Super Mario Power Up Card Game
Overall Rating: 8/10
GLAM Age Range: 7-12
Number of Players: 3-8
Playing Time: 10-30 min
Publisher: The OP
Available At: Amazon.com
Quick Take: We got a couple copies free from the website Tryazon in exchange for hosting a game party and playing with a group of kids. It was chaotic but a lot of fun and we learned that adaptations to the rules are a good idea if you want to make this game a little more entertaining. The Mario theme is a big plus, it draws kids in and makes them excited to play. It's a simple strategy game (don't have the lowest scoring card at the end of a round) but the question block cards all have special actions that make the game play a lot more interesting and fun. Also, please note that I have pictured the underwater version of the game, which is only available at Walmart and as far as I can tell they don't carry it online. Regardless, the standard edition available at Amazon is half the price of the underwater version and is the exact same game with a different picture on the back of the cards.
How to Play: Whoever has the card with the lowest level at the end of a round of play loses a life. Once your lives are gone, you're out. The last person with any lives left is the winner. Each round, everyone is dealt a level card. You go around in a circle and can choose to keep your card or trade with the person next to you until it is the final player's turn, they have the option of discarding their card and taking the top card from the draw pile. You reveal your cards at this point and whoever has the lowest card loses a life. However! Question block cards have a variety of powers that can help a player avoid having the lowest score, such as: adding or subtracting points to a player's level, getting to peek at other player's cards while trading with them, or even stealing or making them discard an extra life. Every player starts out with one question block tile and can earn more if they draw a castle card or if you have a level card with the same number as another play. Once you play a question block card it is discarded and cannot be used again.
Variations: Adding in more question block tiles makes game play far more interesting. The easiest and most logical way we found to do this was by giving a new question block tile to a player whenever they lost a life. We also like to play a two person version of this game by giving each player two hands to play simultaneously. We allowed question blocks from either of your two hands to be used on either of your level cards when we played in this way and it added a fun element to the game. You can also adjust the number of extra lives you give to players if you want a shorter or longer game. It is easy to finish within about 10 minutes with just 3 players who have 4 lives each. Play time goes up considerably if you go all the way up to 8 players and still give everyone 4 lives to start.
Similar Games To Check Out: Super Mario Uno, Rat-A-Tat Cat, Sleeping Queens