SNAP Review – Oh my Brain
[Andrew] Hey Anitra! What’s the difference between a body builder and a zombie?
One says “No pain no gain, and the other says no brain no pain!”
[Anitra] Ha ha.
[Andrew] You don’t like my joke? You have no sense of humor?
[Anitra] I like jokes that are actually funny.
Well I might not be funny, but this game is. This is a SNAP review for Oh my Brain, a zombie-themed hand discard game by Bruno Cathala and Théo Rivière, published by 25th Century Games.
Let’s talk about the art in Oh my Brain. This is definitely not the color scheme I expect from a zombie game.
[Andrew] You’re totally right. This definitely doesn’t look like a zombie game. The art was done by Olivier Derouetteau and it makes me think of some very silly, alternate animation styles you see in the interstitial scenes in a Pixar movie. Kind of Tim-Burton-ish.
The art is limited to the fifty cards, but it’s full size art, and it’s different on each of the twenty numbers.
Regular cards are blue, but special cards are pink. The color difference is a good reminder, but we were did always end up referring to the rulebook to figure out what these icons meant. Fortunately, there weren’t a lot of them.
So we’ve got pink cards and blue cards, and a pink die. How do you actually play this game, and what’s with all the brain tokens?
So, every player starts with nine brains, and the goal of the game is to be the last person at the table with any brains left.
Everyone starts with one of these card holders and takes three cards. You’ll keep one and put two in your “Cemetery”, which is another name for the card holder. This lets you see all of your cards while keeping them secret from the other players. Do this one-card/two-card two more times, and you’ll have six cards in your Cemetery and three cards in your hand.
On your turn you’ll play a card into the middle. Whatever it is, it needs to be higher than the last card that was played.
If you don’t have a single card that’s higher, you can put identical cards down to double or triple their value. If you do that, one stays down on the pile, and you distribute the other cards to other players’ Cemeteries. Once you’ve played, draw cards from your Cemetery to refill your hand back up to three cards.
Remember all the special cards do different things; there’s a really handy cheat sheet on the back of the rules. Some cards will allow you to roll the “marshmallow” die, too, which has a range of different effects on it. You can find those on the sheet too.
If you can’t, or don’t want to play a card from your hand, you must discard one of your precious brain tokens, clear the center pile, and draw two cards from the deck. Keep one, put one in your Cemetery, and then play a card from your hand.
The first player to run out of cards wins the round. Everyone else discards brain tokens equal to the number of cards they have left in their hand plus the number of cards they have left in their Cemetery. You keep playing until only one player has brains left! (Braaaains…)
Anitra, what did we Expect from Oh my Brain?
From the beginning, we expected something silly. The cover alone is a pretty good indication that this isn’t your typical zombie game. It’s got zombie animals all over it.
I think we suspected there would be some kind of sequencing, or trick taking, or something, because it’s just a deck of cards, some tokens, and a die.
Most games don’t include card holders anymore (if they ever did) so it was interesting to see them in the box and it kind of made us wonder what was going on in this game.
Oh, the box. That was a surprise.
I know it sounds really dumb, but I love this box.
First, it’s small. You can fit this game in a large purse; it can’t fit into a pocket but you can toss it into a backpack or something like that. Second, it’s got this smooth finish on it that I really like. There’s also some glow in the dark ink on the box which you can’t see unless it’s dark out and there’s no light. (It’s so fancy!)
But seriously, the packaging for this game is perfect. Not too big, not too small, it’s got some cute features that make it stick in your mind. Which is why I guess I’m bringing it up.
The box stays closed, too! That’s always nice.
I was surprised at how fast the game moves. You might have three choices on your turn, but you probably have less. It never feels good to have to discard brains and draw cards. But the Cemetery acts as a buffer that keeps players from having a hand full of cards. And that keeps the game moving and really limits your analysis paralysis. The game box says 15 minutes, and once everyone knows what they’re doing, that’s definitely about right.
The theme really doesn’t do anything to this game. These could easily be abstract cards with numbers and symbols and generic tokens. But the art does make you smile, I mean, look at these cute little rat-guys! They’re adorable. And cute bats!
Do we recommend Oh my Brain?
Oh my Brain is great if you’re a family of five on the younger end looking for a smallish game that you can maybe keep in the car and take out at a restaurant or if you’re stuck somewhere waiting for something for 20 minutes.
It doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it does a good job as an incredibly simple game with a little bit of luck mixed in. Kids as young as eight, or maybe a little younger, will enjoy the silly art, and the chance to take mom and dad’s brains. It’s kind of creepy source material but the way it’s presented here it isn’t creepy at all.
I think we’re going to rate Oh my Brain 3 brains (what else) out of five.
And that’s Oh my Brain in a SNAP!
The Family Gamers received a copy of Oh my Brain from 25th Century Games for this review.
This post contains affiliate links, which do not change your price, but help support The Family Gamers.
SNAP review music is Avalanche, provided courtesy of You Bred Raptors?
Oh my Brain
Age Range: 8+
Number of Players: 2-5
Playtime: 15+ minutes