Author – Sandy Pug Games (@SandyPugGames)
Where to Buy – https://tinyurl.com/nelrn5j6
“You Are Quarantined with Adam Driver and He is Insisting on Reading You His New Script” (YAQWADAHIIORYHNS for…short?) is an incredibly stupid game.
I highly recommend it.
In YAQWADAHIIORYHNS, you play, well, yourself, and circumstances are such that well-known actor Adam Driver is now your roommate for the foreseeable future. Despite the tedium of quarantine, Adam Driver has found the motivation to write a script and has come to you for your criticism. The game cautions you, however, that Adam Driver is very easily offended and does not handle criticism well. Though you must help Adam Driver review his draft, you have to do it in such a way that the next few weeks of quarantine will not be made all the more miserable by a sulky Adam Driver.
The game requires little in terms of setup. In fact, all you need is a d20, something to write on, something to write with, and a clear mental image of the actor, Adam Driver. After you’ve performed the mise en place, you’re ready to determine the theme and style of Adam Driver’s Movie with the d20. In my playthrough, Adam Driver wrote his script to explore LGBTQ identity in a post-post-modernist landscape via an urban slice of life film.
The rest of the game consists of following a story arc diagram and imagining Adam Driver explaining his movie to you. If the story in your imagination ever gets confused, weak, etc., you must roll a d20 to see how Adam Driver takes your criticism as you attempt to guide him. Low numbers result in a wild overreaction to the detriment of the script and your relationship whereas high numbers show your critique was well understood and well-received. Ultimately these numbers don’t matter – you’re told to mark each scene as a success, compromise, failure, etc. but, other than helping you understand the outcome of the scene, these results have no implication for the final quality of the script.
The game ends after you’ve delivered your criticism and Adam Driver has accepted/ignored/overreacted to it. The narrative jumps forward a year and a half and you find yourself a movie critic at the premier of Adam Driver’s film. Adam Driver has since moved out and now you are free to be as blunt as you would like in your critique.
Every design choice in this seven-page game feels purposeful and important, from the serious, matter-of-fact writing that serves as a perfect foil to the ludicrous premise, to the coffee ring on the second page and a handwritten reminder to “CALL SCARJO” on a page corner. I came into this expecting a silly-but-forgettable experience and found myself very impressed by the level of design throughout the text. Games like YAQWADAHIIORYHNS are exactly what makes the indie TTRPG scene so wonderful. In what other medium could such a strange, wonderful thing exist? My only complaint is that I’m suffering from extreme semantic satiation having said/written/read the name Adam Driver so many times today. It just looks wrong now.
DISCLAIMER: I do not know anyone involved with this book, nor did I receive anything for free in exchange for this review. Also, if you replace Adam Driver with Nicolas Cage and add “a bunch of cocaine” to your list of items to gather before the game, this could be a very different TTRPG experience.