I vividly remember when Simon Swipe came out nearly a decade ago. I had an original Simon electronic game when I was younger and marveled at how technology had changed since then. What I didn’t realize is the same year Simon Swipe was introduced, Hasbro also offered a card version for less than half the price of the electronic one.
This week we found a brand new, unplayed copy at our Goodwill for only eighty-eight cents. The instructions were missing, but we found plenty of Youtube videos that thoroughly went over the simple ruleset. The box contains only sixty cards – ten each of four different colored regular cards, four swipe cards in the same four colors and four wild cards.
Shuffle the deck and deal out nine cards to each player (up to four can play). Set the rest of the deck in the middle of the play area and turn over the top card. Place it next to the deck to begin the game. If a wild card is drawn, draw again until a color card is in play.
The first player will play a card of the matching color on top of the drawn card and then place a new card of any color directly next to it, forming a new pile. Remember, Simon is about matching color sequences. This card version is trying to replicate the act of following the pattern in game form.
The next person must then play cards to the top of each pile, in order, also matching the topmost color. If they play one of the swipe cards, which are also colored and have the entire circle filled in, all other players must draw one additional card into their hand.
If you don’t have a matching color, you may play a wild card instead. This awards you with an immediate extra turn by allowing you to play a card of any color on top of the wild. If you have no viable cards to play, draw from the deck into your hand until you find one that works. Once you match all the piles, add a new one to the end of any color so the next player must match one additional.
When a player places the last card from their hand, the round is finished. All other players count the number of cards left in their hands and tally a point for each one. Additional rounds are played until someone meets or exceeds fifteen points. The player(s) with the least number of points is the winner of the Simon Swipe Card Game.
We found Simon Swipe: The Card Game to be a quicker and easier version of UNO, but with some rule ambiguities. There’s no mention of whether the last player must complete the sequence to go out. Nor is there a rule about playing a wild first to a new pile, thus allowing you to immediately play a second card on top. House rules fix these problems, but we prefer it if they’re set by the publisher instead of us having to “fix” the game on the fly.
Simon Swipe: The Card Game is still available new on Amazon for under $10. This might be better left for a yard sale or thrift pickup. Then produce your own house rules to fill in the missing areas left by Hasbro!
How old were you when you first played electronic Simon?