Written by Jesse Ballard
Tabletop Game Review: Classroom Deathmatch
From Jake Richmond and Matt Schlotte, the Indie Game Developers that brought you Panty Explosion, Classroom Deathmatch allows you the opportunity to be as violent as you are creative. Those who are familiar with the Japanese Battle Royale franchise will be quick to pick up on the story of CDM: Japan, being the wacky country it is, has instituted a system that randomly selects one class of students a year to fight to the death in a national spectacle, under some pretense that it will lower youth delinquency rates or something. That bit doesn’t really matter.
The bit that does matter is what you do when the game starts. You’ll want at least 4 people to play, one to act as the Game Master/Director, and three to play students. The game includes 50 pre-made students that make up the class for you to use in lieu of making your own characters. The creators of the game note that they did this on purpose because part of the fun of the game is playing the hand that you are dealt. This is true, but I say that you are better off using their characters than making up your own for one reason: your character is going to die. It is not going to be a nice death. It is going to be wacky. It might destroy a city block. But, you need to get used to that idea.
The difference between Classroom Deathmatch and other tabletop games is that there isn’t really a clear winner, round to round. At the beginning of the game, each of the players designate another player as either their “Best Friend”, or their “Rival”. In other games, when you succeed, you get to act out what you do, and when you fail, the DM decides your fate. In Classroom Deathmatch, your successes are described by your Best Friend, and your blunders are diabolically crafted by your Rival. You aren’t really competing, you’re collaborating. You’re telling the story of what happens to the poor kids, whether they’re locked in a building, or stranded on an island, or in some stranger, homebrewed scenario.
So, the next time you and your crew are bored on a Sunday afternoon, or your DM is spending the weekend at his In-Law’s house, print out the rules, head down to the local Denny’s, and maim, mortify, and murder each other over some pancakes and coffee.