Publisher: Button Shy Games
Game Designer: Doug Levandowski
Artwork: Jeff Drylewicz
Ages: 12 and up
Playing Time: 10-20 minutes
Suggested Retail Price: $12
You’re being outsourced!
You’re Fired! is the new quick playing two-player game from Doug Levandowski and Button Shy Games that is now live on Kickstarter, where opponents compete to be the first to get the others boss fired before theirs loses his job. Can you play your various employees better than your opponent and save your bosses job and in turn, your own?
You’re Fired! is a nice compact package that you can carry anywhere consisting of just 27 cards with two identical decks of 11 Company cards along with five Consultant cards. Each card has an indicator of how many of each card there are in your deck at the bottom right for each of the seven characters or suits. There is only one of each Consultant and these add some wild powers to your deck, two of these are randomly drawn and shuffled into the deck to allow for some variability with each play. The four player variant adds two more decks to the mix.
As always with prototypes the components will not get scored but the copies I received were very good as was the art, making this look like an already completed game. The rules were clear and easy to understand and will have you playing in minutes.
Love Letter, You’re Fired!
The object of the game is to protect your boss from being fired while trying to axe the other guy’s jefe first. Swap the boss out with a royal title and this all sounds awful familiar doesn’t it? Well, it does play very much like Love Letter but this one has some big differences and is geared for and works great, with two players.
Game play of You’re Fired! is very simple, you begin with a hand of three cards and each turn you draw a card and then play a card. Cards played will either go to the breakroom (discard pile) face up or may need to be fired to carry out their effect. There are a couple of reactionary cards that allow an immediate response, such as firing a random employee from your opponents hand or firing the card that is firing one of yours.
Love Letter has always been a fairly weak option for just two-players because it tends to become a repetitive exercise in accusing the other player of holding the Princess with little in the way of mitigation or strategy. While it is a quick game, it still ends up being a random and fairly unfulfilling diversion whose strength lies in its quick play and easy accessibility.
With three or four players, the spread of cards in Love Letter makes it more interesting but in steps You’re Fired! to fill that two-player gap. For a quick two-player game, Love letter has gotten the pink slip and has now been replaced by You’re Fired!.
Starting with three cards in your hand and drawing a fourth gives players a better chance at having the right cards and the flexibility to whittle down their opponents hand in different ways, taking out cards that are necessary for protecting their boss card. Luck and randomness is still a part of the game but with four out of thirteen cards available to you already in your hand, you stand a good chance of having cards of value.
Whenever a player tries to fire a boss that is not in the others hand, that player is able to reshuffle their hand, draw deck and their discard pile and redraw three new cards. A player can still try to guess that you have the boss but while their blindly guessing at that, you can gain cards back that you’ve used from your breakroom and get to work firing their cards. This helps to make players want to play those cards rather than the blind accusations that plague two-player Love Letter. I really like how this has worked in the games that I’ve played.
The four-player variants allow players to work in teams with each player trying to eliminate the other teams boss and it works ok, the free for all variant I enjoyed more as it’s rather cutthroat but I think this game is at its best with just two players. It’s a small filler that does its job quite well for two, as you wait for another game to open up or for your dinner order to arrive.
If you’re a fan of Love Letter, You’re Fired! is a definite game to back on Kickstarter. You’ll feel right at home with the similarities yet pleasantly surprised at the differences. The unique card abilities and strategies they open up make this feel like Love Letter 2.0.
You’re Fired! is a fun little filler game that you can bring anywhere and is accessible to all and fans of Love Letter will be delighted at the new strategies and style of play offered here. The larger hand and unique card powers bring enough depth to make this filler game a great addition to your collection that will supplant Love Letter for two-players.
If you go for two copies of the game, you can enjoy some really crazy action with the four-player free-for-all and team play variants.
Company Website: http://buttonshygames.com/
Company Twitter: https://twitter.com/buttonshy
Note: A preview copy of this game was provided to me.