Flip Out is a riot of colors and patterns and golden opportunities. Planning ahead probably won’t get you anything but frustration, but a good memory and the willingness to play in the moment will make the game a wonderful way to pass several hours.
The game consists of 90 cards and 5 curved plastic racks for holding the cards. The cards are double-sided and each side may have one of five colors (red, green, yellow, blue, purple). A player draws six of the cards and places them in the curved rack so that one side faces the player and the other side faces the opponents. The racks are curved so that the players can only see one side of all the cards. Some cards have the same color on both sides but most are different. As cards are removed from the racks in sets, the players draw more cards from the supply pile.
The object of the game is to collect the most cards. Cards are collected in sets of 4, 5, or 6 matching colors. If a player sees a set of colors in anyone’s rack, the player may gather those cards. Because the cards have 2 sides, your opponent may see a set of colors on the back of your cards. Your opponent may then take those cards from your rack and receive the score.
But there is more to the game than just waiting for patterns to emerge. There are four moves to the game, and players may make any 2 of them on their turn. Players may flip any card around. Players may swap 1 or 2 cards with an opponent. Players may switch the position of two cards on any rack. In this way, players can create sets of 4, 5, or 6 cards. It’s the chance to make a set of six that makes the game so engaging. There is a lot of satisfaction to be had when you can swap a card with your opponent and then swipe all the cards from one of the racks.
Although chance plays a big role in the game, a good memory will help you to make good choices when your turn comes around. Many times there are several ways to create scoring sets, but some ways will yield more than others or will provide valuable information about what is in an opponent’s hand.
There is a lot to like here. The rules are short and clearly illustrated; the rules are very intuitive for a wide range of ages when you see the illustrations (in the rules as well as on the sides of the box). The cards are vibrant, and the game-play is quick. The combination of elegant rules, chance, and pattern creation makes for a set collection game that is well suited for families and those of us committed to Major Fun.
Flip Out by Daniel Weaver. © 2010 Gamewright.