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Collide-O! is a fast-slapping, color-colliding frenzy of fun! Players race to rid their stockpiles of cards by slapping down matching colors as fast as they can -- but in Collide-O!, you not only have to match one color, but two -- and in the right order! The whole family will go crazy for this game with a Kaleidoscope of high-flying colors!
Colors colliding in an absolute dizzying array are what greet your eyes during a game of Collide-O (Playroom Entertainment, 2006 - Maureen Hiron). It's a real-time game in which players attempt to quickly place their cards on the table in a hurry. Now, I'm normally not a fan of this type of game, but I was curious as to how it would go across with the teenagers that I teach and work with. The "Vertigo" color of the box seemed a bit garish, but I figured that the matching of colors would go over well.
And some teenagers certainly enjoyed the game, but at the same time others pretty much refused to play it again. The problem? - players who are faster with their eyes and quicker to figure out which cards to play will ALWAYS do better than their opponents. Someone who has slower eye-to-hand coordination, even if it's slightly slower than the other player, can easily get frustrated about how poorly they do. Played amongst people with equal skills, Collide-O can be fun, and I saw several teenagers who really had a great time. But others, including me, were a bit disillusioned by the game, and I personally would only play it as a passing diversion.
Collide-O is made up of a deck of ninety cards, each divided into three sections. The sections are either one solid color or a striped pattern, denoting two different colors, or a multi-color striped pattern, which has all five colors. The colors are green, blue, black, yellow, and red. One card is set face down in the middle of the table, and then all other players are dealt the rest of the cards evenly into face down stacks in front of them. The card in the middle is flipped up, and the game begins.
Players immediately grab the top five cards from their deck and take them into their hand. They then simultaneously try to play their cards on the table. They must match the card in the middle by laying one of their cards so that it covers two sections with matching colors. For example, if the card in the middle is red, green, and blue/black; and I have a yellow, red/green, and green card, I can place the card on the table, placing it so that the green section covers the green card in the middle, and the red/green section covers the red section. (This might sound a bit convoluted, but it's really simple to see.) What this means is that there are always two places to place cards, and they extend outwards during the game. Players can replace cards from their hand with cards from the stack at any time, but must never have more than five cards in their hand.
Everyone is playing cards at the same time, so occasionally incorrect cards are played. Any player can challenge another; and if correct, the person who made the mistake may only have a maximum of four cards in their hand, instead of five. Play continues until one player has only one card in their hand and no cards in their stack.
Some comments on the game…
1.) Components: The game is simply a deck of cards that are split into three different sections, each a color (or more). As any color game of this type might be expected, color blind folk are going to find this one impossible to play. There are cards with red and green striped sections with various colors next to each other; and in a game in which speed is required this can be a bit difficult. Symbols would have mucked up the game, so it looks like Collide-O is going to be out for those with vision impairment. Others might find the game a bit garish, as I did on first impressions, but the bright, stark colors do allow the gameplay to work well. All the quality cards are easily stored in a double-sized cardboard box with plastic insert.
2.) Rules: The rulebook actually has five pages (I say "actually" because the game takes all of thirty seconds to teach), with large color illustrations, including examples of what "not" to do (things I would have thought obvious). Showing how cards lay on top of each other is basically all I need to do to get a game going, and players quickly grasp the rules from there.
3.) Speed: If you don't like games in which players all play at once, well - stop reading now, you aren't going to like this game. If any game put a large emphasis on playing quickly, it's Collide-O. There's no way to really play strategically in the game. You can try to play a card that will allow you to play another card, but most likely another player will play a card first in the short span of time it took you to formulate your clever tactics. Speed, speed, speed; and while that may turn off some folk (I can't say I was enthralled), it at the same time excites others.
4.) Age: This game really worked well with teenagers, maybe because they didn't have to play a game with reading or numbers - simply colors, or maybe because it was fast. Some of them, who think more slowly than others, were very unhappy with the game; and I quickly steered them towards something else. But the rest of the teens played game after game after game, trying to out-speed the others.
5.) Fun Factor: I really wasn't impressed with the gameplay of Collide-O, because I felt that it simply rewards the faster player. The person who can spit cards out of their hand onto the table as fast as possible is going to be the most likely candidate for winning. Teenagers and kids are going to find this thrilling, for the most part, but I don’t think adults will be as excited. Yes, it might be entertaining fare for a brief moment, but I'd rather play the same style of game (almost domino like) in a slightly slower format.
And that's the gist of it - if you like speed, check it out; if you prefer a modicum of thought, avoid it. Collide-O will always have a place on my shelf because it delights teenagers, and I work with them in various situations. For folks like me, pick up a copy. But my gaming group will never see the game - it's too simple yet non-fulfilling for them. Not everything needs to be done quickly.
"Real men play board games"