A question that you have no doubt been asked in your lifetime, RoosterTeeth Productions own comedy card game has you ponder where you draw the line on what you would do for a Million Dollars, But…
On its surface, the game Million Dollars, But… seems to just be another Cards Against Humanity (CAH) clone, but if you delve deeper into why this game was produced, it becomes apparent that this can be much more.
The concept of “What would you do for X large sum of money?” is not new. People are constantly posing hypothetical questions with ridiculous terms and conditions to reveal or ridicule their friends/coworkers/people they meet at parties for what they’d agree to. However, RoosterTeeth’s first foray into this field came as part of a series of Minecraft game building videos (titled Let’s Builds) with Gavin Free, Geoff Lazer Ramsey, and eventually other members of the RoosterTeeth crew. Gavin would often pose a question to pass the time, as the build would regularly take many hours to complete with the tasks being menial but large scale. These would range from lose/lose situation “Would You Rather”s, and included the now popular “Million Dollars (“That’s a lot of money”), But”.
In 2015, RoosterTeeth began a series adopting that name, often reffered to in short as MDB, which involved members of the company sitting around, drinking, discussing their scenarios inter spaced with footage of them acting out what it would be like to live with those conditions on their lives.
The series now has 31 episodes across 3 seasons, with an as yet unreleased episode filmed live in Sydney, Australia at their RTX convention.
Then, in 2016, RoosterTeeth launched a KickStarter campaign to fund their card game adaptation of the show. Over the course of the month, the project recieved $1.3 million from more than 3000 backers.
Now, that is how the game came to be, and how I managed to get my hands on it. But how does it actually play?
Well, there are two types of cards available within the deck; A Black Trigger card and a Yellow Rule card, which when combined form a complete sentence that is usually preposterous and always begins with “Million Dollars, But…”. The game is taken in turns with one person reading out the scenarios and then determining a winner. There are a few variations in play. Players can all try complete the same Trigger card with their individual Rule cards, or they can submit full scenarios by being allowed to choose both a Black and Yellow card. There are also several ways to decide a winner. It can be whoever has the scenario the reader would most likely do, or would least likely do. There is also a variant where players place bets on whether the reader would or wouldn’t do a proposed scenario. The game leaves itself open to many house rules and player created variants to be created.
The base game and all its expansions come packaged with pre-written cards, as well as blanks in both Black and Yellow, allowing for the creation of new scenarios. The base game also comes in a lovely two part box, ornamented with the MDB logo and other thematic elements depicting luxury, with affluent looking fonts and typography.
The game is, in my opinion, incredibly fun to play, as the scenarios can often be used to branch off onto other trains of thought. The game is best played light heartedly, as the hypothetical situations are often absurdist in nature, and the game and culture around it encourage a feeling of lightness and ease of access for new players. It is definitely a party game, as the determined “winner” of each round is quite subjective due to it being based on the readers sense of humour (and sometimes self detriment), and thus should not be approached with a “serious gaming” mood.
All in all, Million Dollars, But… is a game which RoosterTeeth created for their community in an effort to allow them to indulge in the enjoyment they were having upon their show, in a slightly more controlled and competitive setting than simply sitting and posing hypothetical scenes. It is enjoyable by both unenlightened and long time fans of RoosterTeeth, with minimal inside jokes, yet still enough to reward those who’ve taken the time to learn about the game. I highly recommend it to fans of Cards Against Humanity, the Jackbox Party Pack and other such party games, as it allows for improvised comedy, lots of laughs and a few awkward glances.
8/10, would recommend.