There are only so many rounds of Go Fish, War, or even 52 Pickup (yeah, that joke got old really fast) that families can play without the game becoming boring or predictable. And, it’s only typical family fun for there to be a cheater, a sore loser, and of course the big boaster that wins pretty much every time in the group. Fret not though, family game night can still be salvaged by simply making the switch from a standard deck of cards to Ratuki, a fast-flippin’ family card game from USAopoly.
Ratuki is just as fun to say out loud as it is to play—and trust me, similar to Uno, players will be saying, “Ratuki!” a lot in this game. The game is recommended for kids ages 7 and up, and families can play with as little as two or as many as five players. Each game lasts about 15 minutes, so for families with more than five people or when playing at parties, more players can sub in without waiting hours for a game to end.
The deck of cards are split up by color. Each player gets his or her own colored deck of 35 cards and the game begins from there (the number of players will decide how many decks are in play). Players will never have more than three cards in their hand and while playing and there are no turns in the game, making it a whole lot of fast-paced fun. One tricky rule is that you can’t play with the same hand that you’re holding your cards with. I thought this would be hard to get used to, but it’s simple once you’re really focused on the game and not thinking about it as much.
Once everyone understands the basics, the game is easy to play. Each card has a number one through five on it in all sorts of styles, and the object is to create a stack of cards that starts at one and ends with the number five or a wild Ratuki card on top. Players can add cards to any stack that are either one number higher or lower than the top card on the stack. If a player can’t add a card to any stack, he or she can place a card in the junk pile and then draw from his or her own deck. The game is meant to move quickly, so keep adding cards and grabbing stacks—once someone places a “five” or a “wild Ratuki card” on a stack and shouts, “Ratuki!,” he or she gets to add the whole stack of cards to his or her score pile. Once the 15 minutes are up or no one can play anymore cards, stop playing and count up the score.
Because of this game’s speed, I think 7 and up is a good age range. For kids younger than 7 it may be difficult to keep up with the game’s pace and recognize the numbers on each card (because they range from showing a number in roman numerals to using a picture of a die). I really enjoy learning new games and Ratuki is a great addition to family game night. If I had to compare it to another game, I’d say it’s a combination of Uno (because of the object of the game and the use of wild cards) and Spit (because of how fast players have to be and the slapping of piles).
This product and more from USAopoly will be on display at The Big Toy Book’s Sweet Suite 14 event in New York City on July 17. Part of Blogger Bash, a two-day conference connecting bloggers and brands nationwide, Sweet Suite will feature the hottest toys and games for the upcoming holiday season. Visit thebigtoybook.com for more info, and follow the conversation on Twitter!