I have done the Finnish translation of this game, and got a free copy from the Finnish publisher.
The game: Co-Mix by Lorenzo Silva, published by Horrible Games in 2014.
Elevator pitch: Story-telling game, where you create your story by laying picture cards on a six- or nine-panel comic page. Stories are then told and scored, but there’s a clever twist in the scoring.
What’s in the box? Box contains five player boards, quite a big pile of cards and lots of cardboard tokens for players. There’s a nice scoring track in the box insert. Art is nice. The cards remind me of business cards more than playing cards, thanks to the material and the sharp corners, and I’m afraid they’ll get worn in play. Other than that, no complaints about the components.
What do you do in the game? The game play is really simple. A story title is chosen. Everybody gets twelve cards (doublesided, so 24 pictures to choose from!). Players must then lay six (or nine, for the advanced version) cards on the board to form a story.
First player to complete the story turns the 90-second timer, and if you’re not done when the sand runs out, you have to fill the rest randomly. Better be quick, then!
Stories are then told. Players must include every picture somehow and in the correct order. Feel free to embellish the story as much as you want, but keep it fairly short.
Stories are then rated. Each player has five scoring tokens: two neutral tokens and one for originality, one for composition and one for the emotional excitement. You must give each story – including your own! – one token.
Tokens are then revealed. Neutral tokens are discarded. Then consensus is found: for each category of tokens, find the story that got the most tokens. Those tokens remain, the other tokens in that category are removed. Repeat this for all three categories.
Now, every token remaining on your story is worth one point, and each of your tokens that remains is worth two points. So, it’s important to both tell a good story (be it original, exciting or well-composed) and also to rate honestly.
The scoring is really quite clever and works well to keep players honest and the game interesting.
Lucky or skillful? Co-Mix is a light party game. There’s some luck – your hand of cards may or may not be helpful in telling the story – but the rest is up to you. Tell a good story, and you’ll get points, but you also need to read the other players and evaluate the other stories. Skill rules, but Co-Mix doesn’t feel like a heavy game.
Abstract or thematic? The comic panels are interesting and have lots of potential for interesting stories. Highly thematic, I’d say.
Solitaire or interactive? Creating the story is something you do yourself, but the essence of the game is in telling the stories to the other players.
Players: Large range from 3 to 10. There can only be five stories, though, so from six players on the game is played with two-player teams. To me, that sounds horrible, so for me Co-Mix is a 3–5 player game. Others may disagree.
Who can play? Box says 8+, which is decent – my son could play the game – but that depends very much on the child. The players must enjoy story-telling, and that’s somewhat restrictive for adults as well.
Length: Each round takes about 10 minutes or so, and you can play as many rounds as you wish. Three is nice for a short game, but nothing prevents you from playing longer if you’re having a good time.
What’s to like: Nice, coherent art; clever scoring mechanism; supports a wide range of player counts.
What’s not to like: The card material is weak; team game sounds iffy.
My verdict: I see what this game is trying to achieve, and I think it does a marvelous job at it. Most of the games like this are fun to play in the right company and are a way to have a good time, but often fall a bit short on the scoring. Co-Mix doesn’t, the scoring works really well.
That said, I can’t see myself playing this more than once or twice per year; I simply don’t play these kinds of games. It’s not the fault of this game, it’s just the way it is.
On the scale of Enthusiastic, Suggest, Indifferent or Avoid, Co-Mix gets Indifferent from me, but if you play these kinds of party games, Co-Mix is well worth a Suggest.