Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Chapter & Verse

I had never played a collectible card game before I was introduced to Chapter & Verse (here). If you are also unfamiliar with collectible card games (or CCGs as they are commonly referred to) then let me clue you in a bit. A CCG could be thought of like sports cards. When I was younger I collected baseball, football, and basketball cards. I would buy a pack of cards just hoping to get a particular player. You never knew what you were going to get. That's the collectible part of CCGs. There is a "base-set" of cards, usually. But beyond that you buy "booster packs" and hope to get the cards you've seen other players using. Although, with the way things are today, you can pretty much just jump onto ebay and find the one card you really want and buy it that way (I used to be able to do that sometimes by going to sports card shops and find that the one card I was looking for they had for sale by itself). Anyway, add to the collectible feature the idea that the cards are used to play a game and, there you have it, CCGs!!

So, Chapter & Verse is a game designed by Mark Hansen (website; blog). It is based in the four standard works: Bible, Book of Mormon, Pearl of Great Price, and Doctrine & Covenants. The cards each display a verse from the scriptures. Many cards also include bonus, "special" powers that that card offers to the play who plays it. For example, a card may give you the opportunity to look through your so far un-played deck and grab a card to add to your hand. Furthermore, each card belongs to a particular "color." There are 5 colors, each representing different things related to the Gospel, like Spirituality or Temptation.

The object of the game is create what are called "books." A "book" contains a total of 12 points, which come from the cards (or "verses") that it is made up of. Players take turn playing verses into stack in front of them. As they create books from the verses they receive "blessing" (a set of 7 cards removed from your deck at the beginning of the game). Once a player has received all 7 of their blessings, they win the game!!

Overall, I think the game offers a great opportunity for players to get involved in a game that is built around the scriptures. Players also need to be sure they know the scriptures they are playing in the game, as they may be required at some point during the game to recite a verse they have just played. Really, the only thing that I currently dislike about the game, and this is not a huge dislike, is that there is a mechanism built in for players to steal stacks of verses from each other. It makes the game a lot more interesting, as there isn't a whole lot of interaction that way, but in a game about scripture study and the power that comes from the scriptures, stealing doesn't quite seem to fit.

I would definitely recommend any and all to download the starter deck (here) and take some time to play the game. It's fun and definitely educational!!

Bookmark and Share


Mark "LDS Games" Hansen said...
December 3, 2009 at 8:11 AM

Mike, thanks so much for playing the game and taking the time to write up a review. I've been working on the game for a LONG time, working out the bugs, etc...

For anyone who'd like to visit, the address of the website is I'm currently working with a designer to get the cards out of that "prototype" ugliness that we've got going so far! I'm very excited for the possibilities.

Mormon Game Design on Facebook