How to Spell Murder (of Crows)

The rules of Murder of Crows are straightforward. Two to six players take turns drawing cards and playing card powers, attempting to spell “murder” before anyone else.

Overall Gameplay

On your turn, you draw two cards from the deck or one card from the discard pile (which may include cards played by other players). If you play a card, it must be played either adjacent to another card in front of you or directly behind one card already in front of you – thus, forming a 3×3 grid which represents your murder scene. The card’s special power takes place immediately, but it stays in place until someone plays a card that covers it up or until the end of the game. When all nine lines have been filled with cards, that round of play ends.

Types of Cards

To win, you have to be the first player to spell “murder” – each card played must touch at least one card of the same letter or row. The rules for word challenges are as follows:

A-Arrow cards (♣) can slide any card horizontally along a line, as long as it keeps touching at least one card. If multiple cards can be moved with an arrow card’s power, they move in turn from left to right; if two arrow cards affect the same card and there is no order specified (or that order is unclear), resolve them in reverse alphabetical order by card title (e.g., A then K).

I-If a card is played next to two cards with arrows on them, those card must slide according to both card’s directions. When an “I” card affects another card, the player controlling the card whose power is being used decides which direction it moves. If there are multiple players controlling those cards, they can choose their own directions for the card movement – but if they cannot agree, default to left unless otherwise specified (e.g., K♠ and I♥ would move the ♥ three spaces north and one space east).

Eligible words: all standard Scrabble words; additionally including names that start with I (e.g., Ike)

J-Jokers (♣) may be played anywhere, but once they are played they must be covered by another card (which does not necessarily have to be the card resulting from their power). If multiple jokers affect one card, they may choose any card direction.

Q-Once a card with an “Q” is placed it cannot be moved or uncovered during the game. However, you can put both of your cards on top of it to flag it for yourself so other players will know not to place additional cards there. At the end of each round, any player who has not yet spelled murder can cover their own “Q” card with one card of their choice (if they do not have any cards left, it does not count as a murder).

X-If an “X” card is placed at the end of a word (i.e., if it’s touching nothing), flip it over to its alternate side which reads “-x-” and use its power again. If instead you play an “X” card touching another card, use both card’s powers in order (e.g., I♥-I♣-IXX would move the ♥ three spaces north, then the ♣ four spaces west, then the XX one space south).

Z-Cards with “Z” card powers are wild and may be placed on any card played on the table, regardless of the card’s direction or original placement. A card on top of a card can completely cover an “X” card power, if necessary.

M U R D E R

Once someone plays their final card to spell murder, play continues in reverse alphabetical order until there is a clear winner or at least two players tie for the win. If multiple players tie, whoever played their final card most recently wins.

If a card is played next to two cards with arrows on them, those card must slide according to both card’s directions. When an “I” card affects another card, the player controlling the card whose power is being used decides which direction it moves. If there are multiple players controlling those cards, they can choose their own directions for the card movement – but if they cannot agree, default to left unless otherwise specified (e.g., K♠ and I♥ would move the ♥ three spaces north and one space east).

Spell Murder Today and buy Murder of Crows from Fantastic Games!

 

 

Strawberry Sunset: The Sweetest of All

Some card games are made to be fast-paced games of skill, logic, and competition. Others incorporate beautiful artwork and graphic design that make the cards feel like a collector’s item. Strawberry Sunset has the best of both worlds in a card game that’s as beautiful as it is strategic. In this dynamic card game, you’re a gardener tasked with building the most beautiful and luscious strawberry garden around. It’s time to put your green thumb to the test!

Building Your Garden

The goal of Strawberry Sunset is to earn the most points by growing strawberry plants, creating a long garden path, and adding unique features to your garden like koi ponds or gnomes. You also want to keep the number of gravel patches within your garden to a minimum. Whoever manages to earn the most points throughout the game succeeds in creating the most beautiful garden out of all their neighbors and wins the game!

