First Impressions: Gamer Deck 1


Hi all! Hope you’ve been having a great couple weeks. I’m sorry nothing was released sooner, but with Breakout Con in Toronto, and the exhaustion afterwards, not much writing was completed in the last week or so. This week I am doing something slightly different with a review. This week I am looking at a deck of cards that are put together for game designers, called the Gamer Deck from Odd Hackwelder and Hacko Games. Let’s dive in.

If You Love

  • Playing Cards
  • Designing Games

This section has proven to be a bit hard to cover for this one as the cards main use is to assist in designing games. So the biggest pull in with these cards is certainly the design aspect.

How It’sPlayed

Once again, this section is really tough to cover, as the main goal of the cards isn’t to be playing a game necessarily, but to create a new one. They do however, have playing card numbers on them, as well as four unique symbols, so they can be used as a set of regular playing cards. For me, this turned out to be a neat thing, because I could play relatively easy games with my son (such as go fish) and I could look at the cards and put together different combinations of game mechanics which are printed on the cards. Doing this is a great way to get the creative juices flowing and may be the kick in the pants to start the bones of a new and exciting game. (I’ll go on more about the layout of the cards in the next section as they sort of over lap from this point on).


The Pretty Little Bow

So, before I get into the details of the cards, I will go over the quality very quickly. They’re as good as any set of playing cards I’ve ever used. They are also very useful as possible tiles, as the backs are divided into quarters. When you have ideas about tile laying, or some sort of dungeon crawler, there are distinct areas that can be used as squares. On the front side of the cards, there are different usable areas depending on what you are looking for while designing. There is a blank area for any writing you may want to do on the cards. Be warned though, as erasable markers are tough to clean off the cards. No mistakes! As well as an area to write, and a playing card number and suit, there is a common game mechanic written on each card. There are also four cubes on the card, some of which are filled with one or two dice. These dice can be a good randomization tool. As well, the squares can be used for worker placement ideas. These are all great aspects of the cards for creation. Very well put together, and thought out for game creation as far as I can tell.

What’d You Love? 

I think that the best part of these cards is that there is no rules or hints to go with these cards. You just use them however you see fit. They have a usable deck of cards on them as a bit of a starting point if you’re really stuck, but you can use all the game mechanics in your hand to come up with outrageous combinations, which could lead to the next great idea. The unique combinations that you can come up with can lead to great things. This was by far the best thing about the cards. As good as they are functionally for worker placement, or dungeon crawling, I really believe that my biggest asset from these cards would be the game mechanics. I have no doubt that others will benefits from other parts of the cards, but for me personally, having the mechanics there is the best part.


What’s Not To Love? 

For me, the least appealing part of the cards is that the cards don’t have an easy mark up ability that I’ve noticed. While designing a game, I would want a card that I could easily mark up, and then change as I needed to. Maybe with a bit of elbow grease, you could get the marks off of the cards you mark up, but I would rather a relative ease of changing cards while in the midst of an idea, instead of a full clean up while trying not to forget what your were changing the cards to. Although, this is a minor detail, considering the great asset that these cards can be.


What’d You Think? 

Overall, I think these are a great deck of cards, which really give you the space to be creative. There is no true game that is being reviewed here, but I believe that this is an asset for anyone who is spending any amount of tie designing games. The best part of the cards for me, is that they can be usable for non card based games. If you want a worker placement area that is a specific spot, you can do that using these cards. You can also have them conveniently labeled as well if you so chose. The possibilities for these cards are seemingly endless and should be a must have for designers of any types of games. If this first deck of cards is any indication of the way the rest of the deck series could be, I’d be anxious to see the other possibilities that can be made.

That does it for this weeks write up! I hope you’ve enjoyed it, and as a designer, you check these out and see how they could benefit you. I look forward to writing for you all again soon! In the meantime, have fun playing games, and I love you all!


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