Thrift Treasure: Skyjo Card Game

Thrift Treasure: Skyjo Card Game

Last week we picked up this copy of Skyjo by Magilano because we had never heard of the game nor the publisher. It also didn’t hurt that while the box had been opened, all of the contents were still in their original wrapping. No inventory count would be needed!

A little research showed that Magilano is a newish publisher based out of Germany with only the Skyjo line to its credits. What we found more interesting is how similar it was to another Thrift Treasure we found and wrote about in 2019, LowDown by Mattel. And for inquiring minds, it seems that Skyjo came out first!

We thought Skyjo felt familiar and we were right. It's almost the exact same game as LowDown, but this one was published first! - SahmReviews.com

In both games you have the same goal of being the person with the lowest score over multiple rounds. LowDown begins with each player having nine cards in a 3×3 grid, while Skyjo uses twelve in a 4×3 configuration. All cards are face down except for two randomly turned over by each player at the start of the game.

We thought Skyjo felt familiar and we were right. It's almost the exact same game as LowDown, but this one was published first! - SahmReviews.com

On a turn in either game, a player will choose to draw from a community deck of cards or take the top-most card from the discard pile. If using a discarded card, it will replace any one card in the tableau, face-up, with the replaced card being discarded. If using a drawn card, it can be discarded without using or used to replace any card in the grid and laid either face-up or face-down.

We thought Skyjo felt familiar and we were right. It's almost the exact same game as LowDown, but this one was published first! - SahmReviews.com

In Skyjo, if you are able to line up three of the same numbered card face-up in the same column, all three are discarded, leaving you with fewer cards in your grid. The same goes for LowDown, except you are matching colors instead of numbers and may group them vertically, horizontally or diagonally. LowDown also has action cards that allow you to manipulate cards in your grid while SkyJo only uses numbered cards.

We thought Skyjo felt familiar and we were right. It's almost the exact same game as LowDown, but this one was published first! - SahmReviews.com

A round ends when one player has all cards in their grid face-up. Additionally, in LowDown, the depletion of the draw pile can also trigger the end of a round. Immediately (LowDown), or after other players take one more turn (Skyjo), everyone sums up the values on the cards they possess and writes the total on the score sheet. When a player exceeds a certain overall total (50 in LowDown, 100 in Skyjo), the game ends immediately with the player having the fewest points being awarded the win.

We thought Skyjo felt familiar and we were right. It's almost the exact same game as LowDown, but this one was published first! - SahmReviews.com

An additional requirement in Skyjo is that the player who ends the round must have the lowest number of points for that round. If they don’t, or if tied for lowest, that person receives points equal to double their total! Other than those few minor differences, this is the exact same game! Since the Mattel version is uncredited and the designer of Skyjo is known, one has to wonder if the later-issued version was “inspired” by the original.

We thought Skyjo felt familiar and we were right. It's almost the exact same game as LowDown, but this one was published first! - SahmReviews.com

Although you can find LowDown very inexpensively at mass-market retailers, I believe we prefer Skyjo as it is a bit more strategic. In LowDown it is just too easy to randomly get three lined up in a row since you can do so in any direction and are using a handful of colors instead of the wider array of numbers. Skyjo can still be found new on Amazon if you’re so inclined!

What game in your collection do you feel borrowed too many things from another game?

Scott

About Scott

A former manufacturing executive, Scott now balances his family life with ownership and backend administration of websites such as SahmReviews.com, GiftCardCollector.com and a number of other online properties. He also is an occasional writer and full-time board game fanatic.

15 comments on «Thrift Treasure: Skyjo Card Game»

  1. Josh Christian says:

    Sorry and Trouble (and Aggravation and Parcheesi).

  2. Mia E. says:

    I can’t think of a particular game that I think borrowed too much from another game.

  3. Jordan Binkerd says:

    Bad Boss is just Old Maid with adult humor

  4. Tony Platz says:

    Sorry and Trouble are a lot alike .

  5. LeAnn Harbert says:

    Most games do contain a lot of the same elements. It’s hard to find a unique game that doesn’t seem like the same game with different names.

  6. Sue E says:

    In my opinion, I think that Joking Hazard is absolutely hilarious. It’s played like Apples to Apples or Cards Against Humanity, except instead of building phrases, you’re building a three-pane comic strip.

  7. Jennifer P says:

    I think Parcheesi and Sorry and Ludo are all very similar.

  8. McKnight says:

    Words with Friends “borrowed” a few things from Scrabble.

  9. Antoinette M says:

    I think the Sorry & Ludo games are similar.

  10. gala says:

    Sorry and Trouble , I think

  11. Jeanette Jackson says:

    Trouble

  12. Cheryl Markle-Bomar says:

    alot of the solitarie games.

  13. Dana Matthews says:

    Parcheesi and Sorry are very similar in my opinion. Life and Monoply has similar features as well.

  14. Ed says:

    Sorry and Trouble are very similar.

  15. Judy Rittenhouse says:

    The game Headache and Trouble were basically the same game.

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