Karma is a game by Marsha J. Falco, published by Set Enterprises. It is for 2-6 players. In this game, players will be doing their best to get rid of all their cards both in their hand and on the table in front of them. The player that does this will be declared the winner, but that’s not all. There can be multiple winners, so in this game the idea is to not be the loser, aka the guy who is the last person with cards either in their hand, on their side of the table or both.
To begin, all of the cards are shuffled together to form a single deck. Each player is then dealt 9 cards, 3 cards face down in front of the player and then 6 more which the player decides to either keep in their hand or place face up on one of the 3 face down cards. Play now begins.
On the first player’s turn, they will begin the discard pile by laying a card or cards with the same value face up beside the deck. They then draw cards to replace the discarded card(s). In turn order, players then must play either a card or cards of the same or higher value or they can play a Karma card. Either doubles or triples of the same value card may be played. When triples are played, whether simultaneously or in a row, the player that played the third card clears the entire discard pile from the table, removing them from the game. That player is then able to play again to start a new discard pile. Nothing special happens when playing doubles.
Karma cards are like wild cards and can be played on any card. There are 4 different types. Give the pile to a friend allows a player to give the discard pile to any player. Play a table card allows a player to play a table card early. Normally table cards can’t be played until the draw pile and all hand cards are gone. It also allows a player to use cards from their hand and face up on their table to play doubles or triples. The bottoms up card allows a player to take the bottom card from off of the bottom of the discard pile and place it face up on top of this card. That makes the next player play onto the new card instead of the karma card. The last karma card is the five or below card. It forces the next player to play a card equal or less than five.
If a player is unable to play a card, they are force to take the entire discard pile into their hand. The next player starts a new discard pile. Once a player has played a card they must draw up to a minimum hand size of 3. Play then passes to the next player. Once all the player’s hand cards are gone and the deck is empty, the table cards are able to be played. The face down cards are a surprise. They are flipped and placed onto the discard pile. If they are not the same or larger or a karma card, that player must pick up the entire discard pile into their hand. The last player to be left with cards either in their hand, on their table or both loses and everyone else wins.
This game consists of a deck of cards. The cards are nice looking and have some rather nice borders and fonts on them. They are quite good in terms of shuffling and wear. Unfortunately the box doesn’t hold the cards as well as I’d like it to. There is no nice insert or tray to keep everything together or to keep the cards from getting bent. Thankfully none of my cards have gotten bent yet, but I’m betting it’s just a matter of time.
8 out of 10
The rulebook is a folded up sheet of paper that stretches out fairly long. It’s double sided with a picture of how to set the game up as well as the different Karma cards. It also includes some alternative rules for playing triples. It’s fairly simple to follow and to read. Everything is explained really well. The rules are quite short but that’s because the game is really that simple so there’s no need for anything more than that. It’s really quite nice.
8 out of 10
This game is very easy to learn and play. If you can play games like UNO and Phase 10, then you can play this. As a matter of fact, fans of those games would probably like this one. It’s really light and simple. There’s not a lot of strategy to the game play. A lot of the game comes down to luck of the draw, especially when you get down to the face down table cards. I completely understand why they name this game Karma, because it just might bite you at the end of the game by giving you a handful of cards. It’s family friendly and can be played with the kids as well as the adults. I not a big fan of games of chance, mostly because I never win at them, but this game is quite nice. The game is gonna run about 20 to 30 minutes depending on how things go. All in all, it’s a rather fun light game of high card.
8 out of 10
Karma is a light card game of hand management with a small bit of take that included. The game is very easy to learn and play. It’s not a very strategic game but relies more on luck than anything. The game isn’t that long usually lasting around 20 to 30 minutes. Fans of games like UNO and Phase 10 should enjoy this. The cards are quite durable and look nice. However, I would have liked a tray or something of that sort included in the box to hold everything better so that the cards don’t get bent. The game is family friendly and can be played by most all of the family. It’s rather fun and quite unique in design. I rather enjoy it. I’d recommend giving it a try.
8 out of 10
For more information about this and other great games, please check out Set Enterprises at their site.