I don’t make a habit of rushing towards card games that offer slightly ‘edgy’ subjects in the form of entertainment. I’m not trying to be morally superior though I recognise it’s a thin tightrope to tread over looking like a grumpy old preachy man child. I often just don’t find them funny when comedy is based around making other people feel awkward while you are attempting to play a game with them. I often wonder it its ‘just me’ and maybe I need to ‘take a joke’. So maybe I need to start off with something simpler and lighter in that respect. So the choice of murdering a group of people I don’t know based on some light debate seems like the perfect starting point.
Trial by Trolley encapsulates that age old problem. you’ve different groups tied to a trolley track with some being nice and others being annoying or down right evil. So which track do you send the train down causing mayhem and karma and injury? It’s done to a debate and potential bouts of twisted logic.
Playing both Trial by Trolley and the expansions are very straight forward. Players divide into two teams and then pick three cards from a good, evil and modifier pile. The conductor plays a card onto each teams track, the teams then decide to play a good card on their track and an evil card on their opponents track. All with the aim of trying to try to give them solid arguments for persuading the conductor which track to send the trolley down. Once each track has two good cards and one evil card, both teams then can play a modifier card, which provides a further trait to either one of their own characters, or to their opponents. It varies between being fairly dark and just funny, from ‘Got you lost on a road trip for three days’ to ‘Will one day kill your family in a tragic boogie board incident’. at this point the debates, discussions, pleads and threats commence to try to persuade the conductor to send the trolley down your opponent’s track causing them to lose and pick up a death token. The Travel by Trolley expansion adds a bit more of an imaginative slant in my opinion that demonstrate a bit more clever thought in terms of who you would like to get squished..
Once everyone has a chance at playing as the conductor the winner is the player who has the least death tokens, guilt and blood on their hands.
Very east to learn, the rulebook is more like a pamphlet than something that needs a spine. You’ll learn how to play Trial and Travel within minutes.
If you are playing this for longer than half an hour, it’s because you’re probably enjoying yourself too much.
I’m not overly fussed if I’m being completely honest. The mechanics as base level. The humour is very dark in places and childish in others. The core part of the game is down to talking to people and trying to persuade the conductor when they’ve probably made up their minds as soon as the cards were laid. There’s no high level big debate going on here. The artwork is fun and clear and crisp and does a great job of what it is trying to do. In all honesty, did you expect me to be raving and ranting about this especially with how seriously I take myself? Of course you didn’t. My ten year old? He loved it. He wanted to play non stop for hours and he cackled and smiled and laughed and cringed and took great delight in coming up with the most ridiculous excuses for his track team to not be killed. Some of the cards we had to selectively remove because they were simply a bit too close to the edge in terms of taste. I’m approaching this from the other side of the gaming spectrum so from the high brow top level side of things, I’m neither here nor there for it. In all honesty, there’s nothing mechanically broken here. I doesn’t have the unintended flaws of other games I’ve played. There’s no ‘end my suffering’ multiplayer solitaire that sucks the fun out of the evening air. I can totally imagine a group of cyanide and happiness fans, sitting around, cracking open a few beers or edibles, getting a bit loud and solving all the problems of the world and then someone suggest getting this off the shelf and then it descends into ridiculous chaos. I can totally see in the right hands this is going to be something that gets played again and again. It just all depends on whether you want to be be that guy or you want to be that guy.
I’ll leave you with this edgy quote. Trial by Trolley and Travel by trolley Combine to make on of the greatest Euro board games I’ve ever played..
Try not to take it too seriously I guess?
Value for Money
You’ll pick this up for about £25 so considering the cost of a normal nights entertainment and the sheer number of cards you’ll have to chose from, its not too bad on the value for money scale.
This review is based on the retail version of the game provided to us by the designer and publisher. We were not paid for this review. We give a general overview of the gameplay and so not all of the mechanical aspects of the game may be mentioned.
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