There's no simple explanation for anything important any of us do, and yeah the human tragedy consists of the necessity of living with the consequences, under pressure, under pressure. -Courage (For Hugh Maclennan): The Tragically Hip
We're forced to bed, but we're free to dream. -Gift Shop: The Tragically Hip
Five Cucumbers is a feather-light trick taking game for 2-6 players, aged 8 and up, and takes about 25 minutes to play.
The game has a cucumber theme...is "cucumber" a theme? Not sure. Either way, it's pasted on.
To start, everyone is dealt 7 cards. The rest of the cards are put aside. The youngest player goes first. They play a card from their hand, then every other player, in turn, has to play a card of equal or greater value than the highest card played, or they can play the lowest card in their hand. That's it. Highest card wins the trick. In case of a tie for highest card, the last tied card wins. Winning or losing tricks doesn't really matter much until you get to the last (seventh) trick of the round. You don't want to win that one! That's because the person who gets the last trick wins points. Points come in the form of little cucumbers. You actually take very nice little wooden cucumber pieces to keep track of your score. But in this game, like golf, points are bad.
See, the deck consists of 60 cards. There's no suits. Cards are numbered 1-15, and there's four of each number. 1 cards show a "2x" on the face. All other cards show a number of cucumbers. 2-5 show one cucumber, 6-9 show two cucumbers, 10-11 have three cucumbers, 12-14 have four cucumbers, and 15 has five cucumbers. When a player wins the seventh trick they take a number of wooden cucumbers equal to the number shown on their winning card. Unless, one or more players were able to play a 1 card in the final trick. In this case the player that won the trick takes two times the number of cucumbers shown on their card.
As soon as a player acquires more than five cucumbers (hence the name of the game) they are out. Play continues until there is only one player left. That person is the winner!
This is a super light game. There's not much to it at all. It's a good one to play with kids, or non-gamers, or on your lunch break, or when you just want something to do and not have to think hard.
The cards might be a bit thin for my personal preference, but they have a nice finish on them. The backs of the cards look like pickle jars with five menacing pickles/cucumbers glaring out at me. The front of the box is similar. The box itself is small. It just fits the cards (unsleeved), the baggie of 30 wooden cucumbers, and the small rules sheet. It's a nice little package that can fit in your pocket.
If you are looking for anything other than an easy-breezy, quick card game, then look elsewhere. If you are looking for a simple game to pass some time with, then I recommend you give this one a shot.
Yes, Beware the Geek bringing gifts!
But the title? - You deserve a raspberry