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Published on October 21st, 2015 | by Nicole Jekich

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Always Look on the Bright Side

Finding the Silver Linings with Sway

Party games are a dime a dozen on Kickstarter and making a great first impression with your game is important in getting party gamers interested. So let me introduce you to Sway: a party game where players focusing on sharing the positive points of random, silly topics.

None of these topics were an uncomfortable subject or one that could be uncomfortably construed by playing down different card combinations. Sway is a party game designed around the idea that party games should be inclusive, fun and positive experiences. The gameplay is simple and provides a series of creative, improvised challenges for friends and family to enjoy in their spare time.

Strength in Challenges

It’s not just what you say, it’s how you say it in Sway. The phases of gameplay follow the popular model in party games: play cards, debate and a random judge decides the winner; but players can win additional points by presenting their stance in a challenging way.

The two debating players draw a Challenge card before each debate which gives an added difficulty which players can choose to follow or not. These challenges range from doing accents, such as mimicking a Southern accent, upper-crust British aristocrat or as your favorite cartoon character. As someone who does accents about as good as Sean Connery –creating accents in this game is not my forte. Thankfully there are a lot of other challenges like presenting your topic like an Oscar acceptance speech or do yoga poses.

sway card game

Players get no prior preparation in knowing their topic as each player reveals their topic from the top of the deck and have 30 seconds to present the positives of their topic. Those random, silly topics I mentioned range from getting a tooth pulled to Cary Grant, mushrooms to volcanic eruptions. I loved finding finding the positives in topics that don’t have many positives going for them like volcanic eruptions or ‘Woo Girls’ (which is a common Seattle gentrification issue).

sway card game

Alternate Case is a card that sits in the middle of the table and is available for any player to grab after both debaters have finished. The player with this card can present an alternate case for one of the revealed topics. In our game at Raygun this card was used in an impressive Kanye West interrupt style speech about the positives of a root canal.

Room for Growth

Sway is a simple game and doesn’t need a lot of tweaks for the final product.  I definitely feel their deck selection needs to trim some of the more oddball and skipped over topics or challenges. Cards like Cary Grant, New Kids on the Block, wainscoting etc didn’t have as much relevance to everyone at the table compared to more universal and simple topics like mushrooms. Switching out card topics or leaving a blank cards for personalized topics is an easy task as Sway currently has 465 topic cards! There is plenty of room to also add themed expansions and if there are more topics you want to see, the creators want to hear it.

Only 3 Days Left on Kickstarter!

Sway is the first game by Silver Linings Games and I had the pleasure of meeting two of the creators at Sunday’s playtestNW event at Raygun Lounge. SLG just finished a demo tour around Seattle and made appearances at GeekGirlCon and Card Kingdom. Their campaign is agonizingly close to funding and with only 3 days left and only 1/3 needed to reach their funding goal. If you’re looking for a party game with improv, funny voices and focusing on the bright side of things, now is the time to support this game.

“The mission of Silver Linings Games is to facilitate joy, connection and expression through the creation of original card and board games. Our games will be positive in tone and will make the people that play them feel good. “

I’m looking forward to seeing more games from this group as creating games that facilitate ‘joy, connection and expression’ with people is a mission I can get behind.

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About the Author

Nicole Jekich

came from humble beginnings as a Boise suburbanite with a love of Cranium and Trivial Pursuit. She attended an open board game day three years ago and is now an avid gamer and fantasy artist. Her interests are primarily in Dungeons & Dragons, dice placement and Roman-themed tabletop games. Nicole is also a fan of playing games that let her release her inner barbarian. Her favorite game currently is Far Space Foundry.



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