Card games have been played around the world for hundreds of years. Regardless of the march of technology, a game of cards – whether Monopoly Deal or an ordinary 52 card pack – is still capable of bringing the whole family together from the youngest member to the oldest.
Of course things have changed and the original pack of 52 cards – with its familiar hearts, clubs, spades and aces – now faces some new and very tough competition. ‘Monopoly Deal’, for example, has taken a multi-million selling board game and converted it into a brilliant card game that has all the key elements of the original Monopoly game. ‘Top Trumps’ is another example of a popular game which can easily be adapted to include literally thousands of different subjects.
Monopoly Deal is currently our favourite card game and we would especially recommend it all existing Monopoly board game fans. Recommended for 8 years and upwards – and for 2 to 5 players – Monopoly Deal brings together all of your favourite elements of the original board game in a handy card game that’s not just great at home but also on the move (particularly airport waiting lounges!).
You’ll find the usual properties like Trafalgar Square and Mayfair plus plenty of familiar Monopoly money. It also has plenty of new twists like ‘Sly Deal’ where you can steal a property from another player, and ‘Deal Breaker’ where you steal a complete set of properties! The only downside is that Monopoly Deal takes a bit of learning although the rules look a lot more complicated than they actually are. This is even acknowledged by the manufactures who print “START PLAYING AND IT’LL ALL BECOME CLEAR” at the bottom of the rule sheet!
It’s not just the simplicity of Top Trumps that makes it such a great card game but also its chameleon-like ability to take on virtually any form …. TV programmes, cars, celebrities, movies, wild animals, space, dinosaurs, anything at all! Are you a Simpsons fan? …. then take your pick from about five different Top Trump versions. And Star Wars fans can choose from about nine sets …. or maybe ten … we lost count. As with Monopoly Deal this is a perfect game to take on your travels if you’re expecting some delays; and from a practical point of view is probably the easiest card game to play on the move because it doesn’t require a table or other surface to place the cards.
Ruckus Deadly 60 is a spin-off card game from the excellent ‘Deadly 60’ BBC TV series (which goes in search of the 60 deadliest animals). In our opinion. the appeal of this game is not its connection with the animal kingdom (although there is an educational element) but is instead the total chaos that ensues when players try to steal cards from other players …. all at the same time! If you like an element of ‘mad’ and ‘riot’ in your card games then Ruckus Deadly 60 might be the one for you. “See it, match it, steal it!” is their catchphrase.
Developed in the early ’70s, Mattel’s Uno card game has retained a loyal audience (much like Monopoly Deal fans) and even boasts an ‘Uno World Championship’ which is held annually. Based on chance it can be learned very quickly but – despite being a very simple and procedural game – it is a very addictive game that draws you in and seems to punish everybody equally. The original version is good but the arrival of ‘Uno Extreme’ raised the bar and this remains our favourite version. The random element of the battery-operated card holder throwing cards at you never gets boring and it’s just as fun to receive the cards as it is to see them being thrown at other players.
Finally, and possibly most importantly, we recommend the purchase of an Ordinary Pack of Cards. SHOCK ! HORROR ! GASP ! Those kids and adults that spend the time to trawl the internet and try some of the numerous card games that have been created over the last few hundred years will be forever rewarded with some of the most fun, interesting and challenging games around. Forget the xBox and Playstation, an ordinary game of cards has more action, excitement and team spirit than any virtual battle or magical world that a games console can provide. Just one hilarious round of ‘Go Fish’ or ‘I Doubt It’ could be enough to get the whole family back together again …. in the same room …. for an hour or two …. but don’t be afraid ….
So that’s our round up of some of our favourite card games. The ingenious Monopoly Deal remains our firm favourite …. but a good old fashioned pack of playing cards comes a very close second.