Published by: self-published by designer Eric Williams
# of Players: 3-6
The version of the game that was played was on regular paper. I can not explain what the quality of the components because of this. In the finished game, the cards will be dry erasable. This allows you to make your own cards and change them as you see fit. Sounds great, but I cant tell you how it plays out. The cards do not have a lot of art. What little they have is appropriate if a little generic. It seems possible that this may be expanded upon in the final version. The game does have fun card names. “My 'Giant Magnifying Glass' (attack 6) destroys your 'Life Sized Michelle Obama Cutout' (attack 4)” Again, in the finished version, you will be able to add to this.
The purpose of the game is to be the last player standing. If someone plays an attack card against you and you have no cards to defend yourself, you are out. The gameplay is very simple. There are three types of cards: weapons (cards with numbers on them), special action cards and rule cards.
Weapon Cards: You may lay one weapon card per turn. You may lay it down as a defense card. Attackers must attack defense cards before attacking the player. Alternatively, you may play a weapon card in attack. You would then select an opponent's defense card to attack. If the attacking card is not equal to or higher than the defending one, the attack fails and is discarded. If it is equal or higher, both cards go away.
Rule Cards: You may play one rule card on your turn. It modifies the way the game plays. Sometimes they completely change the game, sometimes they barely change anything or can be just for entertainment purposes. (“Players who check their phone must discard a card.”) Only three rules can be in play at once. The oldest rule gets eliminated when a new one is introduced. This plays very similar to rule cards in Fluxx.
Special Action Cards: These cards can be played absolutely anytime (like when you are being attacked) and in any number. They have unique effects spelled out on the card. Some cancel an attack, others destroy a defense card, another doubles an attack or defense and so on.
I haven't been exactly raving so far so let me say this; House Rules is simple and fun. The “make your own cards” feature is innovative and we did not get a chance to explore that aspect of the game heavily. In many other ways, this game has been done before.
It feels like that copy of Mille Bornes that was at my aunt's house growing up or the copy of Uno that we had in the camper up north. It will certainly stave off boredom. House Rules can be explained and taught very easily. House Rules is a filler game to play quickly with anyone. This is not a game to make a game night around, but it could serve as a small course during a family game night. If you enjoy light family card games then you will enjoy House Rules and the ability to make/change the cards.
+ Dry Erasable cards will add lots of customization
- Feels generic