It’s always nice to have a quick, portable game to play—especially when it can be actual fun for both the kids and the parents. Here are the five favorite card games that we are currently enjoying at our house with one tween, one teen, and two adults. Drum roll, please…
Favorite Card Games: Man Bites Dog
Man Bites Dog is for 2-6 players, ages 8 and up. This game takes about 15-20 minutes to play. Each player is dealt five cards face down—each card has one or two words on it. After looking at their cards, they may choose to discard three cards (and be dealt three more). The goal is to make a headline (with up to five cards) that is worth a decent amount of points. The headline might be crazy, but it does have to make sense as a headline. So for instance, this makes sense:
But this does not:
Man Bites Dog continues until a player reaches 500 points. We really like this game and we play it a lot! You can get your game here: Man Bites Dog.
Favorite Card Games: Sushi Go!
Sushi Go is for 2-5 players, ages 8 and up, and a round takes about 5-10 minutes to play. The game has cards with various kinds of sushi type things on them: maki rolls, dumplings, nigiri, pudding, wasabi, etc, and each of these things are combined with like cards in certain ways to earn you points. You’re basically trying to make a nice plate of sushi.
It’s a pass and play game, which means you choose a card to play from your hand and then pass the hand to another player, while another player is passing their hand to you, and on and on. Play continues until all cards from all hands have been played, then you add up your score based on the cards (kinds of sushi) you chose to play.
The only complaint I’ve ever heard about this game is that scoring can be a little tricky to remember, but there is a “cheat sheet card” included with the game to help you. (Scoring hints are also listed at the bottom of each playing card if you can’t remember which cards you’re trying to collect for what.) Trust us – after playing it a few times, you will know exactly which cards are best to try and save.
Want to get your own game? Grab it here: Sushi Go
Favorite Card Games: Timeline
Timeline is a trivia type card game for 2-8 players and is intended for ages 8 and up. A game generally takes about 15 minutes to complete. We have the “Americana” deck, but there are several other decks you can play with (or mix together), including Historical Events, Music and Cinema, Diversity, American History, Inventions, and others. We have a short explanation of how to set up and play the game in this video:
It’s amazing how quickly everyone picks up historical dates from playing this game – especially visual learners. Grab your own tin of cards here: Timeline
Favorite Card Games: Blink
The directions say that Blink is for two players, but we usually play it with three. You can also play four player in a single-elimination style tournament. It is for ages 7 and up, and an entire game can be completed in under two minutes. In the game of Blink, players simultaneously take cards from their hand and play them on piles of cards in the center. In order to be able to play a certain card, it must match at least one characteristic on the face up cards in the center: color, shape, or count. You play through all your cards as fast as you can; the first person out of cards wins. The game moves very, very fast.
In the above example, in my hand I have a single brown flower that I can play on the brown triangles (because it matches color) or I can play it on the green moon because it matches count (one thing). I can play the gray teardrop on the moon because it matches count. I can play the five red flowers on the red lightning bolts because it matches color. BUT everyone is placing cards at the same time in a frenzy, so the cards you have available in the middle on which to place your cards are CONSTANTLY changing.
When you lay a card down in the middle, you also need to pick up a new card from your draw pile (not shown). You can only have three cards in your hand at a time, but sometimes the game is moving so fast you don’t have ANY cards in your hand. Want to try it out? Grab it here: Blink
Favorite Card Games: Anomia
Anomia is a Mensa Select game intended for 3-6 players, ages 10 and up. One game takes about 20 minutes to complete. Y’all this game is tricky, but we love it. Your brain is working on a lot of different levels for Anomia. It’s a lot like Blink in that you’re turning over cards and looking to match symbols, but that’s where the similarities end. In Anomia, each card has a symbol that might match another card but each card also has a topic on it.
If the symbol on the card you turned over matches the symbol on a card that is currently face up on the table, things get fun: you have to think of an answer for the topic that is listed on your opponent’s card, not your own, before your opponent can shout out an answer for the topic that is on your card.
So in the above picture, because the symbols match, the player on the left (who turned over the pie flavor) has to think of a kind of shoe before the player on the right (who turned over the shoe) can think of a pie flavor. If you are the first to shout out the answer, you get to keep the card from that topic.
There are also “wild cards” and “cascades” that make things really tricky and fun…but I’ll let you figure those out after you have the game! Winner is whoever has kept the most cards after the entire deck is played through. Anomia is definitely one of our favorite card games! Find it here: Anomia
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