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2 Way Cards

We previously featured The Happy Puzzle Company's 2 Way Words on Board's Eye View. 2 Way Cards is a similar game, with two players placing double-sided tiles into a 7 x 7 vertical grid, but instead of making words, you're competing to make card runs or multiples. Like the letter tiles in 2 Way Words, the tiles show a different card on their reverse, so when you place a card into the grid, the card that appears for your opponent differs from your own card. There are 108 tiles in the bag: so that's the equivalent of two standard packs of cards plus four Jokers available to each player.

In one sense, 2 Way Cards is easier to play than 2 Way Words because you don't need any lexicological skills. Designer Shaun Delaney has added, however, to the scope for tactical play by changing up the game play. Instead of playing just one tile on your turn, you play two from your 'hand' of five. Tiles can be placed anywhere on the grid. Also you draw four new tiles at the end of your turn, taking your hand to seven - but you discard two back into the bag: this means you have the opportunity to refresh your hand.

You are trying to create on your own side of the board sequences of three, four, five and six tiles. These can be runs in the same suit (eg: 5, 6, 7, 8 of Hearts), cards of the same suit in any order (eg: 3, King, six, ten of Spades) or multiple cards of the same value (eg: three Queens). It'll be easy to score a sequence of three but you can only claim one three-card sequence in the game, so it could be wise to try first to get the much harder five- and six-card sequences. On the other hand, if you think your opponent is close to claiming their six-card sequence, you might want to try to scupper it by playing a card to it that you think is likely to be unhelpful... You can't ever see what your opponent has played to their own side of the grid but if you've a good memory you'll know what cards are showing to them on the reverse of the cards you played.

2 Way Cards isn't just a race game of being the first to claim a three-, four-, five- and six-card sequence. To add to the mix, the various types of sequence score differently, reflecting the difficulty in achieving them. You'll score most for runs in one suit and for matching sets with all different suits (plus duplicates if you're going for a five- or six-card sequence): 5 points for a run or matching set of three, 7 points for four, 10 points for five and 12 points for a run of six cards. For cards in the same suit that are not a run, and for three or four matching cards that duplicate suits, or where the five or six cards are missing a suit, you'll score 3 points for a sequence of three cards, 4 points for four, 6 points for five and 8 points for a six-card sequence. This scoring adds more of a push-your-luck element into the mix: do you go for the quick finish of collecting your four sets without mithering over their scores or do you hold out for the higher scores available for the harder-to-achieve runs and multiples...? It all makes for an easy to play but tactical tussle that keeps players coming back for more.

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