Paperback is a game designed by Tim Fowers. It is for 2-5 players. In this game, players take on the role of novelists trying to complete paperback novels for fame. The player that can collect the most fame by the end of the game will be declared the winner.
To begin, each player will be given a starting deck of 5 of the 2 cent Fame cards and one each of letters T, R, S, L and N. 4 piles of different rank Fame cards are made depending on the number of players. The Common cards are shuffled and 4 cards are dealt out. The pile is placed on top of the length track card so that each card removed reveals a section. Letter cards are sorted by price into stacks. The 8, 9 and 10 cent cards are combined together. Any attack cards are removed unless playing an advanced game. Each stack is shuffled and placed face up on in a row from cheapest to most expensive. The top card from each stack is placed below the pile, except for the 2 cent stack. The first player is chosen and everyone draws their first hand of 5 cards. Play now begins.
On a player’s turn, they will follow 7 steps; create a word, check the word length, resolve any abilities, score the word, buy cards, discard cards and draw next hand. The first step is to create a word. To do this, the player will use the cards in their hand to form a word, laying the cards face up in order on the table. A player may use Fame cards as wild cards for any letter. They may also use the topmost Common card, needing only to refer to it. The card itself stays in the stack.
The next step is to check the word length. To do this, the player will count up the number of letters in their word. If the word is equal to or longer than the highest number showing on the length track, the player gains the Common card. This makes the next Common card available for use and also expands the length to gain the next card. Once the last card is taken, the game is over.
The next step is to resolve any abilities. This is done by looking at any of the cards that the player used to make a word. If any of them have abilities that can be activated, the player activates them and gains whatever benefits that they provide.
The next step is to score the word. To do this, the player will add up the scores from the letters that they used to form their word. They also count the Common card if it was used in their word. Scoring bonuses from any card abilities are also added.
The next step is to buy cards. The player does this by using the score that they received from the previous step. They then may buy any cards including Fame cards, adding them to their discard pile. The total cost may not exceed the score from the previous step. Any unspent money is lost after this step. Once a card is purchased, the top card is used to replace it, providing 2 cards for each stack except for the Fame cards and 2 cent pile.
The next step is to discard cards. This is done by simply taking all the cards that were used to create a word and from the player’s hand as well as any gained cards and placing them into the player’s discard pile. Attack cards from the player’s word will stay in play for one round. The card(s) are discarded at the beginning of the player’s next turn.
The final step is to draw 5 cards. The player does this by drawing 5 new cards plus any additional cards that were granted from card abilities that the player played on their last turn. Once this is done, play passes to the next player.
The game continues until one of two things happens, either the last Common card is taken or two of the Fame piles are empty. Once the players turn is over, the game ends. Players will then add up their Fame points on the cards in their deck. The player with the most Fame points is the winner.
This game has some really great looking cards. Everything is superbly designed from the box that holds everything to the cards themselves. Each card has a really nice satin finish to them and the letters and powers are easily read. The game even has dividers and foam inserts for keeping everything nice and neat inside the box. I really like the pulp or noir look of each of the Fame cards. The artwork for these is absolutely great. There are also some nice wooden cubes for use with some of the optional rules for the game. Everything that comes with this game is high quality and very thematic. I love it.
10 out of 10
The rulebook for this game is just as high quality as the components. The theme carries over with it and it looks great. There are lots of pictures including explanations for the cards, game setup as well as setup for a co-op mode. Everything is laid out superbly well and is easy to read and understand. There are also several different expansion rules as well as optional rules that can be added to change up the way the game plays. There are two additional game modes included as well; a simultaneous mode and cooperative mode that I mentioned earlier. I really like the rulebook and it even fits nicely inside the box. All in all, this is a well crafted rulebook.
10 out of 10
Ever since I was a kid, I’ve liked word games, everything from find a word to crossword puzzles. I don’t really know why. I just have. This game takes both the word game and deck builder mechanics that I love and combines them into an excellent game. It is lots of fun. I really love the look and feel of the game but that’s all trumped by the gameplay. Creating words from the cards is done much like in Quiddler or word games of that type. Once you’ve finished that part, then the deck builder mechanic kicks in, using each cards ability and then being able to buy cards to add to your deck and make things easier to make longer and more profitable words in the future. Of course the main goal is to gain Fame. If you have the option to buy Fame cards, you will want to do this as often as possible. Without Fame, you’ll lose. Simple as that. If you get tired of playing the normal game, there are lots of options and different game modes to add or change up the way that you play. Trust me, you won’t be getting bored of this game any time soon. Just to let you in on a secret, this game is a 10 in every category. Maybe I should have placed a spoiler warning. Oh well, this is a great game and one that I thoroughly enjoy.
10 out of 10
Paperback is a deck building/word game hybrid that takes the best of both and provides an excellent game. It plays in roughly 45 minutes or so. The artwork and design of everything from the box to the cards is high quality. I love the art and texture of the cards. The satin finish is a nice touch. The game has lots of replayability through the use of lots of different options and game modes. Fans of word games like Quiddler or Scrabble will love this game. Deck builder fans will also love the great use of the deck building mechanics. It’s a fairly simple game to learn and play. This is a great game for everyone. I highly recommend it. It has to be one of the best new games that I’ve played. I really enjoy it and I’m sure you will too. The teacher gives this one an A++.
10 out of 10
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