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JMC Raven
United States
Unspecified
Wisconsin
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Circus Flohcati is a trick taking game for three or more players, where the highest score at the end of the game wins. The rules are slightly confusing, so pay attention! I'm only going to say this once! Actually, the rules are a lot easier than they sound.

The theme of the game is pretty irrelevant, but it revolves around a flea circus. The cards are colorful and fun. They have illustrations of fleas doing various entertaining things (being shot out of a cannon, dancing, swinging from a high wire, etc.). I'm old (as my children will tell you), but I greatly enjoyed the cards. They are very silly and fun.

The cards come in ten colors, and are numbered from 0 to 7. There are three each of special cards. Drawing one of these allows the player to draw from another player's hand, ask the other players for a specific card, or draw from a pile of cards. That makes for 89 cards, which is quite a handful to shuffle.

Once the cards are shuffled, each player, in turn, turns cards over from the deck, for all to see. The player can turn over as many cards as they want, but if two cards are of the same color, their turn is over. At any time, the player can stop turning cards over and pick a card up. When the player has three cards in their hand, all numbered the same, the player lays them down, and will get 10 points.

Once all the cards are used up, the game is over, and the points are added up. The cards left in player's hands are counted as well, but with a catch. Only the highest-numbered card of each color counts. All other cards are not summed. So, if at the end of the game, a player has four cards, for example, a green 2, a gray 0, a red 3 and a red 6, that player would receive 8 additional points.

This scoring method changes the focus of the game near the end of the game. In my opinion, that's a little over the head for most 6-year-olds. When I play this with my seven-year-old, we play it that if there is a tie with the 10-point tricks, then the player with the largest number of cards in their hand wins. However, the more he plays the game, the more he understands about changing the focus near the end. I think we will be going to the standard scoring method pretty soon.

It plays in less than 15 minutes, usually around 10.

The age range on the game is 6 and up, but because of the large number of cards to shuffle, and especially the end game scoring system, I think the age range should be 7 and up, if not 8 and up.

The rules I had were somewhat poorly written. This is surprising for a Rio Grande game. There were a couple points that took me playing the game for me to understand how the system worked. Also, there was one sentence that was out-and-out gibberish. It took a bit of deciphering to interpret it.

These quibbles aside, this game is fast, fun, and light. I enjoy it a great deal. I recommend it to anyone, (aged 8 and over). The game retails for $11.95, with a street price of $8.

Four out of four
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Simon Robinson
England
Bewdley
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jmcraven wrote:


The theme of the game is pretty irrelevant,


For a Knizia game?! Heresy! Burn the Witch!
Interesting review. (He knows where you live you know...he knows where we ALL live...)
 
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Ken Shoda
Japan
Zushi
Kanagawa
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Hello, I just have read your review. I thought a lot of important points are missing and I just would like to comment on them.

jmcraven wrote:
Circus Flohcati is a trick taking game for three or more players, where the highest score at the end of the game wins.


It is NOT a trick taking game!!! How you could call it trick-taking??

jmcraven wrote:
When the player has three cards in their hand, all numbered the same, the player lays them down, and will get 10 points.


Be careful. A player is not required to lay them down. He can hold these cards for Gala show.

jmcraven wrote:
Once all the cards are used up, the game is over, and the points are added up.


Most of the time, the game is over when someone called a Gala show. i.e., someone has at least one of each suit in his/her hand. He/she gets extra 10 points bonus and it is very important part of the game. Of course, he/she is not required to call a Gala show if he/she wants to continue the game.
 
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