One of the great pleasures of being a queer nerd is that other queer nerds find you—that’s what happened with Mandy Browne, one of the team responsible for a great new casual card game coming to us from the U.K.: Gobblin’ Goblins. She emailed me to let me know that the team had a Kickstarter launching at the end of October (and it’s still going! They’re so close to their goal!), and she sent me a beta version to try with my friends. We had a blast. And we played right around Halloween, so the photos in this Gayme Night are…erm…special.
Here’s how we threw our Gobblin Goblins Gayme Night. Perhaps, after you back the Kickstarter, this will serve as inspiration.
In this game, you play as, surprise, a goblin. One of many different kinds of goblins, in fact! Each goblin has its own special power (I played as a snob goblin, for instance, because of course I did). Once you’ve chosen your goblin, the object is to eat as much food as you can, avoiding your dislikes and food allergies while gobbling up your very favorites. In other words, it’s pretty much exactly like attempting to dine at A-Camp as a gluten-free vegan who’s allergic to nightshades. This game is queer culture. The gameplay feels like a cross between Fluxx (play one, draw one) and Chrononauts (stealing crap from other people).
It plays in about thirty minutes (and that was with us teaching ourselves how to play), which means we used this particular Gayme Night as a Pre-Gayme Night—two of our friends were attending a costume party directly after. That meant a quick game paired with some drinks was perfect. Not every Gayme Night you throw needs to be an hours-long production! You can slot this game into your life really easily. In fact, I can also see this as a good bar game or waiting-for-your-food-in-a-casual-restaurant game. It also seems to very much be made with children in mind, so if you’re playing with kids, it’s a particularly good choice.
The humor was also made for kids. But that didn’t stop me from laughing every time the Fart Machine made an appearance. The Fart Machine is my favorite card. I love the Fart Machine.
Fart machine. Fart. Machine.
Also there was an explosive diarrhea card. That made me laugh a lot but also made me lose by, like, a million points.
So even for a Pre-Gayme Night, I still wanted to theme my drinks. And given the lovely green goblin art all around us, I decided to go with my very favorite green drink: absinthe. It just so happens that I, a tradition-and-liquor-loving queer, own an absinthe fountain. And Pontarlier glasses. And absinthe spoons. Did I mention I love absinthe?
If you want to go all out and grab a fountain like mine, I actually found it on eBay. Fill the fountain with ice and water—do this in the sink. I did not. It was a mistake. Learn from my mistakes. After you fill the fountain and make sure all the spigots are turned off and then you lift the fountain to your dining room table without watering it and everything in your living room, grab your Pontarlier glasses. Fill the well in the bottom with absinthe. If you’re not using Pontarlier glasses, this is anywhere in the 2-3 ounce range. You can just measure it out in your fanciest glasses. Or your jam jars. Or whatever it is that you’re using. Next, take the absinthe spoon and place upon it a basic white sugar cube. If you don’t have a fancy spoon, you can use any ole slotted spoon or a tea strainer, even! Slowly drip the ice cold water into the absinthe until your glass is mostly full and your absinthe is a beautiful otherworldy green cloud. Sip carefully—absinthe is a bit strong, but it tastes like licorice candy so you might not notice how strong until it is decidedly too late.
If you’re not into purchasing an absinthe fountain, you can follow this guy’s lead and use a condiment bottle. The cool part about this being a gobliny game is that you can go fancy OR you can use a lot of makeshift things and IT STILL MAKES SENSE. Because they eat things like traffic signs and shoes in the game. Like, your condiment bottle absinthe fountain is honestly probably way more on theme than my actual absinthe fountain? But a snob goblin also exists, so my fancy things are fine too? Ugh, ENDLESS POSSIBILITIES, FRIENDS!
Now I did mention this game was excellent for children; absinthe, however, is not. Never fear! If you’re playing with kids, a quick Google search turned up a bright green Saint Patrick’s Day punch (non-alcoholic variety) that is perfect for this as well! Check it out:
I almost made a playlist for this. But then I realized. The Labyrinth soundtrack exists on Spotify. Why would I, a child obsessed with David Bowie and this movie, choose to use any other goblin music? Dance magic dance, you beautiful queers, you! And I’ll see you for the next Gayme Night soon! And remember! Back Gobblin Goblins on Kickstarter to get a copy of the game!