The first rays of sunlight peek past blue mountain tops, casting a soft glow over the haze that has settled after a cool night. Down in the forest an owl calls out as it drifts back to its perch. On the woodland floor, a mingling of bright leaves—red, yellow, orange—is disturbed by a tree frog as it leaps to catch a fly. Such moments as these happen a million times a day, in a million different places.
Moments brings many such scenes from the photographer’s lens to the tabletop in a game of cooperative deduction for 2-8 players.
To set up a game of Moments, deal each player a hand of seven cards and give one player the Head curator token. Depending on player count, there may be additional curators. The remaining players act as the Collaborators.
Starting with the head curator and moving clockwise, all curators play cards facedown and give a one-word, non-noun clue about their card. Once the curators have given their clue words and played their cards, additional cards are added from the deck to bring the total count up to eight. The head curator shuffles these together and then displays them faceup.
The collaborators then discuss and collectively agree upon which cards the curators played. If they guess all cards correctly, the players score a point, but if even one card is wrong they score nothing. The game ends after eight rounds and players consult the rulebook to see how well they did based on their score.
Moments can be integrated with an earlier game from Van Ryder Games, titled Keepers (which explains why all the card backs have a “K” on them, a detail I at first found confusing), but in this review, I’m discussing it as a standalone game.
Moments is a relaxed experience that looks nice on the table. The tarot sized cards depict an array of stunning nature scenes that will make this an ideal game to bring out just to show off; the gameplay itself, however, is simple, to the point that some may feel it lacks depth. If the pictures on the cards aren’t enough to keep you occupied, after eight rounds the game can feel a bit repetitive, with nothing new to offer except the same basic round structure. Thinking up fresh clues can become difficult, as well, and in our games, we sometimes resorted to reusing a previous clue because many of the cards are similar.
That is not to say there’s no room for this game in one’s collection, you should just be aware of what you’re getting—a set of pretty pictures with a vague and somewhat flimsy ruleset. It might make a good conversation piece or ice breaker with folks who don’t play a lot of games. I myself successfully tricked my non-gamer in-laws into playing it once by showing them the cards, knowing the nature scenes would draw them in. I took a few seconds to explain the rules, dealt everyone a hand of cards and we all proceeded to have a good time.
If you’re looking to chill with friends and family for a while and look at some pretty pictures, then Moments is a pleasant experience, but if you want to play a game with strategic depth, you should probably look elsewhere. The rules feel a little like an afterthought and are somewhat vague, while the cards don’t inspire a wide variety of clues, but the benign nature of the game makes it easy to get to the table.
Final Score: 2.5 stars – A game you might play with your mother-in-law, but probably not your core group.
• Can feel repetitive
• Lacks depth