|This is a picture of the original game, not the current House Party Edition|
Released by Steve Jackson Games in 1999 with illustration by John Kovalic, Chez Geek is all about the joys of sharing an apartment. From inviting friends over to your room, going shopping, and even getting nookie from your live in S. O., you and your roommates are all competing for to be the ultimate slack master of the apartment. But enough background! How does it play?
First each player is dealt a Job card. This tells you how much free time and income you have each turn, how much slack you need to win the game, and any special rules that might come along with your "chosen" occupation.
Next each player is dealt five cards Life cards. These cards are played during your turn (or sometimes during your opponents turn) as you try to get enough slack to win the game. Once this is done then its time to play the game!
Each player's turn consists of five phases.
1) First you draw Life cards until you have a total of six in your hand.
2) Next you roll for any random effects (such as your Income or Free time depending on your job) or to get rid of any unwanted people that are in your room. Is the Hungry Girl eating all of your snacks? The Choad Warrior drinking all you booze? Now is the time to try to get rid of them... and maybe even sick them on your roommates!
3) So just how did those unwanted people get in your room in the first place? During the Call People phase of course! If the person doesn't provide any slack you can just put them into play (though your opponents can stop this if they have the right cards in their hand) while people that provide slack have to be called. Roll well and they come over. Roll poorly and... there's nobody home.
4) Now it's time for some Free Time! Your Job card tells you just how much Free Time you have available. For each Free Time you can either do one activity (such as Hang Out At The Cafe or Surfing The Net) or go Shopping. So how much can you buy? Well that's what your Income comes into play. Each item you can buy has a cost listed on it and the total cost that you can buy in a turn cannot exceed your Income.
5) Last but not least is the Discard phase. If you somehow have more than five cards after all of this then you have to get rid of some, plus you can also discard all the way down to one card if you want. Once this is done, your turn is over and its the next players turn.
During your opponents turn there are a few things you can do such as playing Whenever cards (which can be played Whenever... see how they did that?) or canceling their activities with TV cards. No one can resist the power of the idiot box!!! Mwah ha ha ha ha!!!
And that covers the basics for the game except for how you win. The first player to reach or exceed their Slack Goal instantly wins so keep an eye on your opponents and slack off as much as possible.
Personally I really enjoy this game. No its not some deep masterpiece of strategy but its definitely a fun and fast play. Originally there were two separate expansions that went with the basic game but Steve Jackson Games has since combined all three together into one package and added counters and even a die (this is SJ Games after all so including a die is kind of a big thing) so make you get the House Party Edition if you pick it up so you have it all in one box. Until next time...