If you're a huge card game fan, you might be intrigued by the new Heart Switch Card Game. Essentially, it's the classic game of Hearts with a few novel twists. Just like the original game, the object is to end up with the fewest points overall. You get points by taking tricks with hearts or the Queen of spades. Unlike classic Hearts, this game can be played by up to six people, and the number of players determines how many cards each hand gets. After the cards are dealt, the player to the left of the dealer leads with any card, and the other players must follow suit or discard. The highest card in the suit led takes the trick, and the person who took that trick leads next. Play continues until all the cards are played, but there are a few twists. This version of the game starts with a traditional 52-card deck, but it adds four witch cards, which, when played, can alter the scoring. In playing tricks, witches are valued higher than 10s but less than jacks. There are also four magician cards that have no value or suit and can be discarded. However, they only have value in a four-person game when all four magician cards are played at once. At the end of each hand, points are tallied and the deal passes.
While this is definitely a twist on a classic game, we're not sure that the twists themselves add enough fun to make it worth buying what is essentially an enhanced deck of cards. At the end of the day, we were left with the impression that sometimes a classic doesn't really need to be improved upon.
Heart Switch Card Game is for ages 10 and up.
The instructions are fairly confusing, and it actually takes quite a bit of attention to figure out which witch card helps you or which witch card hinders you. If you already know how to play classic Hearts, you may have an easier time of it. And while there are strategy tips in the rules, they really don't apply to the witch or magician cards.
One difference is that you don't have to wait for a heart to be discarded to lead a heart, but if you don't already know how to play classic hearts, it may take you awhile to figure it all out.
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