Rumski - Dastardly Review #141
Rumski is published by Play Cardboard Games at www.playcardboardgames.com.
Rumski is for 2-6 players and takes 15-20 minutes.
Rummy was taught to me by my grandparents. We played it a bunch and still play with family and friends. But let's get one thing straight...Rumski ain't my grandparent's Rummy.
The goal in Rumski is to be the first player that plays all of the cards from their hand into the Sets of Community cards laying face up on the table. The player that went out scores points equal to the total points of the cards still in other players' hands.
The first player to get an accumulated score greater than the goal wins! We typically set the goal equal to 100 times the numbers of players...so 200 for 2 player games and 400 for 4 player games.
When we were lazy and didn't want to add up and track points, we tried that the first player to get rid of their cards three times wins Rumski. Either way works fine!
The Rumski deck of cards has 70 cards numbered 1 to 13 in five suits (green, red, purple, blue and yellow) and 5 Wild Cards. The card design is super simple and easy to read. The back of cards is a cool fading grid pattern that we liked.
The deck comes in a nice tuck box.
Shuffle the cards. Deal a Hand to each player. Put the deck in the middle to be the Draw pile and turn one card face up to start a Discard pile.
In a 2 player game each player starts with 12 cards while in 3-6 player games each player starts with 10 cards.
Play starts with the player to the dealer's left and rotates clockwise.
Each player starts their turn by either taking the entire Discard pile or drawing the top card from the Draw or Discard piles.
The player then can play cards from their hand onto the the table aka the Community. Cards are played into Sets. Sets are either a group of three or more cards with the same number or sequences of three or more cards with the same suit (color).
Players either play a new Set or add onto a Set that is already in the Community.
A Wild Card can substitute for any card value or suit.
All pretty traditional stuff...and now comes the cool twists:
- A player can rearrange any or all of the cards that are in the Community and add cards from their hand. Any movement is allowed as long as the final version of the Community is all valid Sets.
- A player can replace a Wild Card that is in a Set with a card from their hand or the Community. The replaced Wild Card must immediately be added to another Set (either new or existing).
- Once a card is part of the Community it must remain in the Community and cannot move back to a Hand or be Discarded.
- When a player is done with their turn they must either Discard a card from their Hand or Knock which signals their turn is done.
If any player finishes their turn with no cards in their Hand the round is over and the cards are scored. If a player goes past the Goal they win! If multiple players go past the goal the player with the highest score wins.
Rumski gets tense...which is a characteristic of a good card game. I never get that feeling with Rummy. Normally in Rummy, the group is chatty the whole game. Typically in Rumski, people start out talking and then the group gets progressively quieter as they focus on scheming.
The ability to rearrange the Community cards keeps all players engaged all the time.
The new abilities add another level (or two!) of thinking and strategy to a traditional luck based card game.
Sometimes when people use a classic game as a base to build on it is a complete fail. Not so with Rumski. Rumski is comfortable and fast to learn because it is familiar but it is a unique and fun, thinky game.
Rumski earned a spot in my travel backpack.
I love the simplicity of the cards but wish there was texture and suit symbols to aid the color blind or when playing in poor lighting.
I really, really enjoy the ability to replace a Wild Card in the Community with a card from my hand. Normally when that happens there is a cascading sequence of activities. Tons of fun.