ElevatorUp: A Card Game of Ups, Downs, and Stuck Lifts | Casual Game Revolution

ElevatorUp: A Card Game of Ups, Downs, and Stuck Lifts


ElevatorUp is a light, family-friendly card game about being the first to ditch all your cards. Designed by seventeen-year-old Harrison Brooks, it’s quick to learn and plays fast.

So ride an elevator from lobby to penthouse, and check out how it’s played.


The deck is shuffled and each player is dealt three cards face-down, two cards face-up, and finally each player is dealt a hand of three cards. The deck is then placed in the center of the table. Before the game starts, players can swap out one or both of their face-up cards with cards from their hands.

On your turn, you must attempt to play a card to the discard pile. You may play any card that has an equal or higher floor number on it than the card currently on top of the discard pile, or you may play a special card. If you have more than one card showing the same floor number, you may play them together (provided of course that it is a legal play). If all four of the same floor cards are ever in the discard pile consecutively, all the cards currently in the discard pile are removed from the game. If you do not have a legal card to play, you must pick up the discard pile and add it to your hand.

There are five types of special cards. One is the penthouse which is considered the highest floor and only other special cards may be played on it. The new building card removes the entire discard pile from the game. Stuck allows you to avoid having to play a floor card, and the next player must match or beat the previous number played. Lobby allows you to reset the floor numbers, allowing the next player to play any card on their turn. Finally, the door closed card can be played on any card, except other special cards, and skips the next player’s turn.

At the end of your turn, if you have less than three cards, you must draw up to a hand size of three. Once the deck runs out, and once a player no longer has any cards in his hand, he must play from the two cards face-up in front of him. If you cannot play a card and must pick up the discard pile, you must play through these cards before you can continue to play the cards in front of you.

Once you have played your two face-up cards, you must play your face-down ones — however, you may not look at them before selecting one to play. On your turn you will reveal one and if it’s legal to play it, you do so; otherwise you must pick up the discard pile into your hand.

The first player to get rid of all his cards wins the game.

ElevatorUp Components


ElevatorUp plays quite fast, it’s easy to teach, and children can play it on their own but will also be on equal footing when playing with adults. It feels like something you might have encountered as a kid yourself, while still feeling fresh.

It is intended to be a family-friendly game, and should be taken in that spirit. There’s just a little bit of take-that, and even some push your luck if you want to drive the floor numbers up higher and faster hoping to leave your opponents with no option but to take the discard pile before it comes back around to your turn.

We like that you can swap out your face-up cards at the beginning of the game, preparing yourself for the end game, while the unpredictable face-down cards lend themselves to some fun moments. There’ll be plenty of times when your face-down card is just what you needed or an opponent is forced into picking up the discard pile, and this keeps the game unpredictable up until the end.

The game is also smartly designed with a couple of ways to ensure the discard pile is removed occasionally from the game, so that while players will have setbacks, the game still continues at a nice brisk pace as the number of cards in play continues to deplete.

This is a game meant to appeal to kids, and as such, the artwork is actually a good fit. It’s bright and colorful, has some nice little details, and all the text is written quite clearly. The game box is also small and compact, making it portable and good for travel.

It’s always great to see the work of a new designer to the hobby, and it’s lovely to see such a young designer coming onto the scene. ElevatorUp is a very casual card game, and you should know that going in. This isn't a game designed for players with lots of gaming experience who are looking for a little more strategy. But it is a good fit for kids and a fun first game from its designer.

Pros: Portable, unique art style to appeal to a younger audience, game time fits well with mechanics

Cons: Amount of luck may fail to appeal to adult groups

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