2013 has been the year of trying new games. Since my fiance and I are trying to play at least one game for every night of Hanukkah, the recent card game adventures we’ve been having are ones I wanted to share with you. As an added bonus, these are games you can play with just about anyone; they also become a lot more fun when you start strategizing.


Fish Cook

Cheapass Games.2-6 Players. Time to play: 45 Minutes. $15.

In Fish Cook, the players are chefs competing against each other, from the purchases they make at the fish market to their amazing recipes. Buying, executing and stealing recipes are all a part of play. You all have cash for making your purchases, and a few secret recipes up your sleeve. Since the game only runs a few turns, the strategy development each player goes through is some of the tightest I’ve seen. I was in a 3-player game, and this is a game I could see myself play with just about anyone, and get a lot of replay value out of. This is the card game equivalent of board games I really liked as a kid; a classic to take off the shelf and play frequently. If you don’t have a friendly local game store (or if they’re out and unsure of when it’ll be back in stock) hit the website for the game for purchasing info, and a bit of Fish Cook’s adorable and totally fake history.


Trifecta  (Successful 2013 Kickstarter)

2 players. Time to play: 20 minutes. Designer: Zoran Dobrijevic.

I really wanted to like this game more than I did. Trifecta is for two players, and strong on math. Complete 3 rows of cards, attain victory. With the numbers concerns, it felt a bit like playing Blackjack. Because of the numbering and suites of the cards, I strongly suspect you could stunt Trifecta with a regular deck of cards and have few problems. It didn’t hold my attention well, and I didn’t really care about the game while playing it. If you want a stripped down, vaguely casino-esque card game that has a footprint roughly equal to two TV trays, Trifecta is going to be your jam. To find out when Trifecta will go into general release, hit up their Facebook page.


Romans Go Home! (Successful 2013 Kickstarter) Vainglorious Games.

2-4 players. Time to play: 10-15 minutes. Not intended for children under 13.

I loved this as much as I loved Fish Cook. Eric B Vogel has gone to my top 20 of certifiable freaking geniuses. Romans Go Home plays fast, it has rules for how to make a robo-player to bring balance and mayhem to a game with only two players, and it’s about kicking the Romans out of Britain. I’m not sure there’s a way this game could get more awesome. You’re trying to capture Roman forts for victory points, and never know what firepower your rivals have brought to the fort till you flip over cards. It plays fast, I got the hang out of it quickly, and I really enjoyed it. It’s not a game so tiny you can play it on a bar, but you could definetly play it down at the pub with friends and have few issues. Sidenote: I have regular migraines, and was playing this game at the very start of one. In pain, fuzzy thinking, exhausted, and I still had fun. I’m looking forward to seeing what this game is like when I’m pain-free. To find out more about Vogel’s tiny boxes of gaming delights, check out the Vainglorious Games page.


I love card games almost as much as I like coffee. Leave me recommendations in the comments! If you want to join me and my fiance in our quest to play a game every night of Hanukkah, check out his post, or follow along on Twitter (#gamerHanukkah and #Candlenights).

About l

L is a freelancer currently working as a writer, editor, journalist and game designer. She hauls a suitcase decorated in stickers as she blogs, travels, and tours. She makes her home in Washington, California, and wherever the tour stopped last night. You can follow L on twitter (@lilyorit )

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