We have been trying to get some new games to the table. As I mentioned in my game overview for Cuphead, it’s a constant struggle in this family with those who want to play a known game, versus those who want to learn a new one. Ironically, a recent game didn’t land in either of those two categories. This was a new one for most of the family, but I actually have previously played this game. What new game did we learn? The Game – Quick and Easy by Pandasaurus Games.
I find it interesting when you have a solid game concept that it works at many different angles. You are able to make several different games from that solid concept. Small changes may include theme, duration or some mechanic. This might change it enough to spark interest with new people. This reminds me of Fluxx and its many versions like Jumanji and Marvel Fluxx, Star Trek Fluxx, Deep Space Nine Fluxx and Holiday Fluxx. The familiarity carries throughout all their versions. Monopoly is another where they hold true to some concepts and change others. The Game has done similar iterations with four versions available as I write this. They are: The Game (the original), The Game: Extreme, The Game: Face to Face, and this version, The Game: Quick & Easy.
As the name suggests, The Game: Quick & Easy tries to simplify things. This is really helps when I’m playing a game like this with my kiddos. Setup is done by placing both the sequence cards out. One is ascending, the other is descending then the rest are shuffled. Two cards are dealt out to each player and the remaining cards form a draw deck placed face down.
On your turn, place either one or two cards down on either piles, obeying the directional rule (ascending or descending). So the pile with a “1” needs to have higher cards than the prior card. The pile starting with 10 needs to have lower cards than the one before. The exception to this rule is when you play a card that matches colors with the previous, then you essentially restart the pile with that new number. This really means you want to keep you high cards to be placed on the group of cards that is in a descending pattern, and keep your low cards to help reset the cards going in an ascending pattern.
Players are able to talk with each other and plan how they want to go about playing the game. Players tend to get cards where they can only play one, or none. Teammates need to play cards that ensure that doesn’t happen. So talking is very much encouraged, however, specific numbers are not allowed to be mentioned.
If the draw pile becomes empty then all players win. The Game: Quick & Easy ends in a loss when someone is unable to play during their turn. This really emphasizes the numbers until you get to the end of the line where you need to reset to continue playing cards. Then the colors are fully emphasized. The Quick & Easy version is great as the numbers are 1-10, which makes it suitable for younger kids who know which ones are higher then another. There are two stacks to play on, and they really like taking advantage of resetting a stack of cards.
Sometimes it is more advantageous to play a single card, allowing someone else to do the same on theirs. The collaboration that ensues is the game’s best quality. It lets players talk with each other to make a plan on the best way to proceed. You’re not going to win The Game: Quick & Easy every single time. But when players talk and plan together, the chances of a win for everyone is more likely.
Which versions of The Game have you played?