James Wallace Gray
James Wallace Gray
2 - 4
Light Family Games
Easy to teach/learn
Great family game
Luck factor might be too high for some
Might not hold the attention of hard core gamers
What is the only game that a group of Cthulhu cultists can agree on? Why, Crazier Eights of course! Because, you know, they like to spread the crazy. Will playing Crazier Eights increase your Insanity Points? Probably not, because as far as I can tell no Elder Gods are channeled while playing, but one can never be too cautious.
Okay, it is confession time: Crazier Eights doesn’t have anything to do with the Cthulhu mythos, and because I don’t look forward to the destruction of the world as we know it, that’s probably a good thing. Instead, Crazier Eights adds a new and unique twist to the classic card game Crazy Eights. At least, I think that is the case; I know I probably played Crazy Eights at some point but it was so long ago that I forget anything about it.
The goal of Crazier Eights is to be the first player to discard all of your cards. But this gets rather tricky because your opponents will play Events and Assets against you, forcing you to draw multiple cards, place cards in play back into your hand, and other such shenanigans. The premise is simple enough: on your turn you will draw one card, play one card for its effect, and discard one card (if possible). While this might sound easy, the cards and combination of cards that can be played together will wreck havoc on any plans you might concoct. For instance, there is a Devious Dragon which destroys a card in play each turn. There is also a Potion of Vitality, which grants you the ability to discard two additional cards on your turn. And then there are also Malevolent Minions, Angels of Hope, Castles, and so much more.
The two types of cards are Events and Assets. An Event is a one and done instantaneous effect. Once an Event is played and resolved, which is typically immediately, it goes on the bottom of the discard pile. While these are cool, Assets are even cooler. Asset cards are played in front of a player, in their player area, and remain active, in play and on the table, until they are removed or destroyed. This means that an Asset can help you and/or hinder your opponents turn after turn. Are we getting crazy yet?
One of the great things about Crazier Eights, which somehow seems a bit understated, is the great public domain artwork that is featured on each of the cards. From a design/publisher perspective, this is a great way to lower the cost of the game. Although for many games this simply doesn’t work as a theme is too prevalent to use such historical art. However, for an abstract card game like Crazier Eights, this works decidedly well. The artwork is superb, and looking at it can easily transport you back in time to when the art was created. The style of these great master painters simply cannot be matched. For this reason alone Crazier Eights is a breath of fresh air in today’s hobby board game (card game) market.
The game itself is compact, being comprised of a deck of 52 cards and a detailed rules sheet. This makes Crazier Eights high portable, easily fitting into a pocket or purse. Due to the randomness of shuffling, games can last anywhere from just over 10 minutes to slightly over 30. And sometimes, as luck would have it, it seems like one or more players will win on their next turn but the game ends up throwing them a curve ball and they lose three or four rounds later. While there is a degree of skill and calculation involved, especially when trying to combo certain card effects, the luck of the draw also plays a big part in winning the game. Overall the game is fun, easy to teach, and works decently well as a light filler game.