We complain a lot about our inability to win at memory games. As we grow older we find that things just slip away more often, whether we like to admit it or not. There’s definitely value in sharpening our memory skills by playing games like Farm Rescue or any of the Brainwaves series. The key is finding ones that offer a fun experience in addition to the mental exercise.
One title that has stuck with us is Déjà Vu by AMIGO. We first played it during a demonstration at Gen Con convention two years ago and made it part of our collection last fall. Known for games that have five rules or less, Déjà Vu offers an experience that might change our mind about memory games.
To set up for a game of Déjà Vu, shuffle the deck of oversized cards and set aside three of them. The remaining are placed face-down in the center of the play area to be used as a draw deck. Thirty-six die-cut thick cardboard objects are spread around the draw deck within reach of all players (Déjà Vu supports up to six). The oldest participant is designated as the start player and the game begins!
The active player will turn over the top card of the draw deck, flipping it away from themselves so they cannot see it earlier than the other players. Each card features one to three of the objects spread around the table. The goal is to grab one of the matching objects AFTER it has been shown TWICE on drawn cards.
You can grab objects at any time and place them in front of you. Once grabbed, they are yours and may not be returned to the table. However, if you grab one incorrectly and it later shows up on a card, you are out of the round and will not score. Note the designs of the objects – many of the items look very similar or have textures or features from other objects. It WILL play tricks with your mind!
Each time a card is drawn, it is placed on top of the previous card. You must try to remember exactly which objects you have seen previously, so when it is shown a second time, you can grab the object.
Once all of the cards in the deck have been flipped over, it is time to check the three cards that were left out at the beginning of the round. Again, if you’ve grabbed one of the objects depicted on these three cards, you will not score this round. Count the number of objects you’ve collected and announce it to everyone (one point for each item). As long as you only grabbed valid objects, your score will be added to your totals from the next two rounds. The person with the most points after three full rounds of Déjà Vu wins!
Déjà Vu combines elements of memory and speed in this quick 10-minute title. Pick up an inexpensive copy on Amazon or ask for it at your favorite local game store. If you love the idea of games with very few rules but lots of fun, check out AMIGO’s entire line on their website. Also check out their social media feeds (Facebook, Twitter) to see what other people are saying about their games and to find out what they’re releasing this year!
What is your favorite “rule-light” game?