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3-5 players

reviewed by ALAN HOW

Paparazzo is a game about obtaining photographs of 8 different celebrities who have been caught in various compromising positions. The object of the game is to obtain these photographs as cheaply as possible, while, through luck or skilful play, seeing them rise in value. The winner is the person who has got the most money, value of photographs and exclusives.

Players receive cash chips and 5 cards, which can be any combination of the 64 photographs (8 for each celebrity), and a further 3 cards are placed face-up on the table. The rest of the cards are not part of this round. Each player then secretly shows their cards to the player on their left, so that you have more knowledge about the potential value of the cards. Cards increase in value by being exposed and the more cards there are exposed for a particular celebrity the higher their value, so this act allows you to establish minimum potential value of a card.

The player who begins is called the Trader and this rotates each turn. The Trader determines which card will be auctioned from the 3 visible cards but does not take part in the bidding which consists of one round of bidding beginning on the Trader's left and ending on his right. At this stage the Trader may buy the card on offer for the price reached in the auction, or decline in which case another will buy the card and the Trader receives half the agreed price.

The person who bought the card now takes a card from his hand and places it on the table. It then becomes available for auction. Once a player has purchased a photograph and is the Trader, they may sell an exposed photograph to the local sensationalist tabloid called Skunk for the current value of the card obtained from the Scandal chart. There are minimum bid prices for cards, based on the number of exposed photgraphs of that person, so when you are the Trader you can sometimes get a photograph for free because no-one has sufficient cash to afford a bid.

The game ends when a player cannot play a card from their hand to add to the bids or when only one player still has any cards in their hand. Cards left in a player's hand are worthless, so careful planning is required to maximise the value

I think this is a very clever little end of evening game, with a lot of bluffing about when to launch a card and when to hold back, as well as when to cash in a card to help with cash flow. Having nicely timed the launch of their game to coincide with the Sleaze investigations in Britain, I'm now expecting Abacus to follow up with the unexpected resignation game.

Alan How

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Next: VOLLE LOTTE Up: No Title Previous: SKEDADDLE
Stuart Dagger