Overall Rating: 8/10
GLAM Age Range: 8-Adult
Number of Players: 2-4
Playing Time: 20 min
Publisher: Pandasaurus Games
Available At: Amazon.com
Quick Take: This cooperative game with an easy concept has been a surprise hit game of 2018. Stare into your fellow players' eyes and freak out as you try to play cards in sequence with no communication besides your looks of terror and/or joy depending on how successful you are in playing your cards in ascending order. It's a lot more engaging and fun than what you might think based on the very simple premise of the game. This isn't the type of game that I would play on a daily basis, but it's amazing as an occasional play under certain circumstances: family visiting, switching up standard game night fare, a teambuilding exercise, an excuse to gaze deeply into my husband's eyes and get distracted and then chastised for not playing the game properly, etc. The game sounds crazy but it works and it's one that you'll want to tell people about.
How to Play: Your goal as a group is to play all of your cards in ascending order without any communication. Cards are numbered 1-100 and you start with one card each and add an additional card per turn. You start with three lives and two throwing stars. If someone plays a card out of sequence, anyone with a lower card must say "Halt!" and play their card or cards that were skipped over. A life is lost, and game play continues through the end of the round. Another option is to play a throwing star if it seems like everyone is stuck. This is determined by someone raising their hand and then everyone else must raise their hand as well, making the vote for the throwing star unanimous. Then everyone is allowed to discard their lowest card and game play continues with the remaining cards in everyone's hands. There are opportunities to win additional throwing stars or lives as you reach certain levels. You win the game if you get past 12 rounds of play.
Variations: You're not supposed to talk or communicate at all but noises of pain or terror and an occasional triumphant high five after we get a particularly tricky sequence played correctly are all standard aspects of our games whenever we play and who is there to judge us? We're a little more forgiving and allow a do-over or two on our first time playing with someone but then we try to harden up and play the rules exactly as stated. Apparently if you beat the entire game you can try to play the cards in sequence by playing the cards face down and then checking at the end of the round. Quite frankly, this seems like insanity.