Famous Missions Review

A mad bomber has planted a device in the building and you have to put together a team of experts to find the bomb and dismantle it. Do you call the bomb squad? A SWAT team? No, you call Gene Simmons, Mr T, and Albert Einstein.

Famous Missions
Famous Missions

Famous Missions by Jason Tagmire is a new card game where you must put together ridiculous celebrity trios to complete movie-plot style missions like stopping alien invasions, robbing banks, etc. The included celebrities range from Bill Gates to Genghis Kahn to Paris Hilton. The cartoonish artwork is fantastic makes you want to play it.

Game mechanics are as follows. ?The judge player draws a Mission Card from the deck and the other two players pick their three best People Cards out of seven for that mission. ?The judge chooses the best team out of the two and the loser can then argue his case for why his team should have won. ?If the judge has been swayed and changes their mind, the other player can then argue why his team is superior and the judge gets one more chance to change her mind. ?Whoever the judge finalizes on wins the round and the game progresses to a new mission. ? ?It’s very similar to Apples to Apples, another great game.

Here’s a video the creator, Jason Tagmire, put together to show how it goes.

Overall I love the concept and the artwork, but I feel like the game mechanics need some more work. I know there is a great game buried inside of Famous Missions waiting to get out, but in the current form it’s hard to keep playing. I think you get desensitized to the overall joke and you need a way to keep it interesting. I’ve come up with a few and they definitely enhanced gameplay in my sessions (I’ve played it three times now).

Rule Variations:
1. The standard rules have one player always acting as the judge. We took turns, because no one wanted to play the judge every time.
2. The judge hid his eyes when players were choosing their teams so he didn’t know who chose them. This helps reduce bias.
3. Instead of flipping over three from one team and then three from another, we alternated back and forth flipping over one from each team at a time. This encouraged comparisons between those two celebrities and made it more dramatic.

Ready to save the world
Ready to save the world

One of the hardest things about new games is getting people to try them. As soon as I show people the cards to Famous Missions they say, “We have to play this!” It’s an awesome game that just needs a little help and I love showing it to people. If you want a copy, buy it online here.


4 responses to “Famous Missions Review”

  1. Thanks for the review Ben! I like your rule variations 1 and 3. In the games I’ve played or watched, the judge rotated after going through 4-7 rounds (however many it takes a player to win). But I think that offering an immediate switch is a solid variation to keep it interesting for everyone involved.

    I don’t fully understand #2 though. When you dealt out and the players were choosing their team of 3, were all players able to see the cards? The judge shouldn’t see anything until the reveal. I might have to clarify that in the rules.

    I think the biggest thing the game needs in order to keep it interesting, and avoid the same jokes over and over, is more cards. I’ve been working on small expansions, but down the line I’d like to release a base set with twice as many cards to really prevent repetitiveness. It’s designed so you will not draw any repeat cards in the same game, but I’d like to make it last much longer than that.

  2. No problem.

    The judge doesn’t see anything until the reveal, but he immediately knows that player A has played those cards once they are flipped over. In my variant, the judge just sees two teams in front of him and doesn’t know which player has played them.

    I totally agree that more cards would improve the game.

  3. I understand now. I’m definitely going to try that variation out next time I have a group together. Also, posted your review to the Famous Missions boardgamegeek page. Hope you don’t mind.

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