Sunday , June 16 2024

Card Game Review: ‘Insert Card Here’ from Winning Moves

Insert Card Here from Winning Moves Games is an instant classic that will return again and again to any gaming table.

Numbered cards go back hundreds of years, and organizing the cards into an order has been a mechanic for just as long. Even today many players of the most famous single-player game, Solitaire, organize cards individually. Other games have the organizing done competitively, such as Rack-O. But Insert Card Here ups the ante, with players laying their cards down between the other players’ cards in a race to be the first to run out of cards in their hand.

Simplicity Itself

The game is in the title: All players need to do is insert a card between two others. The game begins with each player receiving a hand of cards. These are numbered between one and 99, giving a broad spectrum for players to consider. The dealer plays two extra cards to form the Start set, the highest and lowest of their hand, to give as wide of a field of possibilities for the next player. The next player must play a card between the two numbers. If they cannot, the cards are swept away in a Reset, and the stuck player draws three new cards to create a new Start and take a penalty for getting squeezed out.

Strategy comes into Insert Card Here as each player takes a turn. The player must first move the previously played middle card to cover up either the high or low cards beside it, creating a new, much smaller range to play within. The obvious solution is to move the card to maintain the widest numbers, but savvy players will watch others to get a feeling of what their cards might be. If they can risk moving a card to make the band narrow with their own cards either high or low, then they could trap their opponents into having to Reset. Then not only will an opponent take a penalty, but the original player will have a wider range to work with the next round.

Going Wild

Players can shake things up with Wild and Reverse Wild cards. The Wild card can be played regardless of the range between the high and low cards, making it a perfect safety net for a player nervous about getting squeezed. On the next player’s turn, the Wild becomes a regular card, making a new range that might be much more playable and preventing a Reset. More strategy can come in with the Reverse Wild, which changes the flow of play so that the previous player then plays again. This might lay a trap for someone without the right numbers, or it could lead to an early victory if that player only has a few cards left.

Adding Up

Insert Card Here is a card game for two to five players aged eight and up. Games move very quickly, usually lasting only 15 minutes or so depending on the number of players and how long each player takes thinking about their plays. With 99 cards in the deck, no two games will be the same, making for perfect replayability. Some hands may be more difficult, such as a clump of numbers either high or low. Clever players will be able to navigate even those tricky hands, steering the game to use up their disparate numbers any time a Wild comes up.

About Jeff Provine

Jeff Provine is a Composition professor, novelist, cartoonist, and traveler of three continents. His latest book is a collection of local ghost legends, Campus Ghosts of Norman, Oklahoma.

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