There is something about card games which make them popular among those of us who like board games.
It's likely a combination of things which attract people, the small size which makes taking them to the neighbour's for an evening, or storing them away at home both with ease.
Most card games are pretty flexible allowing varying numbers of players, and in most cases the rule sets are understandable without a degree in engineering.
So there are always new card games arriving on the gaming scene and The Crow and the Pitcher is among those.
The game was designed by Sean D. MacDonald and released in 2009 by Nomads Games.
The Crow and the Pitcher is a newcomer to the large family of card games where taking tricks is the goal.
The game is based around Aesop's fable 'The Crow and The Pitcher' which is a neat idea, although the art on the cards, while very nice almost as a Navajo Indian 'feel'. I will add here that the art is aesthetically pleasing, and that is always a plus in a card game.
The game is a bit narrower in number of players it can accommodate than many games, working only with three, or four. Those players must play off one another in order to gain points.
Unlike many trick-taking game where high card wins, unless trumped, with The Crow and the Pitcher, the highest suited card is not always the trick taking card.
The game sort forces a different thought process to most of its trick-taking brethren because the best card may not win if the 'pitcher' gets broken.
Another aspect is that lower power cards are worth more points in a game which is a race to collecting 50-points.
MacDonald adds one other twist. Since not every card is dealt players are not sure what value pitchers are left to play. That keeps the card counters at bay.
The overall idea is that players need to be as clever as the Crow in Aesop’s fable to score points and not perish from thirst.
The game does a nice job of integrating the theme into the game play, which is bonus. Often games seem to have a theme simply pasted on as a sort of afterthought.
In terms of a new card game option The Crow and the Pitcher is a good one, with solid art, theme and mechanics.
You can check the game out at www.thecrowandthepitcher.com
-- Review appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper February 9, 2011 - Yorkton, SK. Canada