One thing that makes Strawberry Sunset a particularly difficult card game is that you can only play cards vertically, with each card having to cover at least one-quarter of an existing card. Similar to the way a flower grows from the bottom up, your garden will have to be built from the bottom up. The difficulty of this, of course, is that it makes planning ahead of time more of a challenge.

Players will take turns drawing cards from either the main deck or from the discard pile, also known as the “compost” pile. Players can either draw two face-down cards from the main deck or one face-up card from the compost pile. They are allowed to play only one card at a time to their garden, discarding any other cards into the compost pile.

Sunrise, Noon, and Sunset

The cards of Strawberry Sunset are divided into three times of day: sunrise, noon, and sunset. Each of these decks of cards is shuffled and then placed in a stack, with the sunrise cards on top, the sunset cards on the bottom, and noon cards in between. Each card has an intricate design on the back, although the three types of cards each contain different things.

Sunrise cards will usually consist of root parts of the strawberry plant as well as a few garden features. They’ll also contain cards representing gravel and path sections that run at different angles, allowing you to build a winding garden path and earn points. Noon cards will contain additional sections of the strawberry plant, while sunset cards will contain the strawberry fruits.

Players will take turns drawing and discarding cards as they build their garden. When they discard cards into the compost, they’re allowed to make separate stacks for sunrise, noon, and sunset cards. Once all of the cards in the main deck have been drawn, the game ends, and players have to tally up the points.

Scoring the Game

Players earn different amounts of points for each feature of their garden. For every completed strawberry plant, you’ll earn five points, while water features will earn you three points each. Every quadrant of your longest connected path will earn you one point, while you’ll lose two points for every gravel bed. You can also play Strawberry Sunset with an advanced scoring version, making the game slightly more complex and competitive.

Strawberry Sunset: A Sweet But Competitive Card Game

Strawberry Sunset is playable by 2-4 players, making it better suited for small groups or one-on-one games than for a big family game night. It’s suitable for ages 7 and up, which makes it a great game for parents to play with their kids or for the kids to play together. Playing time lasts around 10-20 minutes, as the game tends to move pretty quickly.

Strawberry Sunset stands out from other card games with its stunning artwork and impeccable card quality. Each of these linen-finished cards will feel like another intricate piece in your beautiful garden as you lay the cards down and watch it grow. The card game also comes with a few cards that detail the rules of the game in a way that’s easy to follow.

Buy Strawberry Sunset today and enjoy the sweet taste of victory!

 

Sushi Go: Get on a Roll

If you’re a fan of the card-drafting mechanisms of games like 7 Wonders, then you’ll love the fast-paced card game Sushi Go. This card game has the same “draft and pass” dynamic but gets rid of all of the complex rules to provide you with 20 minutes of fun. Anyone can pick up the rules of Sushi Go as you collect cards to build the tastiest dishes and earn the most points. Just make sure to save room for dessert!

What’s for Dinner?

The way that Sushi Go works is by card drafting, in which you have to collect the best combination of cards to earn the most points. Each card represents a different ingredient in a sushi dish, allowing you to collect things like egg, salmon, or squid to create dishes for your meals. You’ll earn different points for different ingredients, as well as bonus points for certain combinations such as steaming dumplings or spicy sashimi.

The game is played in three distinct rounds representing three different meals. During each round, players will pick up the cards they get dealt and choose one of the cards to play. Then, they’ll pass the rest of the cards to the left, allowing the next player to choose one of those cards to play next. This goes around until all of the cards from everyone’s hands have been played.

This unique method of gameplay forces you to share decks with the other players, pulling out whichever cards will boost your points while trying not to leave cards that will help your competition. You’ll have to keep an eye on what the rest of the competition is trying to build if you want to prevent them from earning extra points for things like nigiri or wasabi.

