Shortly after I reviewed the Ninja Turtles board game Shadows Of The Past from IDW Games, I received a new one from them that gave me an evil smile. Because in that moment of looking right at the cover, I knew I was about to learn more about my friends than I probably ever wanted to. Today we're reviewing Bed, Wed, Dead.
Bed, Wed, Dead is pretty simplistic but there are various ways to play the game. The short version: this is a card game version of that ol' drunken chestnut you play with your friends on occasion called "Marry, Fuck, Kill." If you've never played, don't worry, you'll get the gist of it really quickly. The game consists of 300 double-sided cards, each of them with six names on each side. The blue side is men and the purple side is women. They range from very real people and celebrities to totally fictional characters from your favorite pop-culture mediums. Everyone draws five cards for their hand (seven if just two players) and then chooses someone to go first.
The first player is dealt a card from the hand of the player to their left. You can either force them to play a specific side or give them the option of choosing either side, depending on what kind of fun you'd like to see them have (or if both sides aren't that juicy). The player then rolls three dice, rerolling any doubles, and then matches the numbers up to the corresponding name next to it. That player must then choose who they would like to have a one night stand with, who they'd like to marry for the rest of their life, and who they would like to see die a horrible death.
From here there are a number of ways to play: You can choose to just say your decisions aloud for a good laugh and then carry on, you can choose to have everyone guess and see how well they know you (again for laughs), or you can play a version where you keep score. For the last version, the group must come to an agreement as a whole within one minute of what they all believe the answer is. Some can agree and some can disagree, but you have to come to a decision within one minute with everyone holding out their thumbs and no more discussion, or the player who chose gets points and no one else does. Those who got it right earn a certain amount, those who get points only if they got one of them right.
The game is designed simply to create hilarious situations among friends who think they all know each other. There's no bias, there's no strategy, there's no way to really predict a winner if you're keeping points. The sole purpose of the game is to have fun and get to know the mindset of your friends better than you believe you do. That's what I found most appealing about the game because it falls into the same category as titles like Cards Against Humanity and Snake Oil, where you win by having a good time. Hell yeah, I'd sleep with Matt Murdock and kill off Wilson Fisk, but would I actually wed Foggy Nelson? Should I change my decisions because I know he'd be annoying as a husband?
I say if you're looking for a better version of the standard game with choices you wouldn't think of, Bed, Wed, Dead is your best bet. The great part is that the game is gender neutral and can be played by people of almost any human sexual preference. About the only thing the game doesn't compensate for is people who are A Sexual, but it's kinda hard to design a game around people who have no attraction towards anyone. Sorry. But honestly, it's just a game for quick laughs, so don't put too much thought into it. You'll either be really into this game or not at all, and those who are will probably have more than a few good laughs about their friends.