We’ve seen it in the movies. The character is walking on the streets of a big city and some shady guy in a hat has setup a portable table. On the portable table are three cards. The goal is to follow a specific card as the dealer quickly moves the three cards in a way to distract the viewer from being able to track the card.
Change Up is a card game that takes this concept and reminds us that sometimes our memory is total garbage.
Follow the Cards
In the center of the table are cards numbered 0 to 4. These cards get flipped over in numerical order and each player gets 6 cards from the draw deck. On your turn, you play a single card and take the action printed on what you played. Sounds easy right?
The deck of cards in Change Up will allow players to rearrange the facedown numbered cards, swap hands with other players, draw a new card and even force another player to trash their whole hand. The prompts on the cards are simple and easy to follow. With a tiny amount of help, a player as young as 6 or 7 could easily understand what they’re playing.
Throughout the game, a single You Pick card will be moved around the table based on the different card actions. Once everyone has passed or used all their cards, the player who has the You Pick card will get first choice of the 5 facedown cards in the center of the table.
Where you able to follow the highly coveted number 4? Are you 100% sure that you’re not picking the 0 card? Whatever card you flip over is your score for the round. Your final score is decided after adding your totals after three rounds.
Fast, Simple, Classic
It’s pretty standard to have people ask us to review new card games through our social channels or by email. I’m usually hesitant about this because there are so many on the market today. That’s not to say they are bad, it’s just tough to make a card game that has lasting appeal. Change Up clicked for us on so many levels.
Three rounds of Change Up takes around 20 minutes. This game forces players to stay engaged. A look away from the table or a glance at your phone can mean that you have no idea that the player across from you just swapped the positions of the 1 and 4 cards. The speed of the game is quick and this makes the game intense at times.
I can gauge how simple a game is by my retired fathers thoughts on the game. If I can teach him to play in 2 minutes and he feels confident on his first turn, I feel good about it. Players just have to be able to read the cards and take the actions. Change Up is simple to teach a kid or a grandparent.
Change Up feels like a classic family card game. No matter how bad your hand is, keeping track of the cards that are being rearranged in the middle of the table is the core of the game. There is plenty of “take that” in the cards as you force others to dump their hand of cards or swap an entire hand with another player. It’s super satisfying to shut down another player by playing the “Don’t Tell Me What to Do!” card. This cancels the card effect that another play may have been banking on.
Gather the Family
Change Up showed up on our doorstep just before our family got together for Labor Day weekend. The game hit the table so many times in the 3 days we spent with the grandparents and siblings. Once a game ended, another would start as 2 players dropped out and 2 new players came to the table. The game has the simplicity of a game like Uno but it doesn’t suck.
I’m so excited about heading into the holidays with this little card game. It’s going to be traveling with us as we see family. It’s going to be the game sitting on the table while we prep dinner and will probably be the last filler game we play before bed.
This game was provided to us by the publisher for review. Read more about our review policies at One Board Family.
Quick gameplay that keeps everyone engaged
Game takes less than 2 minutes to teach
Additional number cards for advanced gameplay
Card prompts are clear and easy to follow
If you hate memory games, this game will frustrate you