Chris Game Gumshoes
MFG: Set Enterprises Inc.
#of Players: 2 - 10
Age Range: 12 to adult
Overall Construction: Xactika is a card game so what you get is pretty simple. There is a deck of essentially 84 cards although only 81 are used in actual play. The cards are pretty standard, but not slick. I do recommend that you shuffle them a few times when you first free them from the shrink wrap they came in because initially they are stiff and bent in the wrong direction, or at least mine were. There is a decent plastic tray for the cards and the box is a light cardboard. To me the rules sheet seems a bit delicate so treat them like a card game not something that will be around forever.
Gameplay: At it's heart Xactika is a trick taking game with a fancy-ish skin. It has 3 different sets of rules but they recommend you master the first 2 rule sets before moving on to the bidding aspect of the game. There are 3 things to pay attention to on your cards: the shapes, the number in the corner, and quantity of each shape. The person to the left of the dealer leads with his highest number card and chooses a shape and the other players then have to match the same number of the same shape, if they can do it and manage to have a higher number on their card they can take the trick, if they can't they lose. Also if you don't have a match for the shape you can throw out a card but it will definitely be a loss so make it count, unless it's the version of the rules where you're trying to lose. 3rd set of rules you try to be boastful and predict how many tricks you'll take.
Yes/No Recommend: The one thing I see Xactika having over most trick taking games is the added quantity of the suits (shapes) because now not only do you need the same suit as the lead card with a higher number but the amount of suit symbols on the card match. So if you like trick-taking games and need a little something extra give Xactika a try.
Where To Get It: I always like to push for the little game store but I have not seen a copy in any of the local game stores but as always you can ask them to order it. Set Enterprises has a website where you can order it here http://www.setgame.com/xactika/ . Their website & Facebook page do have a list or at the very least announcements of places where you can get their games.
Thanks for reading & Happy Gaming.