Wednesday, July 25, 2012

I Don't Want It, You Take It. No Thanks! Review

No Thanks!

  • Designed by Thorsten Gimmler
  • Published by Z-man Games in 2005
  • Plays with 3-5 players ages 8+, which I think is the proper age range.
  • Takes around 10-15 minutes.

What you get inside the box
No Thanks is a very simple game to learn, and a somewhat tricky game to master.  The rules are simple, in fact I will go into them in their entirety in the Mechanics section, but they're not hard to learn.  The game is never going to be the center of a game day, but it is a fun game that plays quickly.

No one will mistake this game for having amazing components as compared to some of the miniatures games, or games with lots of plastic, but what's in the box is good quality.  There are 55 little chips that work perfectly for the game.  The cards are good quality, and still haven't shown much wear after 25+ plays.

The box fits in my hand
I'm going to explain the game here.  There is a deck of cards numbered 3-35.  You remove 9 cards randomly.  A card is flipped over.  Each player must then decide to either take the card, or place a chip on it to pass.  Players pass until someone takes the card and all chips played on it.  The face value of a cards counts as positive points, chips count as negative.  If you have a sequence, aka 11-12-13, the entire sequence is worth only the lowest card's value, in this case 11.  At the end of the game, the player with the lowest score wins.  Sounds simple, right?  It is.

There is a decent amount of player interaction here.  Say for instance you have the 30 and the 32.  If the 31 comes up, you know you need it, but you also know that no one else wants it, because of the points against them.  You can use this to your advantage to extort more chips out of players.  Just don't push your luck too far because someone might take the card, either because they have to (they're out of chips) or they don't want you making the bridge.

Scoring example
This total score is 11
This total score is 24
There's no theme here.  The game doesn't pretend to have one, and that's a good thing.  I don't think it needs one, and I don't think a theme would actually help the game.  

Learning Curve
This is a very short learning curve.  The fact that I can explain the rules in under a minute is great for this game.  There are a few quirks, but nothing big enough to throw inexperienced players.

Why I like No Thanks!
As someone with a mathematics degree, I do enjoy numbers.  This game does have numbers, in fact, it's all numbers, but there's not tons of math.  It's really a risk game in terms of when to take a card versus the chips on it, and do you risk taking the 31 when you have the 29 and hoping the 30 is left in the deck.  It's a fun tension when the last few cards come out.

Why I don't like No Thanks!
There is a lot of luck in what cards are in the game, where those gaps are, etc.  If you bank on a higher card being in the deck, and it doesn't show, you're in trouble.  If someone can make a 4, 5, 6, or more card streak, they're in a really good position to win.  The game has it's swings, and after a certain point it becomes more about who has what cards and the runs they can make versus any kind of strategy.
Chips on a card when
players pass

I often play 3 or more games of No Thanks! in a row.  That does tend to satisfy me for a few weeks.  It's a good game to have as a filler, meaning something to play when you're waiting for someone to show up, or you need a short game as a break between longer games.

I enjoy No Thanks!  It's a very fun, quick game.  It's not for everyone, but I think it's one of the best 10-20 minute games on the market.  I don't have a huge call for games like that, but when I do, this is the first one that comes to mind.  I can teach it to anyone who can do some simple math, addition/subtraction.  

Will you like it?
Unless you absolutely hate numbers, then I'd say give the game a try.  If you like making straights of cards, if you find the aspect of push your luck with cards and taking some chances, then this might be a game you'd enjoy.  Because the game is ~$10, it's not a horrible investment if you don't like it.  You can probably find someone who does.  Also, because the game has been out for 8 years, the odds are good that you can find someone who owns it to play with before you buy.

Want to buy No Thanks and support BoBG?

1 comment:

  1. No Thanks is the ONLY game in my collection right now that I can get my non-geeky friends to play and enjoy. Where Fluxx failed, No Thanks prevailed! :-)