A game published by Steve Jackson Games - or not, really, as it's a game that has been played in colleges all over and just standardized by SJG. The game involves all the players attempting to assassinate each other. It is not a war game like paint ball; all the killing attempts must be subtle. Of course, you aren't really trying to kill anyone - you use mock weapons and traps like alarm clocks for bombs, string or a laser pointer for a tripwire, Nerf weapons for a gun - stuff like that. Many variations exist.

A type of pool for any number of players, usually involving money, where the objective is to pot a ball on every visit to the table and be the last man standing.

Every player begins with an equal number of lives. If a large number of players are taking part, three lives is good enough. Each player also contributes a small amount of cash, maybe a pound/dollar/euro/etc, maybe two, towards a prize pot. The winner of the game takes all.

The basic idea of the game is this: each player who takes a shot must pot a ball, or else they lose a life. When a player has no lives left after missing a shot, he/she is out of the game. Sheer beauty in its simplicity.

Play begins with someone breaking off. If he doesn't pot a ball off the break, he is entitled to another shot, for the pretty straightforward reason that it's unfair to expect anyone to pot a ball from 15 balls arranged in a tight triangle formation. Play continues with each player taking one shot, which if missed puts him one step nearer elimination.

I've witnessed some variations in one or two of the other rules. Some people play with the rule that if you pot the black, you get an extra life, but that you fail to pick up this life if you pot the white in the same shot. Also, I've seen it that potting a ball and going in-off in the same shot loses you a life, whereas with other players, potting a ball guarantees you don't lose a life even if you go in-off. Additionally, some people play that potting two or more balls in one shot earns you one or more extra lives. But don't pot the white. On top of all this, what happens when the last ball is potted? Who pays for the re-rack*? Some say that the player whose turn it is next (and therefore breaks) must pay, while others say it should be the player who potted the black in the last frame.

Common tactics in the game include making sure the easily potted balls are taken care of (to make sure the next players don't have it so easy), placing the cue-ball in a position as difficult or as unplayable as possible, and, when a player finds it impossible to pot a ball and is doomed to lose a life, leaving the the cue-ball and/or object ball(s) as awkwardly placed as possible, in an "If I'm going down, you're going down with me" strategy.

Needless to say, this game is best played with a large number of players, all of whom will fancy their chances to win a huge amount at very little risk. Also, when the participants are whittled down to about two or three and each one is therefore taking every second or third shot, that's where the fun starts because within a few seconds, a player with three lives could be on the rack.

*In most pool tables in pubs and amusement arcades in Ireland and in Britain, potted balls are stored within the structure of the table and can only be released by inserting money; thereby are players charged for each game of pool. The clearance of all the balls during a game of killer does not spell the end of the game, for there will still be players who have not yet lost all their lives.

Kill"er (?), n.


One who deprives of life; one who, or that which, kills.

2. Zool.

A voracious, toothed whale of the genus Orca, of which several species are known.

⇒ The killers have a high dorsal fin, and powerful jaws armed with large, sharp teeth. They capture, and swallow entire, large numbers of seals, porpoises, and dolphins, and are celebrated for their savage, combined attacks upon the right whales, which they are said to mutilate and kill. The common Atlantic species (Orca gladiator), is found both on the European and the American coast. Two species (Orca ater and O. rectipinna) occur on the Pacific coast.


© Webster 1913.

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