I loved Crazy Eights as a kid. I much preferred it to War or Go Fish, because it felt like you were really given options, choosing the right strategy to empty your hand, trying to anticipate what the other players were doing to do so you could cut them off and force them to draw more cards.
Crazier Eights Camelot takes Crazy Eights and steps up the game by giving each card its own abilities and ways to change the game. Imagine Uno via Nightmare Chess.
Each card is one of four suits (eye, ankh, moon and sun), and one of two types of cards: events and assets. Events are played and then discarded, while assets are played and left on the table in front of you for ongoing effects. As in Crazy Eights, you are playing numbers to match numbers and suits to match suits. First player to zero cards wins.
The cards are well laid-out, reminding me a bit of Magic: The Gathering cards. Each card also features classic artwork from artists like Edward Burne-Jones, George Frederick Watts, and John William Waterhouse. The flavor doesn’t quite click, as, for example, Merlin could be replaced with just about any other character. Other cards do feel more flavorful, such as the Crown of Kings, which allows you to take control of another person’s card, or Mordred, who kicks players out of the game, “killing” them.
Where the game really shines is that once you have multiple assets out on the table, keeping an eye on all of the ongoing effects changes the game dramatically. It feels a bit like Fluxx at this point, where with every card you play, you have to keep an eye out on the table for everyone else’s abilities.
The game is simple enough that my eight-year-old could play. He had a great time, and was eager to play again. The artwork and story also made him want to learn more about King Arthur and his knights, which is always a good thing.
The game has only a few days left to back on Kickstarter, so head over and check it out.
A copy of Crazier Eights Camelot was sent to Dice Monkey for review.