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[The game] Review


Jimmy V.:
I just played "The game" as few times and this short review will inaugurate this "Other board games" topic. Happy Meeple is a place to discover the board game hobby and board game recommendations and reviews are thus a good fit. I sincerely hope to read plenty of reviews from our Happy Meeple players.

"The game" is actually the name of the game, a fact which understandingly was critized by many. How can you name a game "The game"? You should not stop on this though, cause "The game" is actually a worthy game. It was one of the 3 contenders for the most important award in the board game hobby, the Spiel des Jahres (game of the year in Germany).

"The game" is played cooperatively but it can also be played alone. This is not very surprizing as it basically has the feel of a solitaire game: you try to play as many cards as you can until you are blocked. The fewer cards remain in the deck (and in your hands) at the end of the game, the better it is. It is probably possible to play all cards, so reach the perfect score of 0. But it must be a really good achievement.

There are 98 active cards in the deck numbered from 2 to 99. On their turn, players play 2 cards in 4 columns. 2 columns can only go upwards (starting at 1) while the other 2 can only go downwards (starting at 100). There is only one exception to the ordering rule, you can go backwards by exactly 10. So on an ascending column, you could play 34 after 44.

The closer you get to the end, the harder it gets to play useful cards and you'll frequently be facing tough decisions (but we know tough decisions are fun).

Also noticeable is the fact that players are allowed to communicate. Not completely though, you are not allowed to tell the exact numbers that you have in your hand. You can say things like "I would not like you to play here" or you can play here but only if the gap is small". This rule is a bit of a grey area but it works fine.

So in essence, "The game" is a solitaire that you play together with other players, while talking to them! What's not to like?

Overall, I really liked this game. If you are into patience (UK word) or solitaire (US word), you should definitely try it. I suspect though that even if you have no affinity with this kind of games, you may fall in love with "The game". Like for Hanabi, another game in the genre than I strongly recommend, I can see players playing it over and over again trying to improve their score. And there IS plenty of scope for improvement. After playing 4 games, I can feel that there is hidden depth that I need to discover.

I hope you will like this first review. Have you played this game? Did you like it? Let us know your thoughts!

Dzoana K.:
thanx for the summary.


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