Everything on 1 Card
- Designer: Steffen Benndorf
- Publisher: NSV
- Players: 2-4
- Age: 8+
- Time: 20 mins
- Played 5 times with review copy provided by NSV
In recent years, NSV and Herr Benndorf have been a pretty reliable combination – they are teaming up to be one of the stronger teams in the roll-and-write genre. This spring’s entry into the genre is called Everything on 1 Card – the german name is Alles Auf 1 Karte. This game is played on 30 erasable cards and 5 special dice.
To start the game, the deck of cards is shuffled and each player is dealt two cards. Each card has five of the six possible colors shown on it (yellow circles, green octagons, red hexagons, orange pentagons, purple squares and blue triangles), and the total number of spaces on the card is always 20. Each row on the card is worth a number of points equal to number of icons on it, and two of the rows have a starburst symbol to the right of the row. These rows will score an extra 2 points if completed, and an extra 5 points if they are both completed.
On a turn, the active player takes the 5 dice (which each have one face of each of the six colors) and rolls the dice. After the initial roll, the active player can then choose to re-roll any of the five dice; and then has the option to do this once more. After the third roll (or whenever the player decides to stop), the roll is frozen. It may help to arrange the dice into groups of like color.
Now, all players use the result of this final dice pool, though all players are limited to using the roll to a single card of their two. Players can choose to use any of the colors rolled, but if they choose to use the roll, they must be able to mark empty spaces for ALL of the instances of that color. Therefore, if you only have two red spaces left available, and there are 3 red dice in the pool, you are not allowed to use any of the red dice. You are not forced to cross off spaces; you can always choose to not use a color – but again, with each color, it is an all or nothing proposition. Again, remember that all the marks on a particular turn must be limited to a single card.
After marks have been made, each player looks to see if that card scores – this happens when three or more rows on the card are completely filled in. At that point, the card is automatically scored. You score points as shown to the left of the finished rows (1 point per space in the row), plus the bonus points for the starburst rows (2 points for one finished starburst row, 5 points for both starburst rows). Write the sum of the points from the card in the lower right corner and then place this card off to the side. You will not write on this card any more for the rest of the game. Draw a new card from the deck to bring your hand back up to 2.
Continue playing until one player has finished four cards. At the end of that round, all players are allowed to score their unfinished cards. In this case, you score points for any finished rows, but you do not get any starburst bonus points. Add up the point totals from all of your cards, and the player with the highest total wins. There is no tiebreaker.
My thoughts on the game
Everything on 1 Card uses an interesting mechanism which I also loved in Divvy Dice – that is you actually write on the cards in the game instead of on a score sheet. Here, the 30 cards are in many ways equal – they each have 5 colors and they each have the same number of spaces on them, but they are different enough that players will definitely have to take different routes to achieve success.
When you are the player in control of the dice, try to make the best use you can, whether that’s filling in a maximum number of spaces or perhaps trying to get the final combination of colors that you need to finish a card. The cards score automatically when you finish the third row (or more) – so the only way that you can score a card with 4 or 5 rows is to time it all on a single turn. When you do this, you are surely going to gain on your opponents as it is quite hard to achieve, so getting the extra score for the card will surely be beneficial.
While rolling, it’s always good to see what other players need; sometimes it is worthwhile to try to roll a combination that other players cannot use – whether it is because there are too many of a certain color (and therefore that cannot use any of the colors) or if it is to give them a combination that does not work well on a single card of theirs. The restriction to only using one card per turn can get really painful at certain times in the game!
While the game itself is pretty light, there is an “advanced” variant which we have tried once – where players are dealt a hand of 5 cards of which they keep 3. A tableau of three cards is dealt to the table, and each time that you finish a card, you must pick your next card from the tableau, and then refill it back up to 3. It did give a little bit more strategy, but honestly, with a game this light and quick, I’d just as soon stick to the random draw of cards and be done with it. Sure, there are occasional spells of bad luck when both of your cards are missing the same color (and that’s when someone will surely roll 4 of them!) – but in a 10-15 minute game, I’d just as soon let luck of the draw try to even itself out. Heck, even if I have a bad draw, there’s probably time to just play another game to set things right!
The game itself is fairly light and makes a nice filler. The box it comes in is quite slim, and while it can’t quite fit in your pocket (well at least not mine), it is definitely compact and easily packed. It is the sort of game that I’d love to play at a restaurant while waiting for a table or waiting for food to arrive. It’s also great for the start of game night as you wait for everyone to arrive.
A nice light game, and one that I have enjoyed both in person as well as in a makeshift online version with friends from afar via my Vorpal Board.
Ratings from the Opinionated Gamers
- I love it!
- I like it. Dale Y, Eric M
- Neutral. James Nathan
- Not for me…