One of my brothers and his family gave me a Christmas gift that really impressed me. It’s a game involving Egyptian themes and the story in Genesis of the seven years of plenty and seven years of famine that Joseph predicted and managed. When we opened and enjoyed Feast or Famine from Good Knight Games, I had no idea that it was a game out of Utah. It’s been one of the top sellers at Deseret Book, I understand. Cool.
The mind behind this game is Jason Conforto. He helped my brother, David, of Avalanche Studios fame, produce and direct the documentary Mario’s Conviction, the film about a Mafia man who became LDS and lived to talk about it. Congratulations, Jason, on an interesting new venture.
Feast or Famine appeals to me because it combines strategy with probability and chance. That way you can feel smart when you win or just a victim of luck if you lose. Uh, yes, I was a victim. The game has a two-sided game board, one for seven years of plenty, and one for the famine ahead. During the seven stages of the feasting phase, players can use points they accumulate every turn to purchase a variety of goods. A lot of chance determine how many pieces you get for your money, but there is plenty of strategy involved as well (what goals to pursue, what to buy, when to spend or save). The goal is to fill in rows or columns on the board with tokens of purchased goods. Completing a row or columns earns the player Egyptian wadjet eye medallions (the stylized Egyptian eye, as in Facsimile 2 of the Book of Abraham) which are used in bidding for Egyptian card later in the famine phase. During the famine, strategy and luck combine to let players obtain face-down cards that may contain many or few points. There are some really interesting aspects to how one plays this part of the game, with results that are difficult to predict. Keeps the game fresh.
I like the artwork and the stylized elements, including the four Sons of Horus game pieces (the figurines one sees under the lion altar in Facsimile 1). Fun addition to our game closet. And I fell for the game even before I knew of its provenance.
Any of you tried it?