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Zangle! Review

Quick Look: Zangle!

Designer: Marsha J. Falco
Artist: N/A
Publisher: Set Enterprises, Inc.
Year Published: 2019
No. of Players: 1-6
Ages: 6+
Playing Time: 15-45 min.

From the publisher:

In Zangle!, players must twist, flip, or spin the triangle combinations on two or more cards to make the shape on another card. Use all your cards and be the first to go out.

Zangle! includes three ways to play:
• Speedster: Boost your adrenaline and show your skills as you race to find Zangles. The equalizers create new challenges each round.
• Solitaire: Keep your brain kicking and your heart ticking with endless hours of mind-bending fun.
• Turn style: Take your time to find the best Zangle in this casual and conversation-friendly way to play.

Find more info on BoardGameGeek.com

I was provided with a copy of Zangle! for the purposes of this review. All opinions are mine (or my friends & family's), not those of the publisher.

Review: Zangle!


Zangle! is a light card game based around quick thinking and visual perception. Your goal is to make sets of cards where the two or more cards on one side can "add up" to create the final card. Being able to flip and rotate the images in your head is the key to being a speedy Zangler!

Components and Setup:

Zangle! is a card game consisting of a single deck of 120 cards, plus a rules leaflet. Set up is a little different depending on whether you're playing a solitaire game or the multi-player version, but in both cases it's just a matter of dealing out piles of cards according to the clear diagrams in the rules.

Game Play and Mechanics:

Zangle! has three variants so you can choose how you'd like to play. The base game is multiplayer, and gives each person a deck of 10 cards, four of which are flipped face up to begin, along with four cards from the main deck in the center of the table.

If you're playing the turn-based game, take your turn to try to find a Zangle - a set of cards which, when put together, can build the shape on the final card. At least one card must come from your row of face-up cards and at least one from the middle. After your turn, refill your face-up row from your personal deck, and refill the public row in the middle of the table from the main deck. Play will pass around the table until one person has used up all their cards, and then the other players score one point for each card they had left unplayed. You want to have the lowest score after three rounds.

Once you've learned the game by playing in turns, it's time to try out the Speedster version, where everyone is looking for Zangles as fast as they can. Shout "Zangle!" when you've spotted one, and then you can claim the card(s) from the center that you need, add them to the cards from your own row, and put them on your personal discard pile. It's a race to see who can get rid of all their cards first, but beware - at the end of the round, the winner has to go through their discard pile and prove that all their Zangles were correct, because if they made a mistake, they score 5 points and everyone else gets 0! After five rounds of Speedster play, the person with the lowest score is the winner.

Someone at the table a little too good at speed Zangle? The rules suggest some "equalizers" for the winners of each round... play with your non-dominant hand, with one eye covered, etc. You're encouraged to come up with your own equalizers, too. I always appreciate it when a game comes with this many variants and ways to make the experience fun for a wide range of situations.

Don't have anyone to Zangle with? The rules include a solitaire variant in which you deal out a tableau of cards similar to starting a game of Klondike solitaire and a pile of 10 cards in the center, and your goal is to use up all of your cards before the center pile runs out.

Zangle! activates a different way of thinking, and the first round can be a little slow for new players. It was definitely difficult at first for my daughter, who has some visual tracking and processing difficulties, but I was amazed at how quickly she caught on and began to see patterns in the cards. She loved the game and wasn't even thinking about how it was helping her behind the scenes.

The Good:

Zangle! is quick to learn and simple to teach; the goal is the same whether you're playing multi-player rounds, speedster, or solitaire. It pushes you to visualize the triangles in different ways and to be able to turn and manipulate them in your head to "build" a new image.

I love that Zangle! helps us see things from a new angle and that it helps my daughter with visual processing and spatial reasoning while still being a fun, family-friendly, goofy card game. I am very impressed that it comes with three different modes of play and even some ideas for leveling the playing field to make it fun for all.

The Bad:

There's not much bad I can say about Zangle! It is a simple game, with just the one skill, and so it's definitely meant to be a filler or lighter game. It went over well with the families and kids I shared it with, but if it doesn't sound like your cup of tea, there are plenty of reviews here on Everything Board Games to help you find your next new game!

Players Who Like:

Families and groups who already enjoy other games by Set Enterprises - like the classic Set or other games that involve spatial sense, from Rush Hour to Drop It to Patchwork, might enjoy trying their hand at Zangle!

Final Thoughts:

As a gameschooling mom, I love Zangle! for working on some logic and visual skills in a really bright and fun way. My family enjoys a quick game of Zangle! between activities as a brain break or boredom buster. I like that there are various ways to play it, including solitaire, because that gives even more flexibility in one compact 120 card deck. I'm glad to add Zangle! to our gameschooling library!

Check out Zangle! on:


Alexa Chaplin- Reviewer

My name is Alexa: I'm a life-long game player and homeschooling mom to two awesome kids. I've loved board games since my early days playing Scrabble and Gin Rummy with my grandmother, and life only got more interesting when I married a Battletech enthusiast and fellow game lover. We've played games with our kids since they were small, and I helped start a thriving homeschool co-op where we have weekly sessions of board games with kids.  In a family with kids raised on Catan and Pandemic, life is sure to be fun! You may run into me on Twitter, BoardGameGeek, and other social media as MamaGames. Be sure to say hi!

See Alexa's reviews HERE.
Zangle! Review Zangle! Review Reviewed by MamaGames - Alexa C. on May 16, 2019 Rating: 5

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