The Advertising Game by Mongo Industries (https://www.thegamecrafter.com/games/the-advertising-game) is a game for 2 to 4 players and takes less than 30 minutes to play. The premise of the game is fairly simple.
You are an employee of an advertising agency seeking to get that killer idea. By playing cards you eliminate your competition. The last advertising employee left standing, wins.
Now before I get too far, I want to specify that this game is pretty much a direct clone of Love Letter. As I have reviewed Love Letter previously (View Love Letter Review Here), I’m going to give the same review here with my edits shown, so you can see what is different.
Components: 16 cards. 1 box. Oxygen with trace amounts of Nitrogen. End of list.
The deck is shuffled.
Each player is dealt 1 card.
1 card is removed from play.
On a players turn, you draw one card and play one card.
Each card has effects that you should use to attempt to expose others and knock them from the game.
In our play through I found that the initial play was entirely too fast to really grasp the ins and outs of the game. But let me attempt to recreate how the game was played:
Step 1: I was given the
Countess Whilhelmina <Insert Level 6 Card Name> card.
Step 2: Play started with me.
Step 3: I drew the
King <Insert Level 5 Card Name>.
Step 4: I lose.
In 4 steps of nobody’s effort I was removed from the game. That pretty much tainted my opinion of the game from then on out. It was an unfortunate series of events that persisted throughout several rounds. I bared witness to the same effect on other players, so I will say that the game is fair in that effort. It is very much like Poker in that respect, where players must deal with the cards they are given, however, if a player can be nullified without any action on their part, it is concerning.
On top of that, readers / viewers out there who know me and are a fan of the show are aware of my deep seeded hatred for player elimination mechanics. This is nicely balanced with the extreme quickness of the game, but it certainly rubbed me the wrong way.
Overall, I would say this game is acceptable as a filler while waiting for dinner or playing while other players show up. I didn’t particularly like the the theme but it worked for the game. With that, I will now go into my rubric.
Quality of Components: 0-2 (1.5)
The simplistic art style did it justice.
I actually prefer some of the later art styles that exist, but the original was good enough without any concerns.
Good Balance of Skill to Luck 0-1 (0)
This game is all about luck. Occasionally a player could outsmart enough or deduce who they were in order to use the
guard <Creative Team> on them, but it seemed like those events were few and far between. It seemed more that a dice roll could have sufficed to produce a winner.
Analysis / Paralysis 0-1 (1)
The game was well paced and helped to not create a lot of analysis paralysis. The one area where this could occur is in the realm of the
Guards <Creative Team>. The Guards <Creative Team> allowed for a player to attempt to guess what card another player had. Sometimes players would attempt to recount every card that was played in order to discern what cards a player could have. That said, that was probably one of the most fun parts of the game.
Theme 0-2 (
There was theme, and the cards were based around it, however, it wasn’t for me. I mean… how many people can
pass the princess a letter before someone gets suspicious? In addition, if a letter determines how fetching the princess finds you, then the girl needs to get out a bit more. <come up with ideas in an advertising agency? I’m guessing a lot. That said, the theme worked a bit better in my opinion, than the original Love Letter, thus the slightly better score for theme.>
Thrill / Competitive 0-2 (0.5)
I didn’t really get it. Yes, it’s thrilling when it’s down to you and another player but when it is your first turn and you are eliminated, there isn’t much competition… unless you count that Ebay bid war I had while everyone else continued to play.
Was it fun 1-2 (1)
Not really. Again, maybe in a blue moon while waiting for other players to show up, but even then I have other games I’d go to first.
<I would also like to add a demerit of 2 points due to the fact that this is not an original idea. I know, I know this can be argued on a lot of games, however I have to say that even what the cards did for actions was a direct copy. If the designer had spent more time trying to augment the game rather than applying the new theme to an existing game then I think this would have taken flight.>
5 <3.5> Points