Sunday, February 12, 2012

Unknown Ways Of Spending Indoor Days

Snow is falling throughout the country and many neighbouring ones too, and it's not fun snow, i.e. snowman building and snowball throwing snow. It is, in our case, hard, icy, frozen snow, which greatly increases some of my family's and my reluctance to take a breath of fresh air. If you have similar difficulties, or are stuck at home because of rain, snow, ice etc., I've reviewed a fantastic, if slightly out of the ordinary, card game that is great for days like this, that I think many blog readers will enjoy if they're bored of Scrabble. 
- DP :)
P.S. Some of you may have realised that the prints in the snow were the mark made by a rabbit's feet and tail.


When you hear descriptions of this now very rare card game, you'd think it only appropriate for those raring to break onto the antiques market and wanting to have some light-hearted patter practice while having fun with friends and family. However, antiques and flea markets have never been much of an interest to me (although they have been to my Mum), yet I took to this excellent game very well. Ever since my Dad received it for Christmas, my family and I have used much of our free time playing Junk, due to its extreme addictiveness. Its gameplay is very similar to an antique dealer's life; players sell their selection of thirteen different types of antiques (e.g. bureau, eagle table centrepiece, cabinet) in pairs to either a "museum" (really just the centre of the table) or the "public" (just the other players), and try to make a profit from what they've bought from other players in order to achieve the objective of having the highest credit at the end of the game. The catch is that the items are either "Genuine" or "Junk", and players don't know which until it's too late. Of course, junk items cannot be sold to the museum, and if an item isn't sold, the failed seller earns its price if it's genuine, and loses its price if it's junk. The tension builds high towards the end of the game, because every purchase counts and even the tiniest blunder can be the difference between winning and losing. The laughs, the opportunities for over-imaginative patter and the frequent light-hearted embarrassment at genuine-ness giveaways make this a wonderful game that's suitable for all ages and for lovers, haters, experts and novices of the antique market. The only things I have against it are that it can become predictable who will win and lose a little too early on in the game, and with 78 genuine items and 26 junk ones, Junk does take longer than most games and there's no real variation in play throughout the game.
Junk cards
N.B. No real money or antiques is involved in this game, only cards and tokens.

Junk box
Only available second-hand. Starting price on eBay: £1.99 + £1.75 postage

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