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The Game: Quick & Easy

The Game: Quick & Easy is the latest variant in this line of card games published by Pandasaurus Games and designed by Steffen Benndorf. It’s a challenging cooperative game with limited communication.

Players must attempt to play through all the cards in the deck, playing them into two different stacks. If you ever can’t make a legal play on your turn, you all lose the game.

Gameplay

The deck contains fifty cards. Cards come in five different colors and are numbered one through ten in each color. The deck is shuffled and each player is dealt two cards and the deck is then set to one side. The goal of the game is to play all fifty cards in the deck. Players will be playing into two stacks. In one stack, the cards you play must go up in ascending order and in the other stack they must go down. However, you must go in the reverse order the stack calls for if, and only if, the card you are playing is the same color as the card currently on top of that stack.

On your turn you may play up to two cards and then draw back up until you have a hand of two. Players are allowed to communicate but are not allowed to say specifically what numbers they are holding. They are allowed to discuss the color of their cards and discuss the numbers generally such as saying ‘I have a high blue card’ or ‘my cards are both fairly low yellows’. If a player ever cannot legally play a card on their turn, everyone loses. If you play all fifty cards onto the two stacks, you all win the game.

The game does include a hard mode in which you may only play one card on your turn, and may not reference numbers at all, only colors.

The Game: Quick & Easy

Review

The Game: Quick & Easy certainly is quite similar to its predecessor but it’s a lot more than just a simplified version of the original’s gameplay. The colors add a unique challenge that you have to consider. When do you use that ability to jump back? Burning through it too often will leave you stuck as surely as not using it enough. There’s also a certain memory element involved in the game as you try to track what cards have already been played and try to ensure you’re never stuck with an unplayable card.

The need to communicate is key as players will need to combo off each other — we appreciate this type of cooperative experience where everyone is working together but still has secret information that can’t be shared, so that you’re still very much in control of playing your turn.

There’s something really satisfying about pulling off a good move in this game, bringing a stack’s number back to its starting point with a well played color card, or when players are able to plan ahead successfully and get out of a sticky situation.

While the game may be a little easier than its predecessor, it is still quite tricky and you’re going to lose plenty of times. However, we really liked the speed of the game (which is even shorter than the original). This one is lightning fast, which plays in nicely to how often you’re going to lose. It’s so easy to set up and go again, and games so quick that it’s so tempting to say ‘one more try’ after each loss.

There’s very little negative to say about either the design or execution of The Game: Quick & Easy. If you already have a couple of different versions of The Game, you might not want another. But we found the changes to the game system to be clever, make it even more accessible, and to work quite well with this style of game.

Pros: Game speed really complements the game difficulty, interesting communication restrictions, colors make for a good addition

Cons: May not be necessary to purchase if you already own another edition of The Game

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