From the Publisher...
Players portray rival amusement park barons competing for the mad throng of thrillseekers looking for their summer excitement fix by building unique styles of rides and entertainment venues to painlessly separate customers from their money in this amusement park-themed card game.
Note that there are a couple points of confusion in the rulebooklet for this game and at least one rule was simply left out. A complete set of rules can be found at the Board Game Geek link from this page. The rules there are expanded, they include more examples and there's a two-player variant added as well. We recommend reading those rules before playing!
Here's a mini-review by Mike Petty from our 12/29/03 newsletter:
Scream Machine is a filler with a strong theme. Designed by Joe
Huber and published by Jolly Roger Games, this is a quick romp
for three to five players competing for the best amusement park.
Each round players have four action points to spend on things
like drawing cards or increasing options. The main action each
round, though, is to place attraction cards out that will appeal to
the customers involved. Some customers like food, others like
water rides. There are seven different types of attractions in all
and each has cards with values 1, 3 or 5. The total of these
values in each player's park determines which player will attract a
customer on the table. For example, a customer in the middle of
the table who wants "family attractions" will go to the player with
the highest total value of family attraction cards in his park.
One nice twist is that each pair of players has at least two
customers between them that only they compete for. So, even if
you don't have the highest total value of an attraction, you may
have a high enough total to beat out the park to your left or right.
Also, some customers are "cheapskates" and they'll go to the
park with the least total points of all attractions. This counteracts
the usual strategy of just piling on as many points as you can in a
This game can be over in as few as four turns, depending on the
number of players and it goes really fast once everyone knows
the rules! The best move you can make on any turn is fairly
obvious once you take in all the information on the table. All that
remains is the question of what will turn up in the deck for a later
player or what another player has in his hand, so luck will play a
factor to be sure. All in all, if you're looking for a fun, light game
with a very appropriate theme, give Scream Machine a whirl.
more information at the Board Game Geek website
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