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Scissors Paper Stone

There are several card game based around the playground game of Rock Paper Scissors, and countless more where Rock Paper Scissors has been used as a mechanic; for example to determine combat, as in Cartolan: Trade Winds, which we featured recently on Board's Eye View. TREO game designers have taken the playground game and turned it into an advanced version of the children's card game Snap.

Scissors Paper Stone comprises a deck of 56 cards; and they are circular cards like those in other Cheatwell titles like Polar Panic and Flip-Pix!. Each card has on its face three symbols representing scissors, rock and paper, with one symbol printed in red, one in blue and the other in yellow. On the reverse of each card is just one of the symbols in one colour. The cards are stacked face down and the top card is flipped. Players then race to touch the card that wins between the two symbols of the same colour; so if the flipped card shows yellow scissors, blue paper and a red rock, and the card on top of the draw deck shows red scissors, then the card will be won by the player who touches the card with the rock. Players are also expected to make the corresponding hand symbol. If the top card on the draw deck has the same colour and symbol as one shown on the flipped card, then players have to clap hands to indicate the 'snap'. If a player makes a mistake, they forfeit two of the cards they've previously won.

The basic rules for Scissors Paper Stone make for a simple party game but the deck opens up the possibility for more interesting games. In our plays at Board's Eye View, we varied the rules so that players had to make the symbol with their hand that would beat the symbol indicated by the colour of the card on top of the draw pile. So, in the example above, the red draw pile card would indicate that it was the red rock that had to be beaten and so the correct hand signal to make would be paper. This variant is a little more challenging because it sets up a dissonance like that found in Stroop (Grand Gamers Guild): your brain is having to process and dismiss the distraction of the scissors symbol on the draw deck card... Another alternative that's less jarring may be to require players to make the 'missing' symbol (ie: paper, where the cards show red scissors and red rock; again tho' clapping where there's a 'snap'). Step up the cognitive challenge by alternating between the different rules.

There's good play value in this seemingly simple deck of cards.

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