)
- And my personal favorite (gee, I wonder why?) is The Nerd and The Geek combo. Sit them together, and they each get a bonus point. And The Nerd likes to talk games. Honestly, is there really anything else to talk about? Ever?
Find Your Seats and then Find Your Seats
Find Your Seats designed by Mitchell Shipman is a fast-playing, delicious appetizer or after-dinner drink for an evening of board gaming, or it’s the ultimate meta game when you pull out Find Your Seats as your dinner guests are finding their seats. Mind blown, am I right?
In the end, Button Shy has managed to produce yet another game (my preview set contained just 18 cards) that packs a surprising amount of strategy into a tiny package. (Read my preview of another terrific Button Shy game, Universal Rule.)
Now if you’ll excuse me, The Flirt just sat down, and I’m about to score some bonus points.
Find Your Seats is currently funding on Kickstarter, along with two other card games, Avignon Pilgrimage and Turbo Drift.