Scrambled Eggs, a card game cooked up by Arkadiusz Greniuk, brings the clever plotting of poker to a whole new level with its unique pattern-searching grid and pacing. It is simple enough for a family game night with older kids, while holding enough complexity that adults will want to break it out for parties time and again. Points are added up as in games like Hearts, but the single round of ongoing play gives the game a strong tempo that will keep players hungry for more.
Scrambled Eggs comes as a large deck with 104 cards in play. Most of the cards are numbered in five suits, each bearing a unique color and symbol. Additional cards serve as the rulebook and the “score multipler,” a bonus mechanic that will make players want to calculate when the best time is to grab a set of cards for points.
The game is set up as a five-by-five grid with most of the cards laid face-down. Players take turns of three actions, choosing to flip cards, draw, place cards from their own hands, or “scramble” by switching the positions of certain cards. Enough logical deduction will determine a proper action, but players will have to examine and reexamine with every change of the grid or new card in hand.
The scoring system in Scrambled Eggs is similar to that of poker: doubles score some points, triples more, and sequences and “floods” of matching suits score even more. The reason for the scoring system is simple mathematics: Rare matching sets are statistically less likely and thus worth more points. While poker with a standard deck has its four suits, Scrambled Eggs raises the stakes with a fifth. This will present those looking to count the cards with an even greater challenge. For those who would rather trust their luck than calculate the odds, the fifth suit allows for a great deal more wiggle room that balances the table.
While most card games require a group, Scrambled Eggs also works solidly as a single-player game. The social aspects disappear, but the pattern-seeking and points-optimizing stay much the same. The player will work through the deck and keep an eye on the score multiplier to maximize takes. Once a personal best is set, it is up to the player to break that record.
Scrambled Eggs is for one to six players aged twelve and up. Games are usually short, lasting only a half hour or so as players quickly move through the deck. Slower, calculating players might stretch that time out, but it is easy to have one’s next move plotted out by the time it comes around. Of course, a single action by an opponent may break up all those carefully laid plans, making an unprepared player have to scramble.[amazon template=iframe image&asin=1402750412][amazon template=iframe image&asin=0385076800][amazon template=iframe image&asin=1880685000]