- Designer: Roberto Fraga, Juan Manuel Rivero
- Publisher: blue orange
- Players: 3-8
- Age: 7+
- Time: 20 minutes
- Played with review copy provided by blue orange USA
Disc Cover is a new cooperative party game from blue orange – I saw a few raucous demos of this in the halls at SPIEL in Essen this fall, though the noisy atmosphere was maybe not the best one for the game. From the back of the box: “Turn up the volume and explore your music through images!”
The game is played over 9 turns. One player needs to identify a songlist on their phone or other device, and set it up for shuffle play. In my experience, I have had the most fun picking a completely random list on Spotify – so that I don’t even know what songs might be on the list. The deck of 100 album cover cards is shuffled and the first four are dealt under the records numbered 1-4.
Now, the player who has chosen the play list starts it off on shuffle so that a random song plays. All the players listen to the song, and without discussing, choose which one of the 4 covers they feel best matches the music. Each player has a disk which they can secretly choose one of the 4 covers. Once all players have chosen, the music can be stopped and the discs are revealed.
If there is a majority vote, the team wins points equal to the votes for this card. If there is a tie, the players “must agree which one they like best and win points for that cover” – though I don’t know why this matters as each of the tied covers is worth the same number of points. However, it does matter because the winning cover is placed on the table.
Continue this process for 9 rounds; at which point you’ll have a 3×3 grid of cover art on the table. You can check your success based on the chart in the rules. When you are done, play a song and admire the 3×3 grid of cover art that your team has constructed.
There is also a competitive version which is played mostly the same way; the difference is in how the points are awarded. In each round, if there is a majority vote, all players who voted for that cover get a point. If there is a tie, the Leader chooses which of the tied covers will score points. The player with the most points wins. There is no tiebreaker.
My thoughts on the game
Disc Cover is a light party game, though maybe better described as an activity than a game. Yeah, yeah, it meets the definition of a game because there is a scoring rubric – but truly there isn’t much game architecture here. That’s not to say that I haven’t enjoyed my time spent with the game. If nothing else, it has been a great chance for the members of my group to share new tunes with each other, and I’ve discovered at least two new favorite bands after hearing snippets of songs from this game.
As mentioned above, we have also experimented with picking esoteric or random Spotify playlists – and that has also been a great way to broaden my horizons as well.
The art on the covers is really amazing, and they are quite detailed and beautiful. The game also includes a booklet with all of the artwork included in case you want to see them all at once. Though I haven’t tried it yet, the art might also serve a second use as alternative art of other games such as Dixit or Mysterium.
Thus far, we have only played it cooperatively, and as I said, it has been a fun experience with friends. The competitive version does not sound interesting to me – as I think that is borderline a game – but the tie-breaking rules seem ridiculous to use in a “competitive” game.
For a fan of music, or for a group that wants to play something a little less serious and maybe discover some new artists, Disc Cover might be a good fit. For me, I’d probably want something a little bit meatier on the game spectrum than this, but as with all games, there are surely particular groups and situations where this wil be great.
Ratings from the Opinionated Gamers
- I love it!
- I like it.
- Neutral. Dale Y (coop)
- Not for me… Dale Y (competitive)