Not so long ago, I participated in a Clue LARP, which led me to create my own variation of a Clue LARP (but using the English (Cluedo) counterparts, A.K.A. the better counterparts of the characters). I had also just finished playing Speakeasy a while ago, so I’m in that 1920’s–1940’s frame of mind. You might be asking yourself, what’s the deal with all these games that require me to talk to other people, Jen? Can’t you find a game where I don’t have to pretend to be a corrupt official living in a time without cellphones? Well, I say to you suck it up. If you wanna play Monopoly, go ahead. They don’t have cellphones in that either. Just landline ones that don’t take pictures (boo, hiss). The game we are going to be looking at today is called ‘the Lounge’. It’s a game that is based around the Mafia. No, not the video game that I love so much. It’s about mobsters.
The game is pretty simple to learn. You have four piles of cards – Town, Mafia, Third Party and Create-A-Role. Each person receives a role (except for the GM). We played the game with 8 players, including the GM (so we actually had 7). Seriously, it’s hard to gather people together in New York. Especially with the amount of space we have to play in. Again, Herb wanted to be GM, so we let him. In this scenario, we had Citizens, Mafiosos, an Officer, a Doctor and a Cowboy.
Once Herb finished choosing all the roles, we closed our eyes and were handed our role cards. I somehow got to be an Officer, which would make no sense at all in real life, given my suspicions of everyone around me and lack of tact. I would’ve honestly thought everyone was out to get me. Given that the Mafiosos knew each other, I grew even more wary of the people I was playing with. Especially since they were randos from the Uncommons.
During the night, the Mafiosos choose whoever they want to kill (unless there is a tie in who to kill, which in that case, there is no kill). After that, the Doctor and I were woken up individually to use our powers. Once the night round was done, all the dead go away (the Doctor and one of the Citizens) and the day round begins. We all go around accusing people and so on and so forth before we lynch someone. We played pretty aggressively, as in, we rounded the game up in about 20–25 minutes, with everyone dead/lynched. Luckily, the Town won and the Mafia lost.
Similar to Werewolf/Mafia/Avalon, it had some pretty brilliant WTF moments that caused you to second-guess yourself and the other players around you. I think Herb had the most fun out of all of us, being GM and all and the dead people sat around to see who would go out next. No, they did not leave the game immediately. They actually wanted to stay around. It did occur to me that perhaps if there were too many people going off and dying, there would be a Red Dragon Inn syndrome, where all the “outed” people are bored doing something else. But we hadn’t gotten the chance to round up that many people (maybe one day at a convention?) On another note, the artwork looks awesome. You can follow the Kickstarter here (the Lounge).