Quick Look: It’s Contagious!™ it’s only on Kickstarter for 16 more hours until Thu, December 10 2020 4:22 PM PST.
Designers: Lola Pickett, Tigre Pickett
Artists: Sarai Sánchez
Publisher: The Menagerie Collective LLC
Year Published: 2020
No. of Players: 2-6
Playing Time: 10 minutes
From the Publisher:
It’s Contagious! is a pocket card game for fast, fun and strategic game-play. Your goal is to discard all your cards first and have the lowest viral load.
A climbing game (like Rummy and inspired by Escalation), cards are placed in a center pile increasing in count until a player can no longer best the previous amount (or use a Power Card).
Gameplay gets a boost of fun and strategy from a variety of Power Cards and additional rules keeps the game much more exciting.
An interesting take on the events and virus of 2020.
Rules & Setup:
Players shuffle the deck. Each player is dealt 6 cards. The remaining cards are placed, face down, to create the center pile. The last person sick starts (or last round/game’s loser) by playing a card face up to start that round’s “Viral Load.” Players always draw back up to 6 cards in their hand and play passes clockwise.
The next player then has to beat the current Viral Load’s value (or match it using Matched Play). If they can’t beat it with a higher card, or are able to utilize a Power Card, then they must take that Viral Load and add it to their own Viral Load. The next round starts with the player who played the last card (except when Contagion™ is played).
Play continues in this manner until all cards in the center pile are exhausted and the game ends when the first person plays their last card. All players then count the total number of cards in their Viral Loads and in their hand (if any are remaining).
Theme and Mechanics:
While I thought the theme had been oversaturated this year with all the games coming to kickstarter the art drew me into the theme and I had to find out what it was all about. The mechanics not so much. I love me some Uno. I got the feel of Uno, but instead of playing matching cards you’re trying to play a higher value than the last guy.
Gameplay: While it was easy to learn with a few clarifications, it seems it’d be one of those that is hard to master and that I’ll probably end up loosing a lot at. Which I feel make the replay-ability excellent.
Artwork and Components: Hands down my favorite part of the entire game. The art on the box really drew me in. I fell in love with the “take only 1” in reference to toilet paper card art. Plus the instructions card seemed to be top notch when it comes to quality and ease. I love Uno and have 30+ editions, I’d love to add this edition to my collection!
The Good: As stated the art really drew me in. The exceptions were cute and saved my hide from outright loosing the game, so there is that. While they reminded me of the special cards of Uno they had a cute virus spin on them.
Myself & my 12 year old son had a hard time grasping what cards you could play when. If there was a way to play the same suit’s instead of same number I feel we would’ve handled it a lot better.
My 13 year old daughter had this to say about It’s Contagious!™”I thought the game art was fun and exciting. Fun game, interesting game play, Perfect for Covid-19″
After a few fixes or a lot more time at the table (both with other people and my family) with It’s Contagious!™I feel this could earn a top spot for me with favorites like Uno, Phase 10 and Skip-Bo. I look forward to getting it to the table once I have a game group again!
Disclaimer: The publisher provided the prototype copy of It’s Contagious!™. The opinions expressed in the review are completely my own.
Players Who Like: Rummy (Not entirely sure about this as I haven’t ever played Rummy)
Check out It’s Contagious!™ and The Menagerie Collective LLC on:
[Reviewer] – Lake Leafty
Lake was a pharmacy tech in just about every facet you can think of including as a veteran of the United States Air Force. He’s also a husband to his wonderful wife with whom he has been blessed to be the father of 5 great children. Due to circumstances beyond his control he got thrown into the world of Tabletop gaming. As an overachiever he couldn’t just sit there quietly playing games. So he started podcasting about games in May of 2017. Ever since then has been slowly trying to grow his evil regime starting with The Giveaway Geek and now EBG.
See Lake’s reviews and interviews HERE.
Thanks for the review! Hopefully a bit more time at the table with it will help. The "climbing" nature may take a little bit of time, but they are quite fun and involve a good deal of strategy: pagat.com/climbing/