FREE-O is a card game for two to six players that's all about getting rid of your cards first and getting the lowest score. Each player starts with six cards and a draw pile is placed in the center of the playing space with the top card turned over. Players take turns playing cards from their hands in reaction to the card showing next to the draw pile.
The game includes 90 cards in four different themes. Seek and Match cards are color-coded cards that reveal a place such as a house or a truck. If a Seek and Match card is showing on your turn, you must either play a card from your hand that matches it or offset it with a Wild card or You Are Captured card. When you play a Wild card you also get another turn. If you play a You Are Captured card, the next player must play a Wild card if they have one. If not, they draw two cards as a penalty and play passes to the next player who can play any card including Pick A Card. If you play this card you get to choose which player must draw one card. If at any time you don't have a playable card in your hand you must draw one card and end your turn.
The player who plays all of his or her cards first wins the round and everyone else scores points for the cards left in their hands. Play more rounds until one player reaches 60 points. This ends the game and the player with the lowest score wins.
This card game reminds us a little of Uno with the game concept of matching cards. But the Pick A Card and You Are Captured cards add a twist to the play. You'll probably want to play a practice round first just to make sure everyone understands how to play but it doesn't take long to get the hang of it and once you know how to play it's easy to play.
FREE-O is for ages 12 and up, although kids as young as 8 could easily play the game, too.
The instructions also include a slight twist on the gameplay. When a You Are Captured card is played, every player has to draw the two-card penalty unless they have a Wild card to offset it. Only when a Wild card is played can the next player then play any card he wishes.
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