Special Cards

In addition to the standard ingredient cards, there are a few special cards that make the game even more challenging. Sushi Roll cards each come with 1-3 rolls on top, earning extra points for the player with the most rolls by the end of the round. Chopsticks don’t earn you any points, but they do allow you to play two cards from the deck in a later hand.

Wasabi and Nigiri work together, as Wasabi cards will triple the value of your Nigiri. For example, if you make a Squid Nigiri and add Wasabi, you earn nine points, which is triple the amount of points that a Squid Nigiri is normally worth. However, Wasabi cards earn you no points on your own, so make sure you strategize accordingly if you don’t want to end up with a useless card.

One special type of card in Sushi Go is the Pudding card, which does not get scored until the end of the game. Once you’ve finished all three meals, everyone scores the number of Pudding cards they have. Whoever has the most earns a whopping six extra points, while the person with the least loses six points.

Sushi Go Expansions and Spinoffs

The makers of Sushi Go have released an expansion to the original card game called Sushi Go Party! that turns your average night out at the sushi restaurant into a full-on party. This card game expansion adds 20 new dishes including party platters of mega maki, super sashimi, and endless edamame. It also allows up to eight players to join in on the fun.

Sushi Roll is a dice-based version of the original card game that lets fate decide what’s for dinner. You’ll load up a conveyor belt with special sushi dice, with each player picking one and passing the rest. You can reroll the dice with the help of a menu, while chopsticks allow you to swap your dice with one of your opponents.

Sushi Go: A Card Game for Sushi-Lovers

Sushi Go is playable by 2-5 players, although the Sushi Go Party! expansion allows up to 8 players to enjoy the game. It’s suitable for ages 8 and up, as it’s really easy to comprehend the rules of the game. Playing time lasts around 15 minutes, but it’s pretty fun to go through multiple rounds. Buy Sushi Go today and enjoy the delectable dishes of your favorite Japanese cuisine!

 

Fluxx: Bow Down To the Cards

If you have a hard time following the rules, you’re not alone. Learning the rules of a card game can be a competition in and of itself, causing you to scratch your head and fight over whether or not you’re allowed to play a Draw 2 on top of another Draw 2. But in the card game Fluxx, learning the rules actually is the point of the game! 

This challenging and wacky card game allows you to change the rules every time you play, constantly switching up the game and morphing it into something entirely new. You’ll have a blast as you lay down card after card, leveling the playing field and knocking the frontrunner off his high horse.

Changing the Rules

Fluxx is a card game with constantly changing rules. The more cards you play, the more the rules change. This makes the game incredibly difficult to plan ahead and manage your hand, as you’re constantly having to shift your strategy along with the rules. New cards will change things like how the cards are drawn, how they’re played, and how many cards you’re allowed to hold onto at one time.

Fluxx begins with some basic rules, with one player shuffling the deck and giving each player three cards. Each player is allowed to draw and play one card per turn, while there is no limit to the cards you’re allowed to hold in your hand. However, as soon as someone plays a card, those simple rules become not so simple. 

For example, a player can play a New Rule card that forces everyone to draw five cards per turn instead of one. Players can also play cards that allow you to play three cards at once, or that limit the number of cards in your hand to only one at a time. If at any point a new rule contradicts an old one, the old rule is discarded in favor of the new.

Keeper, Goal, and Action Cards

The overall goal of Fluxx is to match Keeper cards with Goal cards. The Keeper cards will have certain requirements that the Goal cards have to match. For example, the War Keeper card matches the War = Death Goal card, meaning that if you play both cards on the table, then you win the game.

However, the twist of this card game is that the goals change just like the rules do. You might manage to assemble the right combination of Keeper cards only to find that you’re too late and the goal has changed to something else. You’ll have to stay on top of the ever-changing rules and goals if you want to win the game.

To make things even more complicated, Fluxx also throws in Action cards that allow you to perform random actions. The “Taxation!” card allows you to take cards from the other players, while the “Let’s Do That Again!” card allows you to search through the discard pile and play any Action or New Rule card you choose.

