Review – Recycle

A hand management game.

Title: Recycle

Year Published: 2003

Designer: Susumu Kawasaki

Publisher: 999 Games

Players: 2-5

Game Time: ~20 Mins

Set-up Time: >1 Mins

Ages: 8+

Theme: Recycling

Mechanic: Hand Management

How to win: Score the most points.

Game Description

A local city has a problem of un-separated trash left by citizens. Each player is a company that does the trash separation and recycling. By carrying trash to corresponding storage places, a player gets points. However if you carry too much, you must throw trash away illegally! Well, after all, your aim is to get money…

Set Up

Set up is simple and requires a bit of shuffling around depending on the player count.

Place factory cards in stacks in order on the table. The number of cards differs from 2 to 5 players but the cards will be in this order from top to bottom: 0, 1, 2, 3, 3, -2, 4, 5.

Recycle Setup

Shuffle the recycling cards, put one at the bottom of each factory on the waste side then deal everyone 3 cards.

Game Play

Game play is also simple.

You play one or more of a single type of recycling card above the relevant recycling factory on the recycling side.

Then take all cards in that factories waste pile into your hand.

If the value of the factory side cards is 3 or less, put that many cards into that factories waste pile.

I put 2 into the Purple recycling Factory and added 2 into the waste.

I put 2 into the Purple recycling Factory and added 2 into the waste.

If the value of factory side cards is 4 or more, take the top factory reward card and put it in front of you face up. Then take the waste pile into your hand as normal and just add one card from the deck into the waste pile.

Recycle Scored

At the end of your turn, Discard down to 5, discarded cards are placed face down in front of you.

Game End

When all reward cards of one facility have been taken, the game ends at the end of that turn.

Players remove all cards in their hand from the game. If you only have one reward token of a colour, discard it.

Recycle Scoring

I only got 1 Orange score card so I can discard the -2 points!


If you don’t have any face down cards, gain 1 point for each player that does (you get 4 points per player in a 2 player game)

Add all points of your reward tokens then get -1 point for each face down card that you discarded during the game.

Round Up

This is another one of those games that people just enjoy, no matter their preference/experience level.

It’s simple Play/Take/Refill turns make it very quick and easy, but it is by no means easy to play well.

You need to try and not discard cards, at all. If you gather in more than you play you discard and lose points to your opponents.

Also, you need to score multiple cards of the same colour if possible. Scoring one card of a colour counts for nothing so it’s giving you something to think about there too.

Then there are the -2 point cards… Do you want it? If you can get it and you don’t get any other of that colour it’s fine, but you want to leave it for your opponents if possible.


Easy game play but plenty of strategy and planning to think about and easy access with wide appeal.

I give it 8/10

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