If you need to buy a present for a computer enthusiast you shoud consider CPU Wars, a new card game that is the product of a succesful Kickstarter campaign from 2011. Each card from CPU Wars depicts a different desktop processor, from the Intel 8080 to the AMD Phenom II, along with a list of eight key specifications: maximum clockspeed, maximum bus speed, introduction year, transistor count, data width, manufacturing process, die size, and maximum TDP.
Those qualities are a big part of what drew me to CPU Wars, which I’m convinced is the nerdiest card game ever (yes, even more so than Magic: The Gathering). The successful product of a Kickstarter campaign from last year, CPU Wars is almost exactly what it sounds like. Each card depicts a different desktop processor, from the Intel 8080 to the AMD Phenom II, along with a list of eight key specs (Max Clock Speed, Max Bus Speed, Introduction Year, Transistor Count, Data Width, Manufacturing Process, Die Size, and Max TDP), so after you and one or two friends divvy up the deck, you compete to see who has the most powerful components. Showing only the top card of your stack, you read off what you think is your chip’s winning attribute; whoever has the best value (highest for things like speeds, lowest for the likes of die size and TDP) takes the cards. Play continues until someone winds up with all the cards, and thus wins — in essence, it’s a high-tech game of trumps.