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Adam & Eva
 
 
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Adam & Eva


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Product Awards:  
Games Magazine Awards
Family Card Game Nominee, 2005

Ages Play Time Players
10+ 30 minutes 2

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Product Description

There's chaos in the Garden of Eden! The snake has done its work well. Eve is tempting Adam, Adam's tempting Eve... to pick lots and lots of apples! Who will get the most?

Product Awards

Games Magazine Awards
Family Card Game Nominee, 2005

Product Information

Contents:

  • 4 trees
  • 2 boards (with 4 rows numbered 1-8)
  • 32 apples (numbered 1-8 in 4 colors)
  • 32 playing cards:
    • 28 cards numbered 3-9 in 4 colors
    • 3 jokers
    • 1 snake
  • 1 start-the-game card

Product Reviews

Ben Baldanza
November 29, 2004

Fans of good two-player games will appreciate this new solo effort by Aaron Weissblum. The game is original but still feels familiar, and employs an interesting card selection mechanism that players use to win apples for scoring. While the apples vary in value from one through eight, it is not always the highest value apple that is the juiciest.

Apples come in four colors, and each color gets its own tree. The game is played through four rounds, and in each round two apples from each color are available for picking. Apples are picked with cards, and each player begins with six from a deck of 32, numbered three through nine in each of the four apple colors. Three jokers plus the serpent (this is Adam and Eve, remember) round out the deck. Using a mechanic reminiscent of Pacal, on turn a player offers a card from their hand to the center of the table. The opposing player has the right to accept or reject the card. If they accept, they place the card on their side of the matching color tree (red cards go next to the red apple tree, for example). If they reject, the player who offered the card must place the card on their side of the same tree. Once all of the cards are played, the apples are distributed: the high-side total gets the higher-numbered apple on the tree, while the lower total takes the lower-numbered apple. If only one side of the tree has cards, that player gets both apples.

Each player also gets a board that shows all 32 apples in a grid; apples won are placed on the board for scoring purposes. Scoring is equal to the value of the apples, plus a bonus if all four apples of a given rank are collected. As you may expect, the bonuses for lower numbers are greater than for higher ones. Collecting all four 'three' apples, for example, will get you 12 points for the apples, plus a 15-point bonus. If in earlier rounds you have collected three of the 'three' apples, and the fourth 'three'' appears in a tree with the 'eight' in a later round, it likely will be in your interest to be the low man on that tree to secure the fourth 'three'. Of course, a wise opponent may play to ensure that you take the eight, effectively robbing you of 10 net points.

Interesting effects happen in the card play. In addition to the 'I offer, you choose' idea (San Marco, anyone?), each player will by design get exactly six cards to place on their side of the trees. This is forced by a rule that states whenever one player places their sixth card, all cards yet to be played are given to the other player who then places them on their side of the trees. By accepting offered cards and offering less tempting cards, you can lull your opponent into taking a few cards from your hand. Since they must place these, it can really mess up their strategy if they don't realize that this is happening. Or you can do the opposite in order to guarantee placement of a card in your hand to your own cause. The bonus targets give the game a bit of a Balloon Cup feel, since there are times you want to be low and times that you want to be high. Winning usually means getting one or two bonuses, or by getting three of most of the higher-numbered apples. This is a two-player game, so whenever each player each takes two of one rank apple, they net to zero.

The jokers and the serpent add some additional strategy. Jokers can be played on any tree, and they can be very useful especially when you are at risk of having no card against a specific tree. Remember, if only one player has cards, they get both apples. So if I want to take the low apple, I still need a card there and a joker may be just the thing to seal it. The serpent really changes things. When the serpent is offered, the opposing player can accept it, and then remove any previously-played card on their side of the trees. If they reject, you must remove a card you have previously played. In serpent rounds, each player ends with only five cards on their side, and as you'd expect, more double-apple awards are usually made. The deck is fully reshuffled between each round, so with only 12 of 32 cards in play it is difficult to judge the strength of each round. If I am initially offered the seven-red, and I have no red in my hand, I must assume that this may be the highest red available for this round and so best take it if I am aiming to win the high value red apple. Yet offensively, I am much more likely to offer the seven-red early if I also hold the red eight or nine.

The accept or reject decisions can be difficult, as each not only determines which cards you will play, but also determines who will get to six first and thus give the other the remaining cards. Balancing the value of the apples with the bonus opportunities is also interesting, especially when having to sacrifice points for the greater loss it gives your opponent. The rules offer a variant whereby each player gets seven cards instead of six, but the round still ends after just six cards each. This gives a bit more information about what cards are available in the round, and increases the chances for jokers and the serpent, but beyond this does not change the dynamics significantly. Adam and Eva plays quickly and has exactly the right weight of strategy for a competitive match that is still fun - good tempting fun!

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