CGE is Feeling Just A Little Bit …Errr…Spicy?

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As we recently announced on our website, we have some exciting news to share: starting this year at PAX Unplugged, CGE will be distributing games from our friends and German partners HeidelBÄR Games! Some of you may recognize Spicy, the hottest bluffing game around, which is relaunching in the US. Additionally, Time Division will make its US debut at BGG.CON and PAX Unplugged. We’re looking forward to sharing both games with you! Here’s a little more about Spicy, in case you missed it.

Do you love party games that are quick to learn but hard to put down? Then you might already be familiar with the “hottest” and funniest bluffing game around. Spicy is a delightfully chaotic card game full of sneaky subterfuge for 2-6 players, where everyone is engaging in a crazy high-stakes spice eating contest.

It’s also one of two releases from our friends and German partners HeidelBÄR Games that CGE will be distributing in the US going forward, starting at PAX Unplugged this year! You can demo the game and purchase copies at the CGE Room (#203AB) at PAXU this December.

For those who may not know, HeidelBÄR Games handles distribution of the German language editions of CGE’s games in Europe. Starting this year, we’re partnering with them to give some of their games a boost in North America.

So yeah…let’s get Spicy!

A personal party game favorite

I had my first taste of Spicy as a player during a work trip last year to the Czech Republic, where the whole CGE team traveled to a retreat in the mountains for our annual “Summer Camp” gathering. One evening, we were looking for some lighter games to play with a larger group. Eleni (CGE’s in-house content creator) suggested we give it a try, so we sat down with a full table to dive in. We all took to bluffing and challenging one another right away, with bouts of laughter ensuing. It was a blast.

Now more than a year later, it’s cool to be able to be involved with the game in a whole new way. So whether you’re familiar with Spicy or just learning about it for the first time, we hope you’ll check it out and give it a try. It’s a hot one!

How does it play?

On your turn, you’ll play a card face from your hand face down, declaring the type of spice and hotness level. “Technically,” you’re supposed to match the current spice suit and play a card of a higher heat level than the previous card played. However, you can also choose to fib about elements of the card you’re playing, which is where a lot of the game’s silly fun comes into play.

An example: Perhaps the current spice suit is wasabi and you have to play a card higher than a 6. You have a wasabi card in hand, sure, but it’s a 3. Not so good. You could pass and draw a card (which is not always ideal, since you want to get rid of all of your cards as fast as possible). OR…you could oh-so-casually play the 3 wasabi and maybe say it’s an 8 wasabi. If nobody challenges you, you’re in the clear! Woohoo!

Alternately, maybe you have a legal card in hand to play but want to subtly act a little suspicious to nudge another player to call you out incorrectly. It’s part of the fun. Someone is eventually going to be not telling the truth, but you never know unless they get challenged.

The trick to bluffing in Spicy is to do it convincingly, because you don’t want to get caught.  Anyone can challenge the most recent card played, which forces its owner to reveal its actual value—for better or worse, depending on the result. You gain points by challenging other players correctly, catching them in a bluff and banking the current stack of cards in play as end game points. However, you can also gain points by being challenged incorrectly. Being challenged when you’ve played a legal card earns you points and forces the challenger to draw more cards and start the next run.

There are a few other cool nuances, too. Here’s a full look at how to play:

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