Fluxx Sequels

The joy of Fluxx is that they have released countless sequel card games, promo cards, and themed editions of the original card game. Adventure Time Fluxx has the same rules as the original card game but allows you to play with your favorite characters from the classic Cartoon Network TV show. Join Jake the dog and Finn the human on their adventures in the City of Thieves as you deal with the changing rules!

Doctors and anatomy-lovers will rejoice at Anatomy Fluxx, which allows you to play with cards that correspond with body parts. Play with cards like Blood Vessels and Bones as you fight against the deadly Virus and Mutation. You’ll also have to avoid UnGoals like Cancer that will cause you to instantly lose the game.

Can You Keep Up With All the Changes In Fluxx?

Fluxx is playable by 2-6 players, so it’s a good card game for small parties or families. It’s also suitable for ages 8 and up, making it accessible to both kids and adults alike. Playing time lasts around 5-30 minutes, as it entirely depends on the luck of the draw.

Buy Fluxx today and enjoy the chaos of this random card game!

 

Reef: Explore the Beauty of the Ocean

Coral reefs are some of the most spectacular and beautiful parts of our ocean’s ecosystem. But while a coral reef may take thousands of years to grow, the board game Reef allows you to build your very own reef in a matter of minutes. Reef is an abstract strategy game for kids and adults alike that combines card playing with pattern building for a fun trip below the sea. With colorful pieces and simple yet entertaining gameplay, Reef is an excellent game for families.

Building Your Coral Reef

The game of Reef comes with a box of colorful plastic pieces of coral that you have to stack together to build a beautiful multicolored reef. The fun of this board game comes from having to arrange these pieces into dazzling patterns that earn you extra points. Each player will get their very own starting reef to begin with, which is represented by four pieces of coral that go in the center four squares of their board. 

Players will also start with several point tokens and two cards that they can use to collect more coral and build their reef into a big and beautiful display. Any cards not given out at the beginning of the game will go in the center of the table for players to choose from throughout the game. The game ends once all of the pieces of coral from one color have been taken or once all of the cards have been drawn.

Take a Card, Play a Card

Each turn you have two choices: you can either take a card from the center of the board or you can play one of your cards. To take a card from the center, you’ll either choose between the three face-up cards on the table or you’ll draw a random card from the deck. 

To draw from the deck, however, you must sacrifice a point token, assigning it to the lowest-scoring of the three face-up cards. This then acts as an incentive for other players to choose that card in a later turn.

Each player is allowed up to four cards in their hand. The cards are split into top and bottom sections, which give you instructions to perform in that order. When you play a card, you must first take from the coral supply the two coral pieces displayed on the top of your card and put them on your reef. You can either put them on a blank space on your reef or stack them up to 4 pieces high.

Once you’ve added the two pieces of coral to your reef, you’ll look at the pattern that’s on the bottom of your card. If that pattern appears anywhere on your reef, then you will earn special points in the form of tokens. These patterns can include different colors of coral as well as the heights of the stacks, so it’ll take a bit of planning to try and make the right match.

Reef Expansion

Reef comes with one mini-expansion board game called Reef: Kings of the Coral. This mini-expansion will provide each player with two fish that they can use to boost the points of their patterns. Whenever you score for having a particular coral pattern, each fish that’s present on the formation will earn you an extra point. However, you can’t lay down a piece of coral wherever a fish is present, so be sure to strategize where your little slippery friends will swim!

Reef: Take a Trip Down Under

Reef is suitable for 2-4 players, as it comes with up to four little coral reef boards. It’s also suitable for ages 8 and up, which makes it perfect for parents to play with their kids or for kids to play together. Playing time lasts around 30-45 minutes, which should be short enough to keep the attention of younger players.

Reef is pretty easy to learn and is an excellent way to introduce kids to pattern building and strategy. It also provides enough room for long term planning that adults can feel stimulated while playing it. Buy Reef today and enjoy the beauty of the deep blue sea!

 

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