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Subject: Quick and addictive logic puzzler! A Crazy Couples Co-op Review! rss

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Brian M
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Thornton
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This review is part of my attempt to review as many co-op games as I can. All of my reviews are in the geeklist A Crazy Couple's Co-op Guide: 2013 and onward Edition

Note: We purchased this along with the Shipwreck Arcana promo pack, and almost immediately added in all the extra cards; a bit less variety without the promos, but everything else should be valid.

Our rating:

Modes: Co-op
* Cannot be played solo; based entirely on communicating information.

Players: 2-5

With a couple: Plays great with 2. We recommend playing two 'lines' each.

Play Time: Quick; half an hour or less.

Difficulty: Very easy. You can make it harder, but that will mostly make it more luck-based. (More details below)

Skill Factor: Fairly high. 5

Individual/Group Play: At any time, one player is giving clues and cannot otherwise communicate, while everyone else discusses the solution. So all but 1 player at any given time are playing a heavy group-discussion game. In a 2 player game, there's no group play.

Component Quality:
High quality cards and nice wooden tokens. The art is semi-abstract; looks nice in my opinion; certainly good and consistent across all the cards.



Rules Quality: Good clear rules. A few of the cards are a little confusing.

Mini-Review

You are shipwrecked and have to...umm, OK, I'm not really clear on the theme here. You are doing something with tarot card things and predictions to escape? Eh, whatever, this an awesome and quick little brainburnery logic puzzle game.

Each turn a player secretly draws up to having two tokens and tries to get the other player to guess one token by placing the other one of several arcana cards, with various conditions like "If your tiles are not equal, place the lower on here" or "if one of your tiles is a 3,4, or 5 and other is not, place the 3,4, or 5 here".

The other players then have to logically puzzle out as much information as possible about from the tile placement. To play well, you need to not only think directly about what their placement told you, but to consider what else they could have told you instead. Could they have given more information elsewhere? Like, "If she had placed on card A, that would have told me for sure she had a 7...since she didn't, I can be sure she doesn't have a 7".

As you place out tiles, cards start 'fading'. A card fading is fine...as long as made a correct prediction that turn. If you haven't, you'll advance a red doom token; get it around the track and you lose. Incorrect predictions also advance the evil red token. Correct predictions advance a green token; get that clear around to win!

Fading an arcana also gives you a one-use special ability (which can be very useful), and replaces that arcana with a new one, so your available clues constantly change.

It is simple and quick to play, and there's a lot of puzzling out how to play your tiles. Trying to figure out what your teammate wanted to single is also a fun puzzle, though it is easy to over-analyze thinking you must be able to get more information out of a clue than you really can!

An important to note is that the game is quite easy to win assuming the players are good at logic and the puzzles involved. And I think that's a good thing - as a game of high logic and skill, you should win if you play well. While they suggest starting the red 'doom' track higher to make the game harder, in a sense that mostly makes winning or losing more random, as sheer luck will sometimes require you to either take a 50/50 shot or let a card fade.

It is an addictive brain-teasing filler that stretches some unusual gaming muscles in relaxing and fun way.

We didn't like...
* With more than 2 players, the players not currently giving a clue are all just deciding by committee what action can take; can make it hard to let a new player "play" by themselves.

We really did like...
* Quick gameplay; a nice filler.
* Tricky logic and deduction.
* Tiles are sufficient to track everything you want to know; no memory required
* Variety of different cards (probably better with the promo pack)
* Inexpensive
* High quality components
* Small box size makes it an easy fit

Image courtesy of the BGG Gallery from Kalchio
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