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Cahoots

Playing one number card at a time, try to manipulate the numbers on the table to complete all the goals before you run out of cards.

Published by Gamewright, Cahoots is a cooperative card game that allows limited communication as you work together to complete the unpredictable goals.

Gameplay

The deck of number cards is shuffled and each player is dealt four cards. An additional four are placed face-up in a row on the table. Numbers range from one to seven and come in four different colors. You then shuffle the goal cards and deal a set number (depending on player count and difficulty level) into a stack and return the rest of them to the box. Finally, you draw four goal cards from the stack and place them face-up on the table.

Players take turns. On your turn, you must play a card from your hand onto one of the four number cards currently face-up on the table. To play a card, it must be the same number or color (or both) as the card you are playing it on. You then draw a new card from the draw pile and your turn is over.

Everyone is working together to complete the goal cards. When the requirements on a goal card have been met, you set it aside and draw a new one to replace it. The goals are always about the four cards that are currently on top of the four stacks of number cards in the center of the table, and include things such as “sum of all cards must equal fifteen” or “three orange piles”.

Players may not talk about the number or colors of the cards in their hands. They may only talk about what stacks they want to play on or what goals they think they should work towards.

If the players complete all the goal cards, they win the game. If they run through all the number cards before accomplishing this, or any player cannot make a legal turn, they lose.

Cahoots Components

Review

Cahoots offers a simple concept that is put together nicely to form a challenging little cooperative card game. Working inside the limits of the communication rules can be difficult, and figuring out the best way to work towards each goal and in what order is a fun challenge to master over repeated plays.

There’s a wide range of goal cards, with fifty included in the box, ensuring lots of variety between games, so that even as you get better over multiple playthroughs there are always going to be unexpected challenges.

Luck does play a role in the game. You might draw a goal card that you just happen to already have completed on the table or you can also just end up with a bad hand and be out of the game. In fact, in our first game one player didn’t have a legal move on the very first turn.

The wording on a couple of the goal cards also left us a little confused over exactly what was intended, but overall the game is nicely put together, with bright and colorful graphics and nice card quality.

Cahoots is a solid, casual cooperative card game that is easy to pick up and teach but will take some time to master, with a nice way to adjust the difficulty. It's family-friendly, accessible, and enjoyable by a large age range, and it just feels quite satisfying when you win.

Pros: Large number of goal cards included, nice age range, ability to adjust difficulty

Cons: Luck can play a large role, some of the goal cards could be written more clearly

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