First, you take the Major Fun award-winning game Set. Then you make it look like something fun and funny. Then you give it a theme, like, say, cops and robbers, so instead of shapes you have robbers, and finger prints, and gems. Then you add some special cards, like a “Lights Out” card that eliminates the colors, and a “Police” card that lets you win by finding a robber of the same color (unless you also have a Lights Out card showing, and then you win if you find any robber). And you make the cards round. And you add a big plastic diamond which gets grabbed by the first player who thinks she knows the answer. And then, instead of keeping all the cards in a pack and dealing them out to fill a grid, you distribute the cards evenly between the players. And players all add a new card from their pile to the table every turn. And you make it the rule that when the player grabs the diamond, and is correct, all the other players have to divide the cards that are on the table between them. And when that player is wrong, she has to take all the cards on the table. And, of course, the first player to run completely out of cards is the winner.

And you call it Hands-Up. And what you get is a new game, entirely. A game that is as cognitively demanding as the Award-winning game of Set, but makes you laugh, too. Designed by Inon Kohn, and distributed by FoxMind Games, Hands Up is easy to learn, and though a game can be played in as little as 15 minutes, it’s very likely that players will want to play again and again. It’s for 2-6 players (the more players, the more laughter, the fewer, the more intense), ages 7 and up.

You get 60 octagonal cards, a honkin’ big plastic diamond, and some good, hard, brain-teasing fun.

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