Gameday First Play – The Game: Spiel… So Lange du Kannst!
A Spiel Des Jahres 2015 nominee.
Reminds me of a recent Spiel Des Jahres winner…
Players in The Game try to discard all 98 cards in the deck onto four discard piles in order to win, but they need to do so in the right ways.
Everyone has 6-8 cards depending on the player count, this cards are numbers 2-99… one copy of each. Each player plays at least 2 and draws back up, play continues clockwise.
There are 4 discard piles. Two of them start at 1 and you play cards in ascending order. Two start at 100 and you play in descending order.
You just need to keep playing cards onto the piles keeping the ‘jumps’ between numbers as low as possible.
Spiel… So Lange du Kannst! = Play… as long as you can! Exactly…
To stop the piles just spiralling towards their end, you can play a number in reverse order if it is exactly 10 lower/higher than the current number. So on the image above you could play a 32 to bring that pile down a bit.
The main part of the game is the communication rules which stop this ‘Game’ being very easy. They are…
During the game players are never allowed to ask the others for the exact number on their cards or reveal the numbers of their own cards. Relating concrete numbers in any way is strictly forbidden! Other than that, all other communication is allowed. For example, you can say: “Don‘t lay on the last pile,” or, “Don‘t make a big jump on this pile.”
I’ve played this Solo and with 4 and 5 players and it’s been enjoyable each time. Obviously it’s better with people but as a light and tricky ‘Patience’ type game it’s still pretty good.
It’s got that Hanabi feel to it. You’re all working together to put the most number of cards in the middle of the table in the right order. In Hanabi your memory or lack of information can let you and your team down…
In The Game, you can basically play whichever card you feel is right, based on what you have, what you can see and what you’ve been told. In that above example, if someone told me now to play on the 42 but I have the 32, I’ll play it… If I have the 43, I’ll have to assume (and hope) they have the 32…
You have to play at least 2 cards which can mean BIG jumps if you get stuck. Quite often you can get stuck and have to increase/decrease a stack by quite a bit and you just have to hope you can pull it back.
For the Spiel nominees, this is my favourite. Colt Express doesn’t interest me at all and I found Machi Koro quite dull after a couple of plays and it’s also too nasty for me to enjoy.
This one though is pretty good. Not sure on it’s lifespan but we’ll see.