Review – Red7
A hand management, player elimination game.
Year Published: 2014
Designer: Carl Chudyk, Chris Cieslik
Publisher: Asmadi Games
Game Time: ~10 Mins
Set-up Time: >1 Mins
Mechanic: Hand Management, Player Elimination
How to win: Score a number of points depending on the player count.
The rules of Red are simple: Highest Card Wins!
There are basic and advanced rules. I highly suggest playing with the advanced rules AFTER you play a basic game or two to get to grips with how it all works. I will describe the basic game here and mention the advanced rules in the round up.
Deal 7 cards to each players hand and one face up to their ‘Palette’. Put the red start card next to the deck in the ‘Canvas’.
The player to the left of the current leader goes first. The current leader is the player with the highest value card. Ties for the highest card are broken by colour.
You must be winning the game at the end of your turn, otherwise you are out.
But what is ‘The Game’? There are 7, one for each colour… Luckily there is a handy colour reference guide provided with the game…
On your turn you MUST either…
1 – Play a card to your palette, but only if you can be winning the current game.
2 – Discard a card to the Canvas to change the game, but only if you are then winning that game.
3 – Place a card in your Palette THEN discard a card to the Canvas, again, only if you’re going to be winning.
4 – Pass and lose. If you can’t win the current game, change to a game you can win or you are out of cards, you must take this action.
You are winning if your Palette contains more cards that meet the Canvas rule than any other player. For ties, whoever has the highest single card as part of that rule is winning (Again, colours break ties).
When one player remains, they win.
So that’s the basic game and it’s a lot of fun. It can be frustrating, it can be slow and it’s easy to make a mistake but once you know what you’re doing it’s a VERY quick game.
But the advanced game is where it’s at…
Firstly, when you discard to the canvas, you draw a card if it’s value is higher than the number of cards in your palette. This can make rounds last longer and the game more enjoyable.
Another action you can take is to tactically pass without playing a card and sacrifice this round… Why would you do that? Well to stop your opponents scoring points of course!
You score points in advanced mode and play over several rounds. When you win a round, you take all scoring cards (just cards used in current rule) and put them under your reference card. They score their face value.
To win you need 40 points in a 20 player game, 35 with 3 and 30 with 4 players.
Some of the cards also have an ability and when you play them you MUST perform this action if able. The abilities apply tot he odd number cards.
7 – Discard a valid different card from your Palette to the Canvas, you must be winning this game.
5 – Play an additional card to your Palette
3 – Draw a card
1 – Return a card from an opponent’s Palette to the top of a draw pile, you cannot take their last card.
This is a very simple and fun game that is very colourful on the table. It can take some people some time to get their head around it but once they do people tend to enjoy it.
I do feel however that if you get a lot of 7’s you win… It’s hard to beat someone who can win most tiebreakers.
But, in that advanced game, the 7’s get used early on and are then removed from the game so it get a bit more interesting. Although I did once win a round with three 7’s scoring 21 of the 35 points required.
Fun game after a few plays.
I give it 7/10