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Rock, Paper Scissors
While getting ready for a recent outdoor event, I packed a few games I hadn’t played before knowing that I’d have plenty of time for gaming while waiting for the festivities to begin. Among some old favorites, I brought along Ciao! and Difference. You can read about Difference in my previous review.
My criteria for the new games was that they had to be easy to learn, compact, and kid friendly. Essentially being a card game version of Rock, Paper, Scissors, Ciao! certainly matches this criteria. With a couple of tweaks to the classic children’s game, along with a few cards with special abilities, Ciao! makes a decent tool for introducing youngsters into games.
In addition to the normal Rock, Paper, Scissors mechanic, Ciao! adds colors and numbers to the mix. For instance, you might have a 2 Yellow Paper, a 1 Green Rock, and a 3 Red Paper card in your hand. Cards have to be a higher number than the card they are played on, but they also need to be either a higher color or a higher symbol. If a player can’t play a card, or doesn’t want to, they draw a card and pass.
There are also Jokers and Millstone cards. A Joker may be played on any other card while a Millstone can only be played while playing a Wild Card. There are five different types of Wild Cards in Ciao! These cards allow players to take extra turns, reverse the direction of play, or swap hands with other players, for example.
The winner of the game is the first to run out of all their cards. There are rules for scoring several games played back to back. And there is also a variation for younger players that removes the special cards and disregards the colors.
Featuring cutesy art, easy to learn rules, and a compact, easy to transport tin, Ciao! met all the criteria for games to bring to our outdoor event. Removing the cellophane, reading the rules, and setting up the game took less than five minutes. There is a QR code to the how to play video on the box. I think actually reading the rules might be faster, but it is nice that this is included as part of the packaging.
All 108 cards fit nicely into the tin game box, which has a notched lid so it will remain closed even while transporting it. My son enjoyed the game well enough and it was easy for him to grasp the core concepts. While not a gamer’s game, Ciao! is great for groups of children.