by Peter Bess
getCrewd is a thematic 3 – 8 player card game. Each player takes on the role of a film producer with the goal of putting together a seven person crew (hand of cards) to make their movie. Play begins with each player randomly receiving a “Budget” card face up for all to see. The budget card gives two pieces of information. First, what genre of movie each producer will be making, i.e. Superhero, Romcom, Adventure, etc. Second, how much money they can spend to make their movie.
Once everyone knows their movie genre and their budget, each player is dealt a starting hand of three “Crew” cards. Crew cards have the title of a job on a movie set, i.e. Director, Actor, Production Designer, etc. and the cost for that crew member. Over the course of the game each player is trying to get a hand of seven crew cards which includes one director and one actor of the movie genre on their budget card and five other crew cards without any duplicate job titles. Plus, the total cost of all crew cards in hand cannot exceed the budget total on their budget card unless they have gained any “plus/minus/over-budget” cards during game play which may change their budget total.
Game play in getCrewd is fairly simple. On a turn the active player draws a new crew card adding it to their hand, then discards a crew card to their personal discard pile. Next, the same player draws an “Action” card and completes the action listed. There are four different types of action cards: getCrewd (draw another crew card without discarding,) Producers Choice (an all play, kind of like Apples to Apples with the winner getting a crew card,) RTD (Return to Deck,) and Plus, Minus, & Overbudget (these cards will change the budget for the player.) Once the player has drawn a crew card, discarded a crew card, and drawn and completed an action card play moves clockwise to the next player. The hand limit is seven cards.
The idea behind getCrewd is that it is an easy to play card game, light on rules and strategy. It is definitely a party style game and shouldn’t take much more than 30-60 minutes at most. It is easy to learn and teach, but there are three issues when it comes to play.
The first two issues have to do with the action cards.The action cards are the main driver of the game. They are how the players get enough crew cards to win, how they interact with other players, etc.
The first issue is that there are a few of the “Return to Deck” action cards that are confusing; the text on the cards does not do a great job of informing the player as to what they should be doing or how. There are not many of these, but when one comes up it really slows the flow of the game as the players are left trying to decipher what to do next.
The second issue is the “Producers Choice” action cards. When one of these is drawn the player who drew it asks the other players a question or gives them a prompt. Those players must come up with an answer, and the active player then chooses their favorite answer, awarding a crew card to the winner. The rules state, “Read card aloud and ask all other Producers to respond, then choose the best answer.” Rather than have the other players respond to the card aoud, I would recommend that these answers be written down and submitted anonymously. Otherwise, the active player has the ability to choose a winner based on whether or not it would benefit them strategically.
The third and final issue is that the rules do not state when exactly a winning hand should be played to finish the game. The rules do state what a winning hand must include, but not when a winning hand is submitted. Example, if the active player draws a crew card at the beginning of their turn and it gives them a winning hand are they still supposed to finish their current action which should be to discard a crew card, or can they immediately stop play and submit the winning hand? Or, must a player finish a complete turn of drawing a crew card, discarding a crew card, and playing an action card and then if they have a winning hand submit it? The rules do not answer these questions.
Final thoughts. The theme is interesting and well presented. The game even comes in a great film can with two nice sleeves to hold all of the cards in place. In the end, getCrewd is an okay card game that needs a bit more work to make it a good game.