Thrift Treasure: Punto Card Game
During last week’s Thrift Treasure feature for Scramblitz, I mentioned my weakness for games packaged in metal tins. For the second week in a row, I was fortunate to grab a used game housed in this manner. Gamewright‘s Punto only set me back $2 at a convention flea market. Because the cards were still in factory order, I can only assume it was never actually played.
Punto is an interesting card game for up to four players. The object is to lay cards down trying to get four-in-a-row (or five, for two players). Each player begins the game with a set of cards in their player color and possibly a partial or complete second set. The cards depict several dice-like pips, varying in value from one through nine. Each player has two of each in their deck, totaling eighteen cards. These are shuffled to form individual draw decks and placed in front of the owning player.
To begin the game, the player with the most freckles draws the top card from their deck and places it in the middle of the play area. Turns pass clockwise, with each person drawing one and adding it to the center. Cards must be placed adjacent to a previously played card, either orthogonally or diagonally, or on top of a lower-valued card.
Play is limited to a six-by-six board. This allows you to block an opponent by playing on the other side, preventing them from expanding in the opposite direction. Everyone takes turns until one player manages to line up four-in-a-row. That person is the winner of the round and discards the highest valued card from their winning line. Another round is played in the same fashion, with the player to the left of last round’s winner beginning the play.
If a round ends in a stalemate with no one making four-in-a-row, the winner is the player with the most visible 3-in-a-rows. If there is still a tie, the player with the lowest total valued 3-in-a-row is declared the victor. The first player to win two rounds is the overall winner of Punto!
New examples of Punto can still be purchased on Amazon from third party sellers. We’ll be keeping an eye out for additional copies at conventions or thrift. The cards themselves have sparked an idea for a different game using the same cards. And used copies of Punto are cheaper than having cards custom made!
Have you ever used parts from one game to create another?