Oh My Brain by 25th Century Games

We were gifted Oh My Brain from 25th Century Games to review, a fun card game where you are trying to keep your brains from being eaten by zombie animals! First person to lose all their brains (which happens over a series of rounds) triggers the end game and the player with the most brains left wins.

We loved the brain theme!

Set up is simple, you shuffle all cards together and then deal out three stacks of three cards to each player. Looking at each stack of three one stack at a time, players will choose two to keep in their hand and one to put in their Cemetery (the card stand) in front of them and repeat for all three stacks. By time players are done they’ll have six cards in hand and three in the Cemetery. The Cemetery is not viewable to other players. All other cards unused are placed in a face down deck (the Swamp deck) which players will draw from as needed. The first player then plays whatever card they want and the next player clockwise has to play a card that is higher (with a few exceptions).

Graveyard cards on stand

The cards have normal numerical values on them but a few have special abilities. The 0 can be played at anytime no matter what number is played. When an 8 is played, the next player has to play a card with a value less than 8 and then play resumes normally. When an 11 is played the active player can get rid of the current stack of cards and play another card of their choice. You can also combine cards of the same number and their value will be that number multiplied by the amount of like cards played. When you do this, you place one card on the ongoing stack and the rest in your opponent(s) graveyard(s) (it can be multiple). This feels awesome when accomplished but is harder to do than one would think. Another special ability that can be on various numbered cards comes from a square brain icon centered on top of some of the cards. When these are played, the active player will roll the brain die and do whatever it says. Most of the time this results in a brain token being earned (either taken from the main pile or another player), switching hands with an opponent, putting cards in an opponent’s graveyard, all of which have a positive affect for that player. However, you can roll the icon which makes each player draw another card for their graveyard, which no one likes! This makes the game more even overall though.

If someone cannot play a card on their turn they will lose a brain token to the central pile and the Campfire deck (the face up played cards) will go to the discard. That player then must draw two new cards and place one in their Cemetery and one in their hand. That player then plays any card they wish from their hand and then play continues as normal. This reset is something that happens many times each round.

A card with brain icon in the top middle indicates the dice will need rolled

Play happens in rounds. Each player only plays one card on their turn (unless they play an 11 card). Once players have three cards left, it is up to them to make sure to replenish their hand to three each time (replenish from your Cemetery if you have less than three cards at the end of your turn). If this is forgotten by time the next player begins their turn you can’t refill to that number. Each round end is triggered when a player gets rid of all the cards they have in their hand and Cemetery. The round begins anew with the same steps as the initial setup and starts with the player who has the least brains left. The last round ends when someone runs out of brain tokens as the zombie animals have successfully eaten their brains. The player who has the most brain tokens is then declared the winner.

When an 8 is played the next card must be smaller than 8

Language Barrier Playability: Great! The special abilities require initial explanation but we found that little translation was needed overall to play the game.

Replayability: Excellent. We found ourselves doing multiple playthroughs in a single sitting because of the quick pacing of the game (and our competitive stubbornness).

Artwork: Fabulous. The pink/purple color scheme was distinctive, the cubed brains were unique, and the different designs that incorporated the cubed brains were so fun to look at. The game had a lot of art appeal that makes it excellent to display on any table. It also helps with our year-round Halloween craving.

Quality: Great. The box and cards are made of a good, thick material. The only downfall is that the cardstand for the graveyard would fall over sometimes. We aren’t sure how this could be avoided as non-engineers but it didn’t ruin the game at all.

Strategy: Good. Let’s face it, all card games have a luck element. However, the strategy in this game comes in when deciding what card to play. Do you save your ability cards, play a higher number right away, or play it safe? Risks have rewards and consequences!

Instruction Manual: Great. The instruction manual is very straightforward. It made it easy to start playing quickly but gave examples that covered all the special abilities for quick reference.

Organization: Unique. The game has a sort of book flap type opening and you push the inner portion of the box out. The instruction manual goes in a nice slim inner pocket and the components fit easily within their box.

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