You're Hired! A Preview of Jobstacles

Jobstacles

Jobstacles, now on Kickstarter, brings something a little new to the table, taking familiar mechanics and adding a little strategy and definite theme to create a tight, fun, and enjoyable party game.

Gameplay

Each player is dealt three job cards and three "jobstacle" cards. Every jobstacle card lists an attribute such as "refuses to drive the speed limit," or "won’t speak to anyone without a college degree."

One player is chosen to be the hiring manager. He draws the top card from the job deck and reveals it. This is the job players are applying for. All the other players will choose one of their job cards to play facedown. The hiring manager mixes up these cards and reveals them. These cards are the candidates. Next, players may each choose to play one jobstacle card, either on their own candidate or another player’s. The hiring manager then chooses which candidate he feels is best for the job and the person who played that candidate wins the job card.

Players refill their hands and a new hiring manager is chosen. The game continues until one player has won three jobs.

Jobstacles Gameplay

Review

The rules are incredibly quick to learn. The game can be set up and the rules taught in a little over two minutes. And there’s clearly been a lot of thought put into the jobstacles as they can all either be beneficial or disastrous, depending on the job you’re applying for. There is also a nice, wide range of jobs from the mundane to the outlandish, which mixes things up and keeps it interesting.

One of the most unique mechanics of the game is how players may choose to play their jobstacle cards on any candidate. If an opponent has made their candidate too appealing, you can sabotage them but this could leave your own candidate without a jobstacle which could either help or harm the opportunity to be hired. This gives the game an extra layer of strategy that you don’t often find in most similar party games.

Discussing with the hiring manager the various candidates (while potentially trying to keep secret which is yours) is where the game gets really humorous and where you should definitely encourage players to be talkative. Play with the right group of friends, and this part is tons of fun.

The game has an age rating of 17+, which is because the theme of job hunting is more interesting for adults. A lot of the humor comes from discussing the absurd candidates in the context of a real job interview and real work situations, which job-seeking adults understand best. However, there are many amusing card combinations that older children and teenagers may enjoy — in a family setting, parents might wish to remove the few mildly inappropriate cards included with the game. Blank cards are also included so you can create your own jobs and jobstacles — an opportunity for groups who wish to add more adult humor.

There are certainly other games with some similar judging mechanics, but Jobstacles manages to put a fresh spin on the genre and makes itself a game worth playing in its own right. If this game piques your interest, take a look at the Kickstarter campaign.

Pros: Fun cards, some surprising strategic choices, fun for a good group of friends

Cons: Ideal for adult groups, not intended to be a family game

Disclosure: this preview is based on our evaluation of an unpublished prototype of the game, which is subject to change prior to publication. While a modest payment was received to expedite the review process, our thoughts and opinions expressed here are honest and accurate.