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Subject: First Impressions of an ODD game... rss

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Randall Barnes
United States
North Carolina
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So I bought this game yesterday to take to my gaming group last night. This review is based off of one game played with five players.

Rules
So let me start off by saying that the rules, as written, are a little difficult to grasp on the first read-through. However, this is what you eventually find after weeding through them:

Each player starts the game with a hand of 7 cards- 4 number cards and 3 rule cards. In the center of the table are a number of face up rules cards and a number of number cards, both equal to the number of players.

The game consists of some number of rounds(2 for a 5-player game, 3 for 4, and 4 for 3). During each round, you go around the table and everyone will lead one deal. A deal consists of two tricks; one of a rule card and one of a number card. The catch is, when you are the player leading, you may play the rule trick first, or the number trick first. After you play each trick, you pick up a card of the corresponding type from the board, and add it to your hand. At the end of each deal, you check your number card to see if you succeded in fulfilling your rule. So, the turn breakdown would go something like this:

A)Start player leads either a number card or a rules card.
B)Everyone follows suit (rules on this later)
C)In order, players take a card of the led type from the board.
D)Start player leads the opposite trick of 'A' (rule-number, number-rule)
E)Everyone follows suit
F)Players retrieve new cards
G)Check whether each play completed their goal.
H)Start player passes
I)Refill cards on the board

The winner is the player who has the most points after the designated number of rounds. Players get 1 point per completed rule, a 2 point bonus for completing 3 of the same rule, and a 2 point bonus for completing each type of rule.

Rules on playing tricks: If a player leads a number card, there are no rules restricting the cards other plays may play. However, if a player leads a rule card, other players may not play the same rules unless they have no other rule cards in their hand.

That's it.

"Rules"
The 5 possible rules in the game are as follows:
-Limit 23: The total of all cards in the trick cannot be over 23
-Only One: The player's card must be unique in both number AND color from all other cards.
-Best of the Best: The player must have played the highest card in the most-played color.
-Trio: Three cards in the trick must be of the same color (regardless of whether or not the player's card is among them).
-Support Right: you succeed if the player to your right succeeds.

Components
Well, it is a card game, so there's not alot to be said for components. Z-Man is behind this game, so the quality of the cards is great. The rules pictures are a little humorous, but they're all just men like you'd see on a street sign.

Speaking of street signs, it IS worth noting that each color is on a sign of a different shape, making this game well-suited to the color-blind gamers among us.

Opinion
This game is...interesting.

The game plays fairly quickly, which is one thing it has going for it. I feel like there is some subtle strategy that may not have come to light in our first game, but at the same time I feel the game may be a little bit of a no-brainer. Sure, if you want to remember what card every person has picked up and try to memorize people's hands, it could add alot to the game, but for the casual gamer this could be a little deterministic. However, I did see glimpses of depth at a few points in the game and would like to try this game again to see if my play improves with a coupld of plays.
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Koby Shachar
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Rehovot
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Great review.

Just a small correction to the rules:
Quote:
A)Start player leads either a number card or a rules card.
B)Everyone follows suit (rules on this later)


As I understand it every player, not only the leader to the trick,
is entilted to choose to play a rule or a number card.
This adds another aspect to the game, because when you play
a number you pick a number and when you play a rule you pick
a rule, so you choose what to play first according to the cards
available for taking on the table.
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Randall Barnes
United States
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I had never even considered that...

I mean, the rules don't say you have to. It would really make the game play MUCH differently...

Any word from Zev on this one?
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Zev Shlasinger
United States
Naples
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I believe you do NOT follow suit according to what the start player plays.

Zev Shlasinger, President
Z-Man Games, Inc.
www.zmangames.com
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Lucas Hedgren
United States
Dublin
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I have the original Japanese version and played several times, and we have not played that you must "follow suit." Play a number or a rule in either order. The only restriction is that you cannot play a duplicate rule, unless that is your only choice. The tension kicks up playing this way, imho.
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Serious? Lee
United States
Coppell
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Another slight correction: for the trio rule objective the three cards can be either the same color or the same number.
 
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