In The Dog House: A Review of Nuts about Mutts

Nuts about Mutts

Some card games feel made for a lazy Saturday afternoon of casual games and low-key fun. Nuts about Mutts is one such game, calling to mind the nostalgia of several classic card games while still managing to stand on its own two feet (or rather its own four paws) as a fun, light, family-friendly game.

Gameplay

The goal of Nuts about Mutts is to be the first player to get rid of all your cards by playing them into the pile on the table. Most cards have a color, number, and dog breed. To legally play a card on your turn, it must match one of these three components with the card beneath it. If you don’t have a legal move to make, you must draw a new card instead.

Around the table there are also several bone cards, one for each player minus one. Whenever someone plays a Mutt Card, players race to be the first to place their hand on one of the bone cards. The player who doesn’t claim a bone card is forced to draw a new card and add it to their hand. There are a few other special ability cards with such powers as swapping hands with another player or forcing everyone else to draw a card.

In addition to the basic rules, there is also a set of advanced rules. In the advanced gameplay you may interrupt a player’s turn if you can either play a match (a card with the same number as the one currently on top of the pile) or a run (a card that is the same color and one number higher or lower than the card currently on top of the pile).  You can continue to play matches and runs, but another player can also cut in with their own. After everyone is done cutting in, gameplay continues from the player who last played a card, not the player whose turn it was originally, meaning you could miss out on a turn altogether if you don’t stay on your toes!

Nuts about Mutts Game Box

Review

While the basic rules are probably a little too basic for older gamers, the advanced rules for Nuts about Mutts reminded me of several classic card games and those games are classics for a reason. It’s just fun to try to jump in during another player’s turn and lay down the next card in a sequence. Keeping an eye on your cards and on the pile, waiting for the chance to cut in, has always been fun and Nuts about Mutts offers just the right amount of opportunities to do it.

The special ability cards add a couple of nice twists, and racing to slap a bone card before another player is always fun. That, together with the dog artwork, gives the game a fun, likeable personality, and makes it worth adding to your collection if you like classic card games such as Crazy Eights or Uno.

There is not a lot of strategy involved or depth to the game, so some players may find it too simple. But it sets out what it accomplishes to do and gives you a light card game that puts a spin on a few old favorites. The combination of quick playtime and mechanics that rely on speed makes this a great filler game, opening to a game night, or just a good fit for the family.

Pros: Quick and simple, good for families, adorable puppy artwork

Cons: May be too simple for some gamers 

Disclosure: we received a complimentary review copy of this game.