Board Game Review: This Game Goes To Eleven (2019)

Rock and Roll and card games, two fun and interesting things on their own but combined into one is like a gift from the gods for I am talking about the card game This Game Goes To Eleven by Gamewright. The title an obvious nod to one of the greatest rock mockumentaries of all time, This is Spinal Tap, where rock musician, Nigel has an amplifier that goes past the usual 10 to 11. All meant to make fun of Rock and Roll’s inane obsession of being louder. Here, in This Game Goes To Eleven your primary objective of the game is to build piles of numerical cards to total 11. Dubbed by Gamewright as “The Game that Cranks It Past Ten“, but does it crank it past ten on the fun dial?

More Board & Card Game Reviews:
Board Game Review – Nightmare (1991)
Board Game Review – Don’t Get Got! (2019)

This Game Goes To Eleven: Gameplay Overview

The main objective is to have the least amount of cards in the end. Players take turns going around the table building communal piles of cards. Once the card piles reaches 11, that player picks which player must take the completed pile of cards. So, there is some strategy: giving the cards to someone with the least amount of cards, putting yourself in a better position with the least amount of cards at the end. Piles are not to go past eleven, so if you are unable to place a card on an existing pile(s), you must start a new one. Pretty straight up game play.

The only variable, is that there are wild cards. A librarian that can bring the pile’s card total back down to zero and rocker dude card that can crank the pile all the way up to eleven, regardless of the total of the pile. However, you can place a quiet card on top of an eleven (11) rocker guy card, thereby stopping someone’s attempt to crank it to 11 and they must take it. In the end it’s the amount of cards, not their numerical value that count toward the total you don’t want.

When Do You Get New Cards in This Game Goes To Eleven?

Something the manual doesn’t mention: You should draw a new card whenever you play a card. That means when you put down a card, pick up a card from the draw pile. Seems very basic but the manual neglects to mention it.

It comes with a guitar pick which is a slightly different take on the game, where the 11 piles go the player with the pick, which goes around in a circle (instead of the players choosing).

Overall, the design is almost there. Everything has a 1980’s Metal style to it, with the back design of the cards as a guitar amp rig and the cartoon metal guy and librarian are stylistically good. I say “almost there” because I found it all to be a little half baked: thematically and as a game. At $19.99 CAD, I found the gameplay to be almost too simplistic and the whole rock and roll theme to be a bit arbitrary. I get it: Rock and Roll, goes to eleven, make piles of eleven. A good start but the game feels a little underdeveloped. I suppose because it is simple, it is easy to play for anyone. But one wonders if you could just play the same game with a regular deck of cards. Plus, there is no real satisfying ‘got you moments’. It is true someone can lay down an 11 card and someone can counteract with a 0 (zero) card and make the one who played the 11 take the pile. Otherwise it is just building piles of eleven. Particularly, because you can’t use librarian ‘quiet’ cards on regular piles of eleven. Something which the game explicitly states:

You cannot play a Quiet! card if a pile adds up to 11 only using number cards“. e.g. you cannot place the shoosh (down to zero cards) on a regularly achieved 11 bringing it back to 0. I think it’s better to disregard this rule.

Conclusion: This Game Goes To Eleven

Now, admittedly I only played the game with my girl (two people total). So, perhaps the game would be more fun with at least 3 or more people. They say up to six which is fair considering the game play is centralized to piles of cards. Not like a big board game. More than six would be a bit much.

The game play was sort of fun. The games were fast, about 10 minutes each. But after a couple of rounds, it felt like it was time to move on to something else. So, although the objective is to crank it up to eleven, and the game boasts: “The Game that Cranks It Past Ten“, it is not where I would rate the game by any means.

Rating – This Game Goes To Eleven Card Game (1991)

/ 5

This Game Goes To Eleven was ok but nowhere near 11.

Players: 2 – 6 but probably more fun and easier with more players.
Duration: 10-15 minutes a game.
Ages: 8+
Learning Curve: Easy, anyone can play. Maybe too easy.

3 Replies to “Board Game Review: This Game Goes To Eleven (2019)”

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