Review: Arcane Wonders – GAP

GAP is a card game created by Frank Noack and Rico Besteher and published by Arcane Wonders.
By Aaron T. Huss

Learn more about GAP here
Purchase GAP here (paid link)
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GAP is a fun, quick set-collecting card game that scales from 2-6 people. It is played in rounds whereas each round you play a card in the hopes of collecting certain cards from the center of the game space. The cards drawn from the deck are only played in the center, meaning the hand you are dealt is the hand you are stuck with. From that hand of cards, you need to formulate your strategy to maximize the number of points you earn that round. Once everyone’s hand of cards is depleted, the round is over and scoring begins.

The scoring is very simple. The cards you acquire from the center are grouped in colors. The color stack with the most cards is counted as your positive score. The color stack with the least cards is counted as your negative score. You then subtract the negative score from the positive score and you have your total number of points for the round. There are some other details in there, but I don’t want to divulge the entirety of the rules.

I played this game with two of my daughters, 14 and 11, and although it took a round for us to understand the gameplay, we picked it up quickly and enjoyed the 4 rounds it took before someone reached the point total goal. I was surprised and delighted to discover that this wasn’t just a game of chance, but definite strategy. And not only that, but a strategy that might have to be adjusted each time it’s your turn. Being that the cards in the center are communal, you may not be able to grab the ones you wanted and quickly have to pivot to a different strategy. This makes the game a lot more fun and keeps you thinking from one turn to another. In the end, the way points are scored means you always have to consider what’s in the middle of the table before you simply play a card and collect your set.

Overall, the game is a perfect blend of simplicity, strategy, quickness, and fun! It’s also scalable and easy for children of younger ages to understand. (It’s rated for ages 8+ which I fully agree with.) Add to that excellent quality of cards, simple packaging, straightforward rules, and different levels of game length depending on your group’s desire and you have just the perfect little card game!

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