Note: This preview uses pre-release components and rules. What you see here may be different from the final, published game. This post was a paid preview, you can find out more information here.
The mass-market gaming world certainly has a lot of simple card games to offer. Uno, Phase 10, Skip-Bo… the list could go on forever. The draw for many families is undoubtedly the simple ruleset that can get everyone tossing cards around within just a couple minutes. Unfortunately, they also have pretty limited interaction between players and often overstay their welcome.
Today we are looking at Change Up, a card game on Kickstarter that has a similarly small number of rules. But it’s quick playing time and direct player interaction sets it apart from the mass market games of yesteryear.
Change Up is very simple. You’ll start the game by laying the points out on the table sequentially, from 0 to 4. Everyone gets a starting hand of six cards. Each turn a player will either play a card or drop out. When every player has dropped out, each player will choose a point card, starting with the person with the “You Pick First” card and going clockwise around the table.
Whichever number is on the card you pick is how many points you score. Play three rounds and the highest cumulative score wins. All sounds pretty easy, right?
Well, the trick is that the action cards will change the order of the points cards constantly. You’ll be able to swap cards around, move from the front of the line to the back, and all kinds of shenanigans. The point cards essentially become their own little shell game trying to follow where the high point cards go.
The “You Pick First” card doesn’t just stay put either. Some cards will allow you to take it or cause it to rotate around the table. If you can remember where the four-point card is, picking first will be key. But it’s not always easy to keep track of all the moving cards.
Change Up really takes the form of a take-that memory game. Not only will the cards move around, but you can also play cards that exchange hands with opponents and take the You Pick First card from them. You’ll mostly have to be focused on keeping track of where the point cards are going though.
Tracking a single card is fairly easy. If you just laser-focus on the most valuable 4-point card you shouldn’t have too much trouble knowing where it is at the end of the round. But that’s really only important if it’s still available when you get to pick. If you don’t have the You Pick First card you’ll have to wait your turn. And then it might be more valuable to know where the three-point card is. But tracking more than one card at a time becomes increasingly difficult.
There certainly isn’t a ton of depth to Change Up, but it isn’t trying to replace your eurogames. This is the type of experience that would be welcome at the local brewery or for a quick game with family during a get-together. Each round can be played in less than five minutes. Teaching the game and playing three rounds can be done in less than 15 minutes.
If your game nights have been dragged down by long drawn out mass-market card games, Change Up will be a welcome change—get it? It’s full of chaos and cards flying around and plenty of take-that elements without causing the game to go on for way too long.
As always, we don’t post ratings for preview copies as the components and rules may change from the final game. Check back with us after the game is produced for a full review. This post was a paid preview, you can find out more information here.