Pluckin’ Pairs

Major Fun likes things that start simple. They don’t have to stay simple, but they have to start off that way. All kinds of fun and beautiful complexities emanate from very simple things: snowflakes, Mandelbrot sets, and wine are just a few.

Pluckin Pairs (from R&R Games) is another.

Take the rule sheet for Pluckin Pairs. A single sheet of paper contains the components, the rules, and the credits ON ONE SIDE. And on the other side? The same information. In the same language. As long as you can read English, it doesn’t matter which side of the rules you read. You are going to learn this game.

Makes it hard on a game reviewer to condense something like that.

In short:

There are 150 picture cards (double-sided; different picture on each side). 11 cards go to the table. Players have 90 seconds to make 5 secret pairs. These pairs are recorded on a score pad. The one remaining picture is called the “Bad Apple.”

At the end of 90 seconds, the players reveal their pairs (best to do this one at a time in some order). You score one point for each player who made a pair the same as you BUT (and you had to know there would be a big BUT in here somewhere) you get no points if EVERYONE made the same pair. So, if no one has your pair: 0 points. If everyone has your pair: 0 points. If a few people have your pair: you get that many points (each of those players get that many points).

Remember how I mentioned that the picture cards are double sided? Flip them over and play again! Play 6 total rounds and tally the scores.

The 90 seconds you have to arrange the pictures into pairs is often maddening. It’s not much time and it’s hard to not pick the most obvious pairs. One round we had a locomotive and a train track come up. Do you avoid the obvious because everyone else will go with the obvious? Do you go with the obvious, knowing that others will avoid the obvious? Those decisions are a lot of fun, but the joy to be found in Pluckin Pairs is in the sharing. The phrases that will never get old are, “Oh come on!! SOMEONE should have made that pair!!” and “What were you thinking?”

The pictures are captivating and evocative. The game play is fast and humorous. What’s not to like?

Major Fun can’t find a thing. Play it.

For 3-8 players, ages 12+

Pluckin Pairs  designed by Stephen Glenn. © 2012 by R&R Games, Inc.

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