Am I a man or am I a muppet? If I'm a muppet then I'm a very manly muppet!
Yet another in the series of History Channel imprint card games... and a surprisingly nice little game is in the box along with the historical facts! Mike Fitzgerald (the designer of the Mystery Rummy series) has managed to create a simple but fun-to-play family card game with some opportunities for intelligent play.
The deck consists of 100 cards... one card for each year in the century 1900-2000. Each decade is a "suit" of sorts. On your turn, you may play cards to the table, as long as the card played matches the previous card in either it's last digit (1996->1916) or is in the same decade (1996->1992).
The last card you play becomes the card that the next player must start from. (If you can't play, you draw a card.)
You score for each card you played during your turn (exception: play a single card, no score). As well, all your cards played to the table are saved for end-of-hand scoring.
The unique twist in the game is the "time travel" aspect... a thick cardboard oval sits in the center of the table, indicating the current direction of play. If your last card played was "later" in the century than the last card of the previous player, play continues 'forward in time' (clockwise). However, if your last card was "earlier", play now reverses direction.
The hand ends when one player "goes out" and plays his last card (a 10 pt bonus!). Players also score for each decade they've played a card in, the decades in which they've played the most cards, and two "non-gamer" bonuses: 5 points each for playing 2000 or the year of your birth.
This falls squarely into my "better than Uno" category - a game which can be played with non-gamer family members without much stretching, and is light & fun to play. At the same time, it's got some interesting "tricks" up it's
sleeve - and clever play can keep a leader from racking up more points and/or help yourself back into the running.
Note: while the box says it will play with 2 players, it's not particularly good that way. I'd recommend it for 3-5 players.