revised version of Trendy
List Price: $15.95
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(Worth 1,295 Funagain Points!)
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The Horse Fair is down to five finalists. Cast the winning vote and you win a horse figure. Be the first to collect four horses and you win the game!
Fluff, fluff, fluff, fluff, Wonderful puffaful fluffy stuff. Crazy Derby is like the cotton candy of 'filler' games -- it's so light it feels like...the...game...just...floats...by...
I am not kidding you. On average, my turn takes 0.7 seconds.
The deck is full of animals here for the big race. It's a full-on race day here at the Crazy Derby, and many races will be run. A race ends as soon as an animal crosses the finish line. Different animals run at different speeds of course, so while it only takes a camel 3 'steps' (cards), it takes a turtle 7 'steps' to finish a race.
Players are dealt of hand of six cards that depict one of the following animals: camels (3 steps to win), dogs (4), *mumble mumble* (can't remember which animal, but 5 steps to win), chickens (6), Turtles (7). There are more turtles than chickens in the deck, with camels having the least cards of all. (I can't believe the cheetah didn't show up for the Crazy Derby! He would have beat all these clowns! Just play a cheetah card and walk away with the point! =)
On your turn, you play any card from your hand to the table. Once an animal has the requisite number of cards on the table amongst all the players, it wins the race; all other animals are discarded, and the winning animal cards are added to the point piles of their respective owners with a point value equal to the number on the card (so camels only need 3 cards to win, but are only worth 3 points per card).
There is also a 'Loser' card for each animal (instantly removing all face up card of that animal), and a 'Star' card for each animal (counting as two cards towards finishing the race.)
Yeah, that's it. It's fluffy! In fact, my complaint with the game is that it is TOO equal (which makes it a good game for young families.) You see, if you play a camel, well then, I want to play a camel too! And so does the next player! I mean, why get left out of a good thing? (For this reason, the game is a bit better with more players, since it is less likely that players will be able to follow each other all the way through every race.)
This game requires the skill of an Uno player, and reminds me of 'Loco'-light. (I can't believe that it is even POSSIBLE to be lighter than Loco!) For non-gamers, this makes for good filler, but not great, with the redeeming factor being that the cards are better to look at then boring old numbers. In fact, this game originally had a 'fashion trend' theme ('Trendy') which would have been a nice change. Crazy Derby is a simple card game that certainly deserves a look for younger families, but even within the 'filler' category there are better games: Coloretto, Galloping Pigs, 6 Nimmt!, Loco!, and For Sale all come to mind.
I first played this light, yet strangely addicting card game from Reiner Knizia at Gulf Games 10 back in August 2002. I enjoyed it so much that I played it several more times during the course of the convention. At the time, the game was relatively unknown to most folks, but the surge of enthusiasm displayed by the many folks who played it during the course of the convention spread like wildfire. Soon, the game was being discussed on numerous internet forums and became a game that was highly sought.
Since the theme is that of fashion designers attempting to set the latest fashion trend, it wasn't surprising that many folks adopt faux designer personas while playing. This bit of fun role-playing adds to the fun.
The cards depict various fashion models wearing the latest fancy duds from famous fashion designers. The deck is comprised of 65 cards, with suits of 3 7. However, there are not an equal number of each suit. Rather, the formula to determine how many cards there are in each suit is: 2x suit number + 1. So, for example, there are nine 4s: (4 x 2) + 1 = 9. Plus, each suit has a Super Model card, which actually acts as two cards of that suit, as well as an Out card, which causes all cards of that suit played in the current round to be discarded.
Game play is astonishingly simple. The cards are shuffled and six are dealt to each player. On a turn, a player plays one card face up and draws a card to refill his hand. The next player does the same and this process continues until there are a number of cards played in one suit equal to the number of that suit. For example, once seven 7s are on the table, the fashion trend has been set (it's the sevens, with a lovely green, form fitting dress with a saucy slit to expose the leg!). All players who played one or more sevens get to keep those cards in their score pile, while all other cards are discarded. A new round is now played.
As mentioned, the Super Model card counts as two cards of that suit, so the proper timing of its use can be critical. Of course, the nasty Out card can also prove critical and cause quite a bit of consternation when it disrupts a potential trend.
Once all of the cards in the draw pile are expired, the round concludes once the next trend has been set. Each player then totals the value of all the cards in their score pile and records this amount. If no one has achieved 100 points, a new round is played. Usually, it takes about three rounds until someone tops 100 points and claims the victory.
Yes, the game is very light and simple, but that makes it easy to learn and play. It certainly falls squarely into the filler category and has also proven popular in the family gaming venue. The game is filled with moans, groans and jeers as players see their attempts to set a trend with one suit (lets say 5s) disrupted by other players playing cards to set a different trend. Keeping an eye on how many cards of each suit have been played is an important skill. Further, it is quite possible for the leader to be cut out of many trends, so leads are not very safe. So, in spite of its simplicity, it is not completely bereft of strategy. Another fine, albeit very light filler from Herr Knizia.
So what makes Trendy a winner? At first, it's the simplicity. You can jump right in and enjoy yourself. There aren't many tough decisions and the game clips along rapidly. And it's fun to wreck everyone else's streak with an unexpected "Out!" card. For these reasons, Trendy will always be a favorite filler, as well as a good family game, and even a good game for bringing new gamers into the hobby.