Nightlife: Swing the Deal

Nightlife: Swing the Deal
  • Fri Oct 13, 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
  • Keith Nemitz
  • Nightlife: Swing the Deal
  • All Ages
  • Open Door policy
  • California (63)
  • 2
  • 4 of 4


NightLife is a competitive card game of big business, high society soap opera set in the 1950s. It’s inspired by comic strips like Mary Worth, Brenda Star, Rex Morgan, and Kirby’s 1950s romance comics, and of course, Mad Men.

Players are the heads of small companies, trying to make it into the big time. Players alternate turns, playing drama cards to manipulate people, assigning employees to fabulous nightspots, and overworking staff to pay for it all. There, employees take actions to: hobnob, form relationships, and swing deals with powerful industrialists (moguls).

When enough scenes close, thus ending the game, the player with the most deals wins. However, a “sentimental victory” can conquer all, if you play to nurture romance. Romance is a shoot-the-moon gambit, befitting of soap opera. Most games are won through swinging deals.

The game’s core mechanics entwine two systems: swinging deals and managing relationships. One way they interact is through stress. Business efforts, such as swinging deals, are purchased with work-hours generated by stressing your employees. Relationships reduce employee stress.

The two systems use separate currencies. Work-hours can ruin your company if you burn out your staff. Social capital represents how employees vie to outrank each other, all to gain attention from, and influence over, moguls. Imagine using your employees as puppets, to entertain society’s elite for the morsels they reward.

Even considering Nightlife‘s unique systems and daunting vocabulary, experienced gamers finish two-player games in less than 45 minutes. Teaching the game takes about 15 minutes.

Tags: Comical, Drama, GM-less, Modern, Pulp, Romance soap opera, big business, high society, 1950s, melodrama

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