Two of my family's favorite things: reading books and playing cards. If we could, we would have several walls in our house turned into build-in bookshelves. We love to be surrounded by books. We also really enjoy playing a fun game of cards. Every time we have a family get-together with my husband's family, we always end up playing cards. Cards are an easy game to set up and so portable. That is why, when given the opportunity to review the new Notable Novelists card game I was thrilled. (Oh, and by the way: our other favorite thing is coffee...which is definitely our preferred beverage when reading a books or playing a game about books!)
" Discover some of the most celebrated, controversial and thought-provoking novelists of the 20th Century in this fun, strategy-based game."
Notable Novelists of the 20th Century card game is unlike any card game I've ever seen. What a brilliant idea to have a "card game for book lovers". The game is made up of 54 playing cards. There are eighteen 20th Century authors featured in the game. (These include the likes of Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Kurt Vonnegut...those names sure take me back to my high school days!) The makers of the game chose to use only deceased authors to give it a timeless quality. The game is for 2 or more players, ages 12 and up (Our 11-year-old son did well.) One game took our family about 30 to play.
The game is similar to how you play "go fish", except there is more of a strategy involved, you are trying to collect a set of 3 instead of 4, and you might be asking for a "Virginia Woolf author card" instead of saying, "do you have any 3's?".
The actual rules are very simple. The purpose is to try and collect as many literary sets as you can. (This sounds simple...but we found out after playing a few times that this is where the strategy comes in. You don't want to match up ALL of your cards...because then you won't have any cards left to play with! That's all the hint I'm gonna give...!) There a 3 cards in a literary set: an author card, a library card and a bio card. On their turn, players may ask anyone if they have a certain card to help complete a set. For instance, if you have a James Baldwin author card (the one with the picture) and a James Baldwin Bio card, you would ask another player, "Do you have a James Baldwin library card?". If someone has it, they must give it to you. If you get the card you want, you get another turn. If no one has the card you asked for, you draw from the pile (just once). If you choose a card from the pile that completes a set, lay down your literary set and take another turn. (Okay, I'll give you one more hint....it didn't take us too long at all to realize you are giving away information when you ask for a certain card. It lets other players know what card you most likely have in your hand. If you have a decent memory, you can have a lot of fun "stealing" other player's cards! I know our family sure did!) The one with the most literary sets wins!
This is a fun and interactive game for learning and appreciating some of the authors of the 20th Century. Notable Novelists also had an alternative way to play the game that tests you on your knowledge of the authors, and not just gaining literary sets. My family is not quite there yet, but that sounds fun to do once we have become more familiar with the authors and their books. Our family added one bit to the playing of the game: whenever anyone completes a set, they read all three cards about their author. My kids especially enjoyed this aspect.
We had a lot of family fun time playing this card game right after dinner. Here's my youngest son working on his strategy!
The cards are very artistically done. We really liked the art work. Our only complaint was that neither C.S. Lewis nor J.R.R. Tolkien were in the stack. My boys were looking for them. I was encouraged to see on their website they said that they wished they could have included more authors from the 20th Century. They are thinking of making another set! They even say to contact them if you have any suggestions.
Dad is a big card (and book) lover!
The winning hand: (My 14-year-old won the first game we played.)
You can purchase for a game is $10.95.
Go here to learn what other TOS reviewers thought about "Notable Novelists", or a similar review on the "Play Play" games.
Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Crew, I received this product, at no cost to me, in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are mine.