Here is a rare game - Nitty Gritty: the star game. When the tiny game box is opened all that spills out is a small sheet of instructions and 154 printed cards. Each card holds a single word...which can be matched to another card. When properly matched, the cards make 77 pairs. Two such examples are: Razzle Dazzle and Flip Flop. (The complete list of pairs is printed on the instruction sheet.) Each card also displays at least one star. A few have two stars and even fewer have three. The stars are used to tally scores at game end. The heart of this simple game is to match as many pairs as possible. Cards won are put aside in a player's stockpile. When all the cards are used, the game is complete. The players then add up the stars on each card they managed to claim. The player with the highest number of stars wins.
How do you play?
All 154 cards are turned face down in the centre of the table and spread into a wide random pile. The first player selects a card from the pile and turns it face up in front of him. The second player now selects a card of his choosing. This again, is turned over for all to see. If any player detects a matching pair of cards, the two cards can be won by being the first to say the two words in the pair plus the name of the player who has the matching card in from of him. For example, in front of a player is the word Fuzzy. Another player – perhaps much later in the game - turns up a card reading Wuzzy. The first player to make the connection says, "Fuzzy Wuzzy John" (assuming the players name was John). Thus he wins the pair of cards. The game continues in this manner with each player taking a card from the pile and displaying it for a possible match.
There are 13 cards marked BONUS. The matching cards are marked PENALTY. The player claiming the match with the BONUS card in their possession takes an extra pair from the player who had drawn the PENALTY card. A player who draws a penalty card from the pile, is able to avoid the penalty if he can win the matching the card.
Is there any strategy?
Not a lot. But since there are no penalties for yelling out wrong word combinations or names, a constant barrage of guesses may just win a pair of cards. Adding to the confusion may keep others from seeing the pair.
Is it any fun?
It is certainly a decent filler but with the right crowd. But it cannot be taken seriously and it is definitely not brilliant by any stretch. There are a few laughs to be had with trying to figure out the correct word combinations. There are moments when there are no matches for some time. Suddenly a card turns up and everyone thinks they remember who had the other pair. Shouts break the silence and confusion reigns for a few seconds until someone finally gets the right owner name of the pair. Then the room falls silent again and the next card is flipped... It is good with kids and adults. But there are certainly better fillers out there. I'd give it a 5 out of 10. It's acceptable; but not stellar.