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Subject: David & Goliath - A Mini Review rss

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All of my reviews aim to offer a brief overview that allows people to get a good feel for what the game may offer them. I feel that other reviews can be sought if detailed game mechanics is what you are after.

David & Goliath takes the classic concept of trick taking card games and gives it a fair twist in this latest offering from Playroom Entertainment. The game consists of 90 cards ranging from 1 to 18 and they come in 5 colours or suits. The number of people playing will determine which cards are used or left in the box and this is a smart inclusion as it helps to keep the game manageable and the play tight.

The game begins by dealing the entire deck of cards out evenly to the players and then the play can begin. Like many trick taking games, a round or trick is played by one player leading a card and the other players following by playing a card of the same suit (colour in this case) or throwing off another card if they cannot match the suit lead. But that is about as conventional as David & Goliath gets – hold onto your slingshots!

The player that played the lowest card will win the highest card played in the trick. Whilst the player who played the highest card will win all other cards played in the trick. An example – A red 1 is lead and the other players play a red 7, 5 and 9. The player who led the 1 takes the 9 and the player who played the 9 takes the 1, 5 and 7. Why would you play low cards I hear you ask? Well the aim of the game is to score the most points. If a player can capture only 1 or 2 cards of a colour then they earn the values on those cards. But if they capture 3 or more of a colour then they only get 1 point per card. An example – A player captured the 4 and 8 of green. This would earn them 12 points. However if they captured the 4, 8 and 9 of green, they would only get 3 points.

Much of the game’s strategy entails players trying to stick their opponent’s with that nasty third card of a particular colour, whilst keeping their own suit piles to two cards or less.

If all this wasn’t enough to worry about the game also has one more nasty surprise. If a player cannot follow suit then the off-suit card they play can still be classed as the highest or lowest. In other words throwing off-suit does not guarantee that you are out of the trick. This makes card counting almost impossible and allows inexperienced card players to match it with their trick taking expert friends. The game lasts for as many rounds as there are players and the highest score is declared the winner.

The Final Word

On the front cover of the box the phrase ‘The game where size doesn’t matter’ is proudly printed. Not only is this a pun based on the games theme but it is highly accurate. For a game that consists of only 90 cards, David & Goliath packs a strong punch. The rules are easy to learn, allowing a total beginner to be playing within 10 minutes but mastering this little gem is anything but easy. Hands can be completed quickly, which helps keep the game moving and the finishes are fairly close. The cards artwork is also neat as the character (presumably David) gets bigger as the values of the cards increase, until he is a Goliath at card value 18. It is well worth donning your toga and grabbing your favourite slingshot for those that like card games and variations on trick taking games in particular.
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