TGN Review: Re:Versus
Uptick Games is a brand new company that’s working on their first game, Re:Versus. It is a Rummy-inspired card game where what your hand looks like now might not be what it’s like in a minute. Scores can fluctuate and every play you can get back into the game.
They’ve sent me a prototype copy of the game to try out and let you know what I think on the subject.
So grab your visor and shuffle those cards, it’s time for another TGN Review. This time, it’s Re:Versus.
As a kid, I fondly remember playing Gin Rummy with my grandmother. We would play for hours… and she was ruthless! Oy! After one or two plays, she would know what was in my hand better than I did! And grandpa fared no better. The two of them supposedly bet on the games. When grandpa passed, I think he owed grandma something like $5k (it was all just in fun, of course). Anyway, those days in my youth instilled in me a love for Gin Rummy and such games, so when I read over Re:Versus, I was rather interested.
As I mentioned, the deck I got was a prototype, so I won’t talk about quality of the cards or box, but among protypes I’ve received over the years, this one is rather nice. If this were a completed game like this at the shop, I’d still think I’d bought a good product.
There are 83 cards in the deck. They are numbered 1-10, twice… You see, each card is split in half with a black side and a white side. The numbers on both halves aren’t always the same. More on how all this works in a minute. There are also 2 Re:Versus, 2 Wilds and 2 combo Re:Versus/Wild cards. My prototype deck also came with what will be Kickstarter exclusive cards. There are 2 of those in the deck as well.
The game is played with an even number of players (either 1v1 or 2v2). One side will start out playing the white side of the cards and the other will be the black side. The deck is shuffled and placed in the middle. Each player gets a hand of 7 cards. Then, flip over the top card of the deck to form a discard pile. You’re now ready to play.
When it’s your turn, you start out by either drawing a card from the top of the face-down draw deck or you can pick up the top card of the discard pile. However, if you pick up the discarded card, you must use it in a meld. If you have 2 or fewer cards in hand at the start of your turn, instead of just drawing 1, you draw back up to 7.
What’s a meld? Well, that’s 3 cards that are either all the same number (for example, three 4s) or a run of cards in numeric value (for example, 4,5,6). Obviously, the numbers must all be on the side of the card that you’re playing (so no fair having two white 4s and a black 4). You score points equal to the total of the cards you played (so once again taking the example of three 4’s, that would be worth 12 points). The race is to get to 100 points.
Seems easy and straightforward, yes? Well, that’s where things get a little twisted (in a good way). First is stealing points from your opponent. If you play a Meld that’s already been played by your opponent, you take those points away from them and take those cards and put them into your hand (obviously, turning them over from how they had originally been played). There’s also the Re:Versus cards (I.E. – the ones with the R’s on them). When you play one of those (you play them by having them be the card you discard at the end of your turn), you and your opponent swap melds, so you swap scores. Also, you turn your hands over. So if you were playing White, you flip your cards to Black and visa-versa.
When playing, I found that the first couple games people play they tend to just focus on their own hand and trying to get melds together from what they already have. However, after several games (and especially after someone gets a meld stolen away a couple times) players start to get a little more ruthless and get more strategic in their play. You start thinking to yourself, “Hmm… I could play this meld now… but if I can find a #-card, I can steal one away from my opponent…” That aspect of the game gives it at least two levels of play. If you want, you can just work on your own melds, but a savvy player will not only see what their opponent is picking up, but also pay attention to what has been played in order to maximize their hand.
Re:Versus would be a great game to stick in your gaming backpack and have around for when you’re waiting for other gamers to show up or near the end of a night when you’re not quite ready to leave the shop yet. It’s also a great game for families to play together.
Uptick Games has a special give-away they’re doing over on their Facebook page for the next couple days. Check that out and potentially get yourself a copy of the game.