When you have children under the age of 9, card games take on a few distressing similarities. First, the chances of actually maintaining a complete deck of cards are approximately the same as keeping a red sock out of the white load. Second, the chances of the cards remaining in playable condition plummet in much the same trajectory as a car’s value once you drive it off the lot. Third, (and here’s where I roll my eyes) I hope you enjoy matching games. A lot.
So in this spirit of trepidation and jaded-father cynicism, I considered Can You See What I See? Finders Keepers Game by Gamewright. It’s a matching card game that not only proved to be a hit with my girls and their scrum of free-range friends, but it cracked open my shell enough so that I enjoyed it too. A lot.
Consider just the cards. Tiles might be a more accurate description. The game box contains 100 sturdy cards: 40 Find Me tiles and 60 Keep Me cards. Each Find Me tile has a single image—things like toy dinosaurs, plastic trucks, porcelain ballerinas, and dominoes. The Keep Me cards are larger and each card has four images that correspond to the Find Me tiles. Beautiful cards. Solid, colorful, laminated, and wonderfully textured cards. The instructions indicate the game is for ages 4 and up and I can believe it. These cards are made to be played. These cards will last.
Gameplay is simple, varied, and satisfying. The rules spell out two ways to play, but our kids were happy to come up with other variations. The game for younger children (4 and up) recommends dealing out 10 – 12 of the large Keep Me cards to each player (face-up). The Find Me tiles are shuffled and stacked. The players take turns revealing a Find Me tile and everyone looks to see if they have the matching image on their Keep Me cards. The winner… we didn’t pay much attention to winning in this game. The kids had a blast trying to find the images and trying to guess what would come next.
The variation for ages 8 and up involves a bit more decision making. Nine of the Keeper Cards are revealed in the middle of the table. Each player has a pile of Finder Tiles that they are trying to match to the Keeper Cards in the middle. Players take cards that match their tiles and new Keeper Cards are revealed to fill the empty spaces. A bit of strategy comes in when players have to decide which matches will get them the most points and maybe make things difficult for their opponents.
We played both variations with a group of kids aged 4 to 10. The very youngest needed a bit of help with the variation for older kids, but everyone remained engaged for the better part of an hour. I might not be able to keep all the cards from wandering away, but I know that the ones that remain will be sturdy and major fun!
Can You See What I See? Finders Keepers Game is designed by Brian S. Spence, Garrett J. Donner, and Michael S. Steer, with contributions to the Expert Finders Keepers version by Walter Wick, author of the I Spy, and Can You See What I See book series.