Date of review: 2/2/15

Current personal ranking #20

Time to play (in my experience): 10-15 minutes

Difficulty Level: 1 (less than 5 minutes to teach, less than an hour to play)

Age Level: I think a 6 or 7 year old could play this easily.

Type of Game: Basic card game/filler. I don’t really have a better category for this. It doesn’t use a basic deck of cards, but could be seen in a similar family as “Go Fish” or “Old Maid”.

Game setting: None

Brief overview of how to play: Each round one card, with a number on it ranging from 3-35 (and there’s only one of each), is set in the middle for all players. On your turn, you either take the card or you pass by putting one of your tokens on the card. Play continues until finally one player takes the card (and all the tokens that have been placed on it!). The next card is revealed and the process is repeated until the deck runs out. So it’s very simple. You either take the card or you say, “no thanks.”

How many players does it play?: 3-5

Ideal number: 3, 4, and 5 are all pretty equal on this one.

How do you win?: Ah, here’s the catch! The fewest points wins. So you don’t want to take cards. 

At the end of the game you add the total number on all your cards, subtract the number of tokens you have, and that is your total. Also, if you have any cards in a run, you only count the lowest number in the run. So if you have a 10, 11, 12, that’s only 10 points. Or if you have a 27 and 28, all that matters is that 27. Another twist is that 10 cards have been randomly, and secretly, removed from the game. So you aren’t sure if you can get that next card or not. The runs really make things interesting.

Why do I love/recommend this game?

1) Easy and fast: This is probably my favorite “filler” game. I can play this game with just about anyone.

2) “One decision at a time” game: Some people, like my own dad, have a little trouble tracking games that require more complex decision making. In this game, you have one decision to make; do you take the card or not?

3) It has that “one more game” appeal to it: It’s rare that I only play one game of this in an evening. It plays so quickly that almost always someone says, “okay, one more time.” 

4) Surprising amount of tough decisions: Although it is simple, and there is a lot of luck, you have to manage your tokens well. If you don’t have any tokens and a 34 comes out, you are stuck with it. Also, sometimes you’ll want to pass on a card a couple times so that you can pull some tokens out of your fellow players. For instance, let’s say I have the 33 and the 34 comes out. I can just take that card, or I can pass on it, knowing that the other players aren’t going to want it, so they’ll be forced to place a token on it. Send that around a few times and you still get the card (with no penalty because it’s a run), and you get a bunch of tokens as well. Extremely clever.

5) Tiny package: This game fits easily in a coat pocket, so I can take it just about anywhere. I actually wish that the box were just slightly bigger, because I have to keep a rubber band wrapped around the box so that it doesn’t open by itself.

6) Language independent. This can be a nice ice-breaker for people who might not share the same language. No words are needed in the play of this game nor are on any of the cards. I taught “No, Gracias” to a Spanish-speaking couple, and we had a great time. I think we played it about 7 times in a row.

Is there anything anything offensive in this game? Anything at all? No. Thanks.

Final Word: This is my go-to game for people who might be unsure about playing games. It’s fast, it’s easy to pick up, yet provides enough strategy for people who are more “game inclined”. I never turn down a game of “No Thanks”.

Amazon.com price at the time of this posting: $11.99 (lowest price)

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