Grab Them By The Eyes
In Terry Cavanagh's Grab Them By The Eyes, you were just minding your own business, slinging burgers out of your modest food stand, when a pair of upstarts with a much flashier sign set up shop literally a few feet away and began stealing all your business. A little shocking considering they're literally called Filthy Burgers, but it turns out there's a secret to drawing in the glazed masses, and that secret is making the best flashy sign you possibly can by combining message, colour, and other punch cards at the sign shop. See, you use your cash to buy various punch cards at the start of each day, and each card has a value that determines how many customers will be brought in. You and your competitors will take turns buying cards until they're all gone, and then you'll build your sign by selecting which cards to use to try to maximize your pull, which is harder than you might think... especially since cards become less effective the more they're used, though they can only ever decrease to a minimum value of one. It makes a deceptively simple looking game into something much more strategic, and you'll need every customer you can get since the food stand with the least by the end of the week needs to leave!
Grab Them By The Eyes' goofy premise seems like the sort of thing that should be simple and easy to win at, but the way cards depreciate in value means slapping the most expensive upgrades all over your sign isn't always the best way to win. The prices for the available cards actually decrease with each turn, so do you snap up a costly card now, or wait for it to drop a bit, even though your opponents might nab it? Do you buy a card that you know is useless to you, just to keep it out of the hands of your rivals, or do you hold onto your cash for the upcoming days? Whatever money you have left after buying rolls over, after all, and you don't want to risk your foes being able to buy all the best upgrades before you do in the coming days. It's also a weirdly tense game... you always know how many customers you're going to get, but you have no idea what configuration Filthy Burger has settled on, so watching their numbers mount each day will set you on edge. Grab Them By The Eyes is a fantastic example of combining the silly and the smart into something that's, well, more than meets the eye... which is basically what Terry Cavanagh is known for. So straighten your apron and get your LEDs ready... you're not about to let those snide hipsters drive you out, are you?