House Rules, Where the Rules don’t matter

House Rules

 Game: House Rules  Time: 5- 10 minutes
 Age: 12+
 Players: 2+

Getting House Rules (website here) to the table was simple. Getting House Rules to play longer than 5 minutes was the trick. In the card game you draw 5 cards and lay out weapon cards in order to develop your defense (2 for a 3 player game and 3 for a 4). Every turn you will play an attack card and/or a rule (or don’t, that’s an option too). When you attack, you will pick an opponents defense and destroy it if your attack is higher than theirs. When you play a rule, it can add a bit of flavor to the game. Rule cards such as Blind Firing (playing defense cards face down), mutual destruction (when your defense is destroyed, destroy a card from their hand), and break the game (remove a rule), can make the game endure some really unique experiences especially when chained together. However, I found House Rules doesn’t last long enough for us to be able to chain link some epic rules for battling. In my 3 player experience of House Rules, our game always ended up with 2 of the 3 teaming on the third wheel, followed by the 1st player defeating the 2nd player because when the right rules are in place, the 2nd player has no time to rebuild their defense after they defeat the 3rd player.

While I didn’t intend on fighting a bit of a break in the game. We continued to play each round as if we are players not looking to make up our own “house rules”. So, when we found opportunities to end the game, we ran with it. Does this mean this game is broken? No, I have a nephew I mention a lot in my posts who absolutely LOVES battling card games. They are straight to the point and don’t expect a lot of time and patience in order to win the game. House Rules accommodates the readiness of an easy-to-learn card game as well as rules and description that aren’t too hard to follow. The cards are designed so each attack card has a written description of the weapon. You will be playing with cards that are rather large men, bowling trophies, and a personal fear of mine, pens. While they don’t twist the game in any way, they are a nice bid of time as you read it allowed and cooperatively visualize the attack of said weapon defeating the defense of said weapon. Rule cards aren’t over bearing and could get their point across in just a few words. So it keeps the pace of the game (while fast) steadily.

Final Thought:

House Rules doesn’t necessarily push the envelope for innovation, but does qualify for a quick filler. The rules provide players with a very clear step by step to learn how to play. Would be perfect for a younger crowd.

house rules

We were using a PnP version of the game so our graphics don’t capture the quality of these cards as they should be. They WILL be dry-erasable.

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Joseph Nicholas

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Indietabletop. Communication major. Favorite mechanics include: Bluffing and Deduction, modular boards, and action point allowance. Favorite video game genres are Rpgs, Puzzles games, and Sim/Tycoons.

  • Joseph,

    Thanks for taking a look at the game, I appreciate it! I’ve made some adjustments for 3 players since sending you the review copy, so games will definitely last longer and progress further with the published version. A lot of the fun moments I’ve had with playtesting is when people create their own rules and play to the table, so if you guys play it again I encourage you to give that aspect a try!

    -Eric