Bureaucracy, published in 1981 by Avalon Hill is a bit hard to describe. How about we quote the back of the box?
"Bureaucracy is a somewhat less complicated version of The Great Chain of Being, a medieval, theological, parlor game, first uncovered in a small church in Urbino during the renovation of an ancient, holy, but clearly inadequate, sewage system. Both the Church and the monastic Parkover Brothels deny the authenticity of the game. As one official noted, "that's a crock".
Bureaucracy is designed to simulate the bureaucratic behavior which constitutes so much of what we call government. It is convoluted, Byzantine, and entertaining. It is also cost effective, feasible, and administratively impossible. In its early stages, Bureaucracy required a fifteen story parlor, a six acre gameboard, 200,000 pieces, and a 15,000 page rulebook. Of course, this prototype was unwieldy. Consequently, we were forced to simplify the game. The present version is good for two to eight players.
Why would a game normally need two rulebooks? Perhaps they have them for a starter game and advanced game. Maybe they do something similar to Killer Bunnies where one book has the basics and the other has the more complex parts. Oh no, not Bureaucracy. Bureaucracy has two rulebooks for a very curious reason.
The first rulebook is written purely in civil service type jargon, mostly for humor. The other is the regular rulebook.
It really caught my eye that it had a rulebook strictly provided to cause laughs. The game COULD be played with the rulebook as well, but it was written in such a manner to make it incredibly difficult on purpose. Yes, a rulebook written badly ON PURPOSE.
I've tried to wade through both rulebooks to learn this complicated game, and have even found that oddly enough the rules actually differ slightly in each rulebook as well leaving me baffled as to which rules I should use.
We almost wrote a Rulebook Review for this one but thought that it probably wouldn't be relevant for such an obscure game. But i just had to share that we found a rulebook written badly on purpose that actually fit the game. Can you think of any other examples of a reason to write a rulebook badly on purpose? Let us know in the comments!
Until next time: Every Game Deserves A Good (Or Bad On Purpose If It Fits) Rulebook.