We’ve found so many great games at yard sales and thrift stores this summer that we decided to show you more than the typical one per week! For the next 10 days we’ll introduce you to a Thrift Treasure that you’ve probably never seen or heard of before. For our fourth feature, we bring you Scream Machine by Jolly Roger Games.
Sometimes we find out the adage of “big things come in small packages” is an accurate statement. That is definitely the case with Scream Machine by Jolly Roger Games. What appeared to be a simple card game turned into multiple rounds of fierce strategy and enjoyable game play.
First things first, you need a BIG area to play this game. What you see above is only the starting point with a pool of cards in the center, cards in front of each player, pairs of cards between each player and the required draw and discard piles. Designed for at least 3 players, make sure you have the table space before you start.
Scream Machine is a game about building an amusement park to attract customers. These customers can have different tastes, such as thrill rides, kiddie rides, water rides, etc. They might also be classified as “Cheapskates” and only prefer the least inexpensive park to visit.
You play as many rounds as there are players, and during each turn you are allowed up to four actions where you can build additional rides, advertise, swap out available rides for new offerings or even peek at the cards between you and your opponent. How you spend your actions directly impacts the end of each round and to which park (yours or an opponents) the customers choose to visit.
This is not a game you’ll break open and start playing in 10 minutes, you really have to dig into the instructions to get a full grasp of the nuances of the rules. Part strategy and part luck-of-the-draw, I see Scream Machine remaining on our lower game shelf (the one everyone can reach) for a while. We couldn’t determine if it was still in print by looking at Jolly Roger’s website, but copies are available on Amazon for around $25.