Designed by Molly Johnson, Robert Melvin and Shawn Stankewich, and published by AEG, Ten is a push-your-luck, set collection card game with auctions. The 2-5 players are competing to collect long runs of cards (numbered 1-9, with a bonus point for collecting all 9) in each of the four colours. There are rules too for solitaire play.
The main way of collecting cards is via the push-your-luck mechanic. On your turn, you flip cards until you stop and collect them, or go bust, Blackjack-style, by having the sum of the cards going above 10. The twist is that there are also money cards in the deck and these reduce your total to enable flipping more cards, but the other players will take the amount of money shown. If you didn't bust, you can then spend your money on any cards in the market. If you did bust, you're compensated with a chip worth 3 money that's exempt from the limit on the amount of money you're allowed to carry forward, and your turn ends.
Whenever a wild card appears, an auction is triggered. These can be wild numbers of a fixed colour, or vice versa, or completely wild. It can be very hard to work out the value of different cards, and they will be of varying importance to different players, and varying worth at different stages of the game, bringing a lot of tactics to the bidding. The rules are simple to pick up but Ten can be a challenging game to master. The luck element can be significant if you bust a number of times by suddenly drawing a particularly high card but the compensation is enough to make it not too much of a disaster while still discouraging players from being reckless. The game is well presented, tho' the artwork on the wild cards is unnecessarily confusing. Overall it's a fun and thoughtful filler-length card game that rewards multiple plays and will no doubt become a staple for groups that enjoy this style of game.
(Review by Matt Young)
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