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Tiger Stripes: The Card Game

Designed by Isabel duBarry and Philip duBarry, with art by Felicia Cano, Tiger Stripes: The Card Game is a light family game that's a revised and streamlined version of a game originally released in 2011. This new card game edition is published by Flying Meeple.

The premise riffs on the expression 'earn your stripes' but, as the game title suggests, this game is about tigers rather than those seeking promotion in the military. In Tiger Stripes, each of the 2-4 players has a card showing a cute looking tiger cub with no stripes. The card has spaces on it for seven stripe tokens and the winner is the first player to place all seven stripes on the tiger cub.

The game is actually a set collection card game. The deck of cards with which you're playing has tiger cards and four types of prey cards. The cards all have 1-4 jewel icons on them. Players each start with a hand of just two cards; five cards are placed face up in a display, designated 'the jungle'. On your turn, you can draw a card from the face-down draw pile, you can take a single tiger card from the jungle, or you can take any number of prey cards from the jungle by discarding cards from your hand with jewel icons that match those you are selecting. You can make a set with three matching prey cards or with two matching prey and a tiger. When you make a set, you immediately cash it in and you earn the number of stripes indicated for that type of prey: 1 for monkeys, 2 for snakes, 3 for deer and 4 for boar.

Because you can create a set with just two matching prey and a tiger, it's not hard to collect sets, and so Tiger Stripes plays quickly (10-15 minutes). It's possible to get to 7 stripes by collecting just two sets, tho' there are fewer deer and boar cards than monkeys and snakes. The number of jewels on a prey card also corresponds to that set's stripe value - so you can pick up a monkey from the jungle by discarding a card with just one matching jewel but it'll cost you four appropriately matching jewels to pick up a boar.

This all makes for attractive and entertaining filler-length family fun. Nothing to growl about here!

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