Monday, September 27, 2010

Sorry Revenge Review

I’d have to say that any game of Sorry is revenge enough. Much as I love ancient games, Pachisi is one I could live without, and it doesn’t get any more enjoyable by adding slides and squaring the board. Race games, as a rule, are not that interesting without the introduction of some unique gameplay mechanic or theme. (One example is the German game Hexentantz, which hides the color of each piece under a witch’s hat, making it a far more interesting experience.)

Thus, it was with some reluctance that I picked up Sorry Revenge, one of Hasbro’s many “expansions” to their core franchises. Sorry as a card game didn’t really seeming like a particularly brilliant idea, but I wound up liking it for a simple reason: it has almost nothing to do with Sorry other than it’s visual elements.

Sorry Revenge mashes together elements of 21 and Uno to create a pretty entertaining game. Up to 4 players each have 4 2-sided pawn cards, which are laid in a row in front of them. These begin the game with the “Start” side up. The goal is to flip all 4 cards to the “Home” side. The first person to do so, wins.

Each player is dealt 5 cards for a hand. The goal is to play a number card so that the running total adds up to 21 during your turn, without exceeding it. For instance, player A puts down a 7, the player B puts down a 10. If you can play a 4, you get to turn over a pawn card. If, however, you can only play a 5 or more, everyone else but you turns over a pawn card.

Once 21 is met or exceeded, the count resets to 0 and begins again.

There are a lot of special cards that allow you to switch direction, take two cards, play two cards, block someone’s pawn, counteract a block card, or slide the cumulative score to a specific number.

This was obviously an attempt to come up with something like Uno, and it partly succeeds. All the elements are there and it’s a perfectly enjoyable game. It just doesn’t seem to have that something special that makes a game a classic. This might have something to do with the constant addition and running totals, which can slow the game down a bit.

It works okay with two players, but is a lot more entertaining with 4. (There's no reason why two decks can’t be put together for an 8-player game.) It’s a good little family game or warmup game. Although it’s not going to replace Uno, it might make a nice little alternative.


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