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Subject: Our Current Favorite Family Card Game rss

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Christine Doiron
United States
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We love to play games in our family. As the parents of an only child, we're always on the lookout for things we can do with our 6 year old that don't either excite him and bore us to tears, or excite us and bore him to tears.

I first played Ruckus at the book and toy store where I work, and I knew
immediately my son would grasp it and enjoy it, but it seemed like a game
that adults could definitely get into as well.

What You Get
This game comes in a box that holds instructions and 72 cards. There are 12 different types of cards, with 6 of each type. The types are rather silly and include names like Monkey in a Bottle and Fish Man.

How to Play
Ruckus is a game for 2, 3, or 4 players age 7 and up. The game is played over several lively rounds until a certain score is reached. The standard is 100 points for a 2-player game, 75 points for 3 players, and 50 points when playing with 4.

Play starts with shuffling the deck, then the dealer hands out 7 cards to each player. Players look at the cards, without showing them to others. If players have 2 or more of any card type in their hand, they are required to lay them down in front of them. When all matches are laid down in front of each player, play proceeds. All players look at their cards, and compare the single cards in their hands with the piles laid in front of the players. At any time if a player has 1 of any type of card in their hand that matches a pile on the table, he has the option to take his card, lay it on top of a matching pile, and take that pile for his own. There are no turns in this game, everyone plays at the same time.

When all players are finished laying down their matches and stealing piles, the dealer hands out one more card to each player. Once the players have added the new card to their hand, they look to see if it matches any of the cards they already have in their hand. If it does, they are required to lay down their match just as before. And again, they have the option of taking any single cards in their hand and using them to steal other people's piles, or adding to their own piles.

When a player has laid down his second to last card, he then lays down his last card in the middle of the table and says "Out!" This hand is now over. All players count up each card in their piles, and subtract the number of cards still left in their hands. This is their score for that round.

All cards are then returned to the deck, which is shuffled again for the next hand. Play continues in this manner until someone reaches the winning score of 50, 75, or 100.

What We Like
~It's an active, interactive game. The name Ruckus is definitely appropriate. With everyone playing at the same time, it can get fairly loud and rowdy, if not completely out of hand.

~Enjoyed by all ages. This game is simple enough for small children to learn, but adults can really get into it too. Once our 6 year old learned it, my husband and I found that we could play our best and he would still have a good shot at winning.

~Cool cards. The cards are cute, with funny names. You could easily take two decks of standard playing cards build your own Ruckus deck and recreate the mechanics of this game without having to go out and buy Ruckus, but the cool unique cards make it worth going out and buying.

What We Don't Like
There's only a really small amount of strategy involved in this game, which means it is mostly a luck-of-the-draw game. From an adult perspective, that makes it less of a game, and a little less fun. But, we all keep coming back to it, so it's not that much less fun.

Final Thoughts
This is a really fun family game for about 6 and up (box says 7 and up) that adults and kids will enjoy playing together. It's equally good (though different) with 2, 3, or 4 players.
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