Quick Takes: 2-5 players 30 mins Ages 8+ Level 1 (easy to learn, easy to play, and FUN!)
Everyone knows what's in your hand but you. Good thing they're on your team.
Hanabi is a cooperative card game about fireworks. The name of the game comes from the Japanese rendering of fireworks (flower + fire characters). The twist is that Hanabi is played completely backwards. Instead of players drawing cards and looking at their own hand, players draw cards but look only at everyone else's cards.
How do you play? To win, players must lay the firework cards down in rows arranged by color and number. On each turn, a player can either discard a card for a token or play it to the table. Since players don't know what they're holding (let alone know when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em), choosing the right card requires a lot of communication and cooperation with the other players. Your teammates can give hints like "these cards are blue" to help you play or discard cards, though the number of hints you get is limited by the number of tokens. Fireworks are dangerous business, so you lose the game if you make three mistakes.
Hanabi is simple, clean, and offers a real twist. We can see why it won the Board Game Oscars (Spiel des Jahres).
- There's lots of interaction between players, and your team gets better and better from game to game as you learn from past mistakes and develop a strong hinting strategy.
- It's fun to see everyone hold their cards the wrong way round.
- Unique - we can't think of another game like it that we've played.
- Spiel des Jahres Winner - 2013