Sunday, August 14, 2011
It's called Quelf.
The object of the game is simple. You roll the die, move your piece, draw a card from the deck that matches the color of the space you landed on, and do what the card says. The fun comes from the fact that the cards tell you to do ridiculous things, such as:
Every time an opponent laughs, you must slap your knee and say "Waka, waka, waka."
Go fill a bowl with water. Now, soak your left hand in the bowl until your next turn.
Every sentence you speak for the rest of the game must end with, " . . . hear me, for I have spoken!"
The last time my family played, Theresa's son Doug finished the game wearing a sweat sock as a necktie. And also lipstick.
It's not really a game for people who are shy or self-conscious.
When we first brought Quelf home, we noticed the list of contents on the back of the box:
440 cards in five different categories
1 awesome Quelf game board
1 pad of paper and player guide
1 die and 1 thirty-second timer
8 character game pieces
1 giant invisible harpoon - it's invisible for a reason, use it wisely.
That's right, a giant invisible harpoon. My family being what it is, my dad immediately said, "You know Chris, you should write the company and tell them that our invisible harpoon was broken during shipping."
So of course, I did. I looked up the company on-line (Wiggity Bang Games) and fired off an e-mail to company president Matt Rivaldi.
Dear Mr. Rivaldi:
I recently purchased Quelf, and let me start by saying my family and I absolutely love it. I can honestly say that prior to our Quelf experience, no one I know has ever worn a paper towel as a mask, simultaneously worn a sock for a necktie and pink lipstick (though my dear Uncle Charlie has been known to wear them separately), or pretended to be a singing prison guard. So thanks for that.
Here's my problem.
On the box, it says that the game includes one invisible harpoon. Now, we were able to locate the harpoon easily enough by lightly dusting baby powder over the game pieces. It was at that point, however, that we noticed our harpoon was broken at one end. This must've happened at some point during the shipping process.
If we could get a replacement harpoon, that would be wonderful.
We all had a good laugh, and didn't give our invisible harpoon situation another thought until a few weeks later when I received a response.
Don't think we are ignoring your message. Our CIHE's (Certified Invisible Harpoon Engineers) are looking into the problem. These things are supposed to be indestructible . . . obviously they are not. As soon as we get our report back, we'll let you know what we can do for you, but rest assured we'll make it right.
Maybe it would help if you could take a picture of it to show our engineers.
President, Wiggity Bang Games, LLC
"Take a picture of it," he says. I want to work for this guy.
So I carefully placed the invisible harpoon (the shaft and the broken tip) on our dining room table and snapped a picture.
I attached the photo file to another email that read:
Dear Mr. Rivaldi,
Thank you for your prompt reply. As you requested, I'm sending a photograph of our broken harpoon. As you can clearly see, the business end is snapped right off. I hope this will help your engineers devise a way to keep the invisible harpoons from breaking, as no one wants to play Quelf without them.
Looking forward to your response.
This whole invisible harpoon fiasco came to an end just the other day when I received a package via the United States Postal Service. It was a tube about four feet long with a warning label: INVISIBLE HARPOON ENCLOSED. BE CAREFUL WHEN OPENING MAILING TUBE.
I have to hand it to the Wiggity Bang people. They are true to their word.
You can buy your own Quelf set at most department stores, and also through the Wiggity Bang website.
Trust me, you'll have a blast.
But please. Be careful with the invisible harpoon.