Sunday, April 7, 2019

Game Review: Five Crowns

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Fun, creative take on Rummy
Cons: None
The Bottom Line:
This twist on Rummy
Is creative, addicting
Fun for family

I Crown This Game a Winner

Several years ago, my family was introduced to the game Five Crowns.  We all immediately fell in love with it as it is a fun and creative game.

The game consists of two decks of cards, but there is a twist.  Instead of the traditional four suits, there is a fifth – stars.  They do not stick to the two traditional colors either, with diamond becoming blue, clubs becoming green, and the stars being yellow.  Honestly, this does help make it easier to see what is in your hand for this game, although I think trying to play a regular game like this would drive me crazy.  The cards run 3 through King, with six Jokers in the deck.

This game is really a variation on Rummy.  Each round, you are dealt a set number of cards.  You draw a card or take the top card from the discard pile and then discard a card.  Your goal is to make all the cards in your hand into runs in the same suit or sets of the same type.  So, for example, a 6, 7, 8 of clubs or three Jacks of any suit.  Once all the cards in your hand are in one or more groupings of at least three cards, you lay your hand down and discard your final card.  Then, the rest of the players have one final turn to lay down as much of their hand as they can.  Any cards they can’t put into sets count against them.  Once the game is over, the person with the smallest score wins.

Yes, the cards come with Jokers, but they aren’t your only wild card.  Each round, a different card is wild in addition to the Jokers.  In the first round, you are dealt three cards, and threes are wild.  In the next round, you are dealt four cards and fours are wild.  It keeps building from there.  You play until you are dealt 13 cards, or, as the box says, “The game isn’t over until the Kings go wild.”

The game is a lot of fun.  The increased card count adds to the fun of the game, as does the ever-changing wild card.  If the thought of accidentally throwing away a wild card because you forget what round it is, don’t worry about it.  Everybody does it at some point.  (Or maybe that isn’t reassuring.)

Yes, there is a game you can play with regular cards that is very similar, so you don’t absolutely have to buy these cards to play this game.  However, the added suit makes the game a lot of fun.  It’s not super expensive, so I think it is worth it.

The recommended age for this game is ages 8 and up.  I suspect many kids younger than 8 can probably pick this game up.  Their biggest challenge might be fitting all the cards for the later rounds in their hands.  My six-year-old nephew does just find with this game.  They recommend the game for 2-7 players.  More than that, and you’ll have problems having enough cards to make the final rounds work.

Five Crowns has become a regular in my family’s game rotation.  Pick it up today, and you’ll soon be addicted as well.

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