Nut So Fast from Smirk & Laughter takes reflex reaction games to a new level of skill and hilarity. This card game uses the time-tested mechanic of fast recognition and reaction, familiar from games like Slap Jack and Speed, and adds a whole new party element of body interactions. Players not only have to keep an eye on their cards to be the first to grab tokens but also have to keep an eye out for numbered moves that shake their things.
Nut So Fast begins with each player receiving a deck of cards facedown. Wooden nut tokens are placed in the middle of the table: several cashews and walnuts, a pistachio, and an almond. Alongside the nuts, players set up a deck of Nutty Poses, laying out three cards with physical actions beside corresponding number cards. These poses could be bunny ears, clapping, covering one eye, stretching lats, or a wildcard of a player’s own choice.
Players take turns flipping over two cards from their decks one at a time. Each card features a number or a collection of cartoon nut icons.
If a number is flipped, players rush to recreate the Nutty Pose, with the last player to pose having to add cards to their deck.
If nut cards are flipped, players look to find which combinations fit best, whether four of a kind, seven of a kind, or two sets of four matches. Each of those corresponds to a particular nut token on the table, and players race to be the first figure out the combination and grab the right one.
Players who miss out on cashews or walnuts take cards as penalties, while players who successfully grab the pistachio give cards to a player of their choice, and players who seized the almond get rid of cards from their decks.
Play continues until a Time to Score card appears, ending the round. Players then add up how many nuts appear on the cards they have had to take for missing on grabbing nut tokens or being last to pose. Golf rules apply, with players seeking to get the lowest number of points. After three rounds, the player with the lowest number of overall points wins the game.
With so much going on, Nut So Fast is a game of serious silliness. Often in reflex games, players are just looking for one set of circumstances to arise. In this one, players must be ready for a number of possibilities, or to do quick math to add up the appropriate combination of nuts on two cards. These varied reactions set Nut So Fast apart from simple reflex games. It requires being truly quick-witted.
Nut So Fast is a card game for three or more players aged eight and up. Rounds are very quick, thanks to the inherent nature of the moves, meaning whole game will take only 15 to 20 minutes. Players should be ready to take a pause for laughter, of course, as the competitive grabbing or posing will lead to plenty of shrieking and giggles in this high-energy game.