Cover Your Assets Review, D20 Games Alameda
Cover Your Assets by Grampa Beck Games..
Ben’s Review: (Store owner Guy)
Summery: Deceptively great game in a goofy box. Great for virtually all player levels, and good social fun. Best played with 3-6 players. Extremely easy to learn, but stays fun for a long time. Play time, 20-30 minutes a round, usually needs two rounds to get to a winner.
There is no way, looking at the box to have even the vaguest clue how fun this game is. The first time I saw it was at a special game store owners game night. All the heavy hitters were there, and one look at the goofy guy in his bowler hat and my nose went up in the air and I walked right past. After an hour, I realized that all the laughter in the room was coming from that table, so finally I went over. There were a ton of the game makers there, so I was spending 10-15 minutes just to get the feel of each game. So imagine my surprise when I realized I’d been playing the game for an hour and a half. Since then, we’ve played the game probably over a hundred times in the store.
How to play: The game play is simple, and works for ALL levels of players above 8 or so. It’s like a stealing version of Gin Rummy. Each player puts down matching pairs of cards (Jewels, Cars, Homes, Baseball Cards, Cash Under the Mattress) worth a fixed amount of $$ (The Assets), and works to build up a $1,00,000 to win the game. The twist is that there are about 10 of each type of card, and once you put down that $20,000 pair of homes, anyone else who has a single card that matches it can steal it on their turn, (grrr). BUT..if you have another copy in your hand (hand size is always 4 and your redraw to fill your hand whenever it gets below that) you can slap that card down and say “I don’t THINK so, buddy” and than not only do you get to keep your Homes in the family, but you get to add their card, and the card you defended with to that same pile (now worth 4x$20,000). Yay…you are the happy winner of that raid on your assets—oh damn, they have ANOTHER Homes in their hand to answer your defense, and now the steal is successful. UNLESS…look in your hand…that $25,000 Silver wild card (or $50,000 Gold), is itching to come out and play, and it stays yours…now a big fat $125,000 pile. (Why are all the other players looking at my stack with such “gimmie” in their eyes?) Until it gets to be my turn again, and I can put a different pair crossways on top of it to keep it safe (Covering your Assets…hence the name of the game) everybody else gets their shot at taking it, and they will. Once a stack is covered, it can’t be gone after until someone else steals off the covering stacks.
Two things: Because the game is all about stealing, it removes the feeling of “getting picked on” that can happen with games like Risk and Sorry. The only group I wouldn’t suggest this game for are kids who really get sore when things get taken from them in games. You can’t count your chickens in this game, and I’ve often gone from the big pile to stripped down to my card shaped undies, and little kids who are learning to handle that kind of stuff may have problems with that. (On the other hand, I just played with a 5 year old who had more fun taking stuff away from his dad’s pile then I’ve ever seen.) Second, the game is virtually impossible to get to the required $1,00,000 in the first round. That turns out to be a very good feature, because the first time around, people are figuring out the game, and their fortunes, so to speak, are never the same in the second game so by the time the two rounds are done, everyone had had a good time.
Games tend to appeal differently to different types of players and a big part of my job is helping people figure out which of the games they will like. This is one of the cheapest games I sell, and the only game I feel utterly confident in recommending to everyone (except for the tykes as listed above). I feel strongly enough about this game that it is the only one in the store that I’ve given an unconditional “fun” guarantee to bring it back. So far, lots of takers, and zero returners.
The following is a review from an 11 year old player in the store. Name is being kept private for kid safety reasons.
Cover Your A$$ETS
Cover Your Assets is a game slightly like gin rummy but with stealing or Go Fish where you can take from your opponents. The object of the game is to get $1,000,000 dollars’ worth of Assets (cards) by making pairs of cards and putting them on your Stack (a stack of cards.(OMG)) You can also steal cards from your opponents by making groups if you have a card that matches using their top pair or threesome or foursome. The twist is that you can counter or defend cards by playing another match. There are also Gold and Silver cards, which are wild and are worth $50,000 and $25,000, respectively. It seems to work best for kids of 10 and up, in terms of maturity. It has surprising strategy and depth for a game that’s object is to steal people’s stuff to become a millionaire. This game is no fun for poor sports and hard losers, but is probably for the whole family if Junior is mature enough. This is a very good game with a singular way to win but many ways to achieve victory and many more ways to fail. It is very hard to win and equally easy to win for grizzled veterans of card games as it is for wet-eared novices of card games. It is for 2-4 players, so it allows for a reasonable amount of unstable alliances. The estimated time is around half an hour to 45 minutes, so it takes fairly long to play.
FINAL RATING: 5!
Its fast and simple gameplay, easy-to-understand rules, complex strategy and depth earn an A+ in game design, although it is not for the whole family. Its estimated average time of gameplay also helped it earn the A+.