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Road Trip Insanity was born out of, you guessed it, a road trip but also my desire to work on a simpler and shorter game. Most of my other designs I have spent time with have been big both in components and play time. This means that prototyping and playtesting them is a hard bear to wrestle. So my hope with this one is to be able to test it early and often.

The game is a team based card game where teams of two players are trying to make it farther on their trip than any other team while trying to solve problems in amusing ways as they arise.Players will have a hand of Solution cards that are broken up into two types: subjects or verbs. One player on the team must lead a card and the other player will follow with another card of the opposite type. By playing these cards they are trying to do at least one of the following:

  • Solve a travel related problem hoping to take little or no insanity points
  • Travel farther on their trip by ignoring the problem and incurring the insanity points
  • Create funny or unique combinations of subjects and verbs that may help them mitigate some of their incurred insanity points.

Players must choose between traveling or solving problems. They cannot do both.

The problems the teams face are created by a deck of Problem cards. A new one is turned up each round. They will have a description of the problem the teams face and what it will take to fix it (represented by a number of icons). There will be icons on the Solution cards in player’s hands that may match the icons found on the Problem card along with a number of dice they will be able to roll to get more icons. If a team can get enough icons between their two played cards and their rolled dice to solve the problem they won’t receive any insanity points. If they can get close they they will receive insanity points equal to number of icons on the Problem card minus the icons on their played Solution cards and rolled dice. So if the problem required 6 wrench icons and they had 2 between their two cards and 3 on the dice they rolled they would only have to take 1 insanity point.

The other option players have is to travel. The Solution cards will have a distance value and a number of dice they will be able to roll to get additional distance. If they do this they will move their marker on the distance track the total of the distance value of their two cards plus the value rolled. They will then have to take insanity points equal to the number of icons on the Problem card.

There will also be an Apples to Apples-like element to the game. Each card will either be a subject or verb card. The team must have one of each in play that will create a short phrase describing how they dealt with the problem the round presents. Ideally these will make some really funny combinations. At the end of each round all players will secretly vote on which combo of cards was their favorite. The team that wins this vote will be able to discard some insanity as they had the most fun that round.

Players will be balancing moving down the road with solving problems as they arise trying to get the most out of their played Solution cards. If they play cards with high distance values it may be worth it to them to take the insanity points and keep going. If they play cards with the ability to avoid insanity by solving the problem this may be in their best interest.

At the end of the game teams will look at where they are on a trip track and then subtract one space for each insanity point they have at that point. After this reconciling, the team farthest along the track will be the winners.

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