Board Games

Board Game Review: No Thanks!

No Thanks! is a quick “filler” style card game in which you are trying to have the fewest amount of points. The game was created in Germany by Thorsten Gimmler (insert Full House joke here) and distributed in the United States by Z-Man games.

Theme: None

Number of Players: 3-5

Game Time: 15-20 minutes

Age Appropriateness: 8 and up

Game Type: Bidding, set collection

Game Play:

Each player is given 11 chips and the deck of cards is placed face-down in the middle of the table. On their turn players turn over the top card of the deck and decide if they want to keep the card or pass it to the next player.

The deck contains cards numbered 3-35. (Nine of the cards are randomly drawn out of the deck before the game begins.) Each card is worth its face value. Again, the goal of the game is to have the fewest points at the end. To pass, a player places one of his or her chips on the card and play proceeds to the next player who has the same option of passing or taking the card with whatever chips are on the card.

Each chip lowers a player’s score by one point, so a card with a 13 printed on it but with four chips is a nine so to speak. Also a run of cards only counts as the lowest card in the run, so if a player had the 25, 26, 27 and 28 value cards all four of them would only count as 25.

Play continues until all the cards have been picked up. If you run out of chips, you pick up the card when it comes to your turn.

Component Quality:

The cards are good quality, but honestly kind of plain looking. You might even say boring. The chips are a good plastic, though a little on the small side. This is likely to help conceal them in your hand so your opponents don’t know exactly how many you have left. I kind of wish Z-Man would do some kind of redesign on the cards and box. Give them a fresh look.

My Take:

No Thanks! is a very simply designed card game, but really works well. You pick up the card or pass. That’s it. No huge decisions but even so the game has some great ‘thinky’ moments like trying to read the table and know if a card will get back around to you if you pass on it.

I am big on these short filler-type games because you can get several plays out of them in a sitting, allowing for multiple people to win. They typically don’t take long to explain and pick up on either. No Thanks! is the kind of game that once you play a round you get it and know if you like it or not.

Removing nine cards from the deck before the game begins is brilliant because you just never know if you will be able to make a run of cards or not, after all nearly a third of the deck is missing. There can still be a little strategy to the game and it ends up playing a little more like poker for it.

I like this one. It isn’t my favorite in the filler game category, but if you suggest it I will always be up for a game of it. After kids understand basic math principles really anyone can play this game and enjoy it. And even win.

Affordability: You can easily find this game online for around $10 at Amazon or CoolStuff Inc.


Board Game News and Notes:

-The last episode of TableTop featured Forbidden Desert and is available to view on YouTube. I haven’t played Forbidden Desert but do have Forbidden Island, which was the first in the series and I did enjoy that one.

-There is a great article on the board game revitalization going on at the Boston Globe Magazine. Great to see that so many are putting the phones and video games down to interact with others over games.

-Christmas is coming, which means an awesome time to play games with family and friends and an awesome time to give games as gifts. Next week I’ll be rolling out a Christmas-y piece here at WFNY with some suggestions for gifts to give as well as maybe some games to take to a party or relative’s house to have some fun with. See you next week.