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Danny Webb
United States
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Cranium's Zigity is a fast-playing card game that should appeal to the same people who enjoy Uno and Fluxx. The game allows for a handful of interesting decisions during each hand, but doesn't require anything that resembles “deep” thinking. I can see the game being a success with families who game together and with gamers in need of a new filler between longer, meatier games.

The basic game play of Zigity is fairly simple. Taking a nod from the Cranium party game, Zigity allows players to complete a variety of tasks during the course of a game. Each card in Zigity has a bunch of information on it, including a number, a musical instrument, a puzzle piece, and a letter. There are four types of task cards that relate to the symbols and dictate what each player must do on his or her turn. At the beginning of a round, a card is flipped up until a task card is revealed. This card tells the first player what he or she needs to do to play a set that turn. The possibilities are to play a set of numbers that add to 11, complete a puzzle, spell an English word, or match the musical instrument. All sets must include the card currently atop the discard pile (so, if that card has a four and the task is to add to eleven, a player could play a set of 1 and two 3s). When playing a set, a player decides which of his or her cards to leave atop the discard pile. This card would then determine what kind of set the next player had to play. If a player can not play a set for the current task, he or she must draw a card. The game ends when a player plays his or her last card.

There are also some Uno-like cards that force the other players to draw cards or reverse the order of play or defend against the other cards, but, honestly, the game could do without them. Strategy is limited to remembering (or guessing) what kind of sets your opponents are likely to have trouble with and leaving matching tasks cards on top. Given that, the game can be very luck dependent and, clearly, there isn't much strategy here. Still, the game certainly doesn't overstay its welcome, clocking in at 5 to 10 minutes. I wouldn't want to play it over and over during a night of gaming, but I'm certainly not opposed to the occasional game and I have added it to my great big box of card games that I pack to every game night.

A note on components: Zigity's cards are cool, see-through plastic that can take a lot of abuse. They look neat on the table and are much more readable and functional than the clear deck of playing cards that seem to be everywhere these days. Better yet, unlike the cheap clear plastic playing cards, it is not possible to see an opponent's entire hand when the cards are lit from behind.

Rating: 6/10

Pros: Fast-playing, simple, easy to teach/learn
Cons: Luck-dependent, shallow; icky, Uno-like action cards

Tolen Dante

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