Clever Quick Games are the makers of i win, a game that is certainly quick, but is it so clever? I’ll be the judge of that!
The guys out there sent me a copy to try out.
So stay tuned for a new TGN Review. This time, it’s i win.
The object of i win is to play the card “i win” and thus win the game. Sounds pretty easy, eh? Well, your other players are going to have their own say about it.
The i win deck consists of only 16 cards. The breakdown is:
2 i win!
3 i’m gonna draw a card
3 no you don’t, i do
2 me too
1 wait! it’s my turn
1 you lose
1 i’m gonna steal a card
Cards have either an arrow or a lightning bolt on them. Players don’t start with any cards in hand. The deck is shuffled and placed in the center of the table. On your turn, you draw a card and then you can play a card with an arrow on it. If you don’t want to play a card, you don’t have to (or if you’ve only got lightning bolts, you must pass).
If you do play an arrow card, other players, in turn order, can play a lightning bolt card in response. This includes yourself, if anyone else plays a lightning bolt card. This continues until everyone is out of cards they want to play. Then you simply go around in the order the cards were played and resolve them. As you can tell from the card names, the abilities of the cards are pretty self-explanatory.
If someone plays an i win card and it resolves (some of the lightning bolt cards will cause things to be discarded) then there’s a winner and the game is over. It’s possible to win multiple times in a single hand and there, the one with the most wins wins. Also, it’s possible to have multiple winners each hand. This is ok. You can all share the win.
As you can probably tell, i win isn’t meant to be a hardcore, tourney game. A hand takes upwards of 5min at most, and that’s if you’ve got a new player who isn’t paying attention. It reminds me a lot of Fluxx, actually, in that it can be a bit of a “gotcha!”-type of game. But whereas a game of Fluxx can go on and on and on with nobody actually getting the win conditions, i win will be over in a matter of minutes.
I did have one question about gameplay and also one possible suggestion when playing, though. The one question came from the cards and how the wording is on them. The lightning bolt cards all say “immediately when played” but the rules clearly state you wait until everyone’s played and then resolve cards. I eventually figured out it’s the Arrow cards that you wait to resolve, but the Lightning Bolts are resolved immediately when played. It was just a little confusion from the way the rules were written and not a confusion with the game, itself.
The one possible suggestion for a change, though, would be to play with everyone getting 1 card in-hand at the start. The reason for this is that there’s a 1/8 chance of drawing an i win card on the first turn when nobody else has drawn yet. Obviously, with no reactions possible, you just… win. Which, considering the “beer and pretzels” nature of the game isn’t really that big a deal, as you just play another hand. But at least with everyone having 1 card in hand to begin with, there’s a good chance you can respond somehow to what’s played on the first draw.
i win is a perfect game for just tossing in your gaming backpack or even your army carrying case and just having on you while at the shop. The rules are all of a couple paragraphs long (this review is far longer than the actual rules) and very easy to understand. A hand takes literally a few minutes to play through. You could play several between rounds of a tourney, or even while your opponent’s setting up for something like a game of 40k, or just play a few hands before the game shop closes for the night.
And full disclosure: I was given a bribe before writing this review. However, my thoughts on the game are genuine and not influenced by the *cough* large sum offered to me. ;)
By the way, that dollar’s now in a frame and on my desk.