Race from Start to Finish and Help Your Teammate Along the Way in Partners | Casual Game Revolution

Race from Start to Finish and Help Your Teammate Along the Way in Partners


The number one best-selling game in Denmark, Partners is a team-based abstract board game in which you must race to reach the finish line first. But you can’t win alone! You must also help your teammate’s pawns to reach the end as well if you want to be victorious.


There are two teams in Partners, with two players on each team. You and your teammate sit at opposite corners of the board. Each player takes four pawns and places them on the start location at their corner. The goal of the game is to take your pawns out of your starting location, have them travel all the way around the board and then line them up in the four final goal locations on your side of the board. In order to win the game, both you and your teammate must complete this goal.

A player is chosen to start as dealer. She shuffles the deck and deals each player four cards. Each player must then pass one card to their teammate. Players are not allowed to discuss what cards they need or what they already have in hand. You then take turns playing one card at a time. If at one point you have no cards you can legally play, you must discard all remaining cards in your hand and sit out the rest of the round.

When you play a number card, you may move a pawn the number of spaces shown on the card (only if it is out of the starting zone). You must play a heart card to move a piece out of its starting area. Some cards allow you to move a pawn backwards (you can use this to move a pawn back behind its end zone so that it doesn’t have to go all the way around the board to reach it), and there are swap cards which allow you to swap any two pawns on the board (even those that do not belong to you). One card allows you to divide seven movement spaces between any number of your pawns that are on the board, while other cards allow you to choose to use the card as a heart or as a number card.

After all players have run out of cards, a new round begins and the dealer deals another four cards to each player. After the dealer has done this three times, the deck is passed to the player on her left, who becomes the new dealer.

If you move your pawn onto a space with two or more of another player’s pawns, your pawn is moved back to its start location. However, if you move your pawn onto a space with only one other pawn, that pawn is moved back to its start. This applies whether a pawn belongs to your teammate or an opponent.

You must play a card with the exact number in order to move a pawn into the final goal spaces. If you play a card of too high a number, the pawn bounces back out onto the main track. If you get all your pawns into the goal zone first, you may play cards on future turns to help move your teammate’s pawns.

Partners Components


Partners has a strong similarity to games like Sorry! that you may have played as a child, but combines these familiar elements with some interesting strategic choices and player interaction.

The passing of cards each round between partners mitigates some of the luck of the draw, and the fact that players can bump teammates back to the start as well as their opponents, means you have to consider the board carefully each turn. The order in which you play your cards can be as important as which cards you have.

This player interaction is part of what makes Partners such a strategically fun board game. You also never have to worry about any one team member taking over gameplay, as players are restricted from talking about their hands. You play your own cards and make your own decisions.

It’s simple to learn and teach and keeps things refreshingly uncomplicated. Aesthetically, the board is pretty colorful and has a slick design, and the components are good quality, though the card faces are a rather dull black and white.

The game does require a specific player count, which is going to make it more difficult to get it to the table. But if you like light games that feel familiar, Partners is a well-designed mix of strategy and simple gameplay.

Pros: Player interaction, easy to learn and teach, interesting card play

Cons: Cards are a little bland, the game requires a specific player count

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