We’re on to Game #3 from John and my goal to play an average of one board or card game per week for the year of 2021. Given today is just Day #8 and we’re onto our third game, it’s looking up! As mentioned previously, John got an 8-pack of card games from Santa, and we’re working our way through them. Next on the list was a game called Blink.
The Game: Blink
Players: 2… John and me
Date: 7:30-7:50pm, Thursday, January 7, 2020
There are a few games out there with this premise, or something close to it. You’re matching cards on three different things at once. You can match on color, shape, or number of items. It’s a game of quick thinking, fast hands, and, yes, tears.
The game is really simple. You divide the deck of 60 cards into two even stacks, one for each player. Each player turns one card over, and has three cards in hand, with the rest of their stack as their personal draw pile. Each card has one through five shapes of a certain color—four blue stars, two red diamonds, etc. You simply try to match one of the three cards in your hand very quickly to one of the two cards facing up on the table, using one of the three matching elements. The first player to run out of cards wins. The average game length lasts just two minutes, according to the box.
Naturally, an adult would destroy a first grader in this game. Our practice round wasn’t close. So the rules clearly state a player of a greater skill level or age should simply be given a greater share of the deck to try to even things out. In golf, it would be considered a handicap.
How Blink Went
Not well. Not well at all.
In the practice round, John and I simply played with 30 cards apiece. Try as I might to play slowly, I still won, with John having 7 cards left in his hand. Even though it was a non-competitive practice round with no scorekeeping, John lost his cool and began sobbing.
So, for the first real round, I took 40 cards and John took 20. Even so, I lost by the slimmest of margins, with one card left in hand. John did not care for this either. A 1-0 win was as bad as a loss, and crumpled to the floor in utter despair, screaming and flailing. I thought it was pretty fair, given I legitimately lost and in no way played down to his level.
Nevertheless, the demand was for me to play with even more cards, so we made it 46-14. This time, John wiped the floor with me, winning ridiculously easily. I had 26 cards left when he finished, giving John an overall 27-0 lead. That put a smile on his face!
In the last game, I took it way back down, dealing myself 35 cards and John 25. This time, I played my hardest and won easily, leaving my 6-year-old son with 7 cards. John decided this was the time to stop the game and proudly claim victory.
Ease: 10/10. Super easy. You can glance at the rules and understand how the game is to be played. Actually executing the matching, however, can be a little tricky when the game is live.
Entertainment: 5/10. It is one of those games that really puts your brain to work, kinda like Bananagrams or something. This isn’t a sit-around, chit-chat-while-you-play sorta thing. It’s balls to the wall. So there is a little stress involved.
Meltdown Factor: 7/10. Yeah, we saw it firsthand yet again. At least the rules can be tweaked to cater to the younger player!
Time: 5/10. This game is too fast. Each round lasts about two minutes. Set-up literally takes longer than playing.
Likelihood of Child Actually Beating Parent: 5/10. Again, if you play straight-up 30/30 split, the kid likely won’t win. Just keep changing it up until it’s fair, and the kid will have a chance.
The game is very short, pretty intense, and something where the child gets frustrated pretty easily. John does not like games where players can just throw down cards and not explicitly take turns. However, the game was easy to play and understand, and at times challenging.
When the cards were stacked very favorably for John, he was all smiles. Of course, the game was no longer remotely competitive then, with him winning by a giant amount. Even when he won by a slim margin he melted down. So, we’ll put this in the ‘maybe’ pile.