Sherpa Jim, I am looking for fun games. Please help me. - Fuji Flush
Do you love the color green? Backs of cards that look like a cross-section of a Kiwi? How about a slightly different color of green? Getting rid of all your cards first? A third shade of green? Teaming up with others to unload your garbage cards? Numbers with different colors that are mostly not green, but does include more green? Then you will love Fuji Flush.
Fuji Flush is a quick card game for 3 to 8 players with a bit of ‘hand management’ and ‘take that’ in it from Friedemann Friese of Power Grid fame, released in 2016.
Goal of the game?
To win! But how do I do that? By having the most victory points! Ha, just kidding. This time it is by being the first to get rid of all your cards. Yes that is correct, it's not about having the most victory points this time.
How to play?
On your turn, you play one of the cards from your hand to the table face up. Easy as pie. “But what is the catch?” you may be asking yourself. The numbers are the catch. The numbers go from 2 to 20 in a pyramid distribution. I.e. There are more 2’s than 3’s and more 3’s than 4’s, etc.
So once you play a card, a few things can happen to the other folks at the table.
If the number on their face up card is lower than your number, they have to “Flush” their card to the discard pile and draw a replacement card. Example: if you play an 11, any 10 or less has to be Flushed.
If their number is higher, nothing happens to them. Example: if you play the 11, any 12 or higher is safe.
If their number is the same value, you team up and total your two, or more, cards together. Anyone with a card that is not the same value as yours and is lower than the new total also has to Flush their card. If still equal or higher than the total, they are safe. Example: Antonín has a 9 up, Babs a 5, Caesar an 11, and Dora is exploring with a 10 and you play a 5 on your turn. You and Babs team up and your new total is 10 (5x2). Antonín has to flush since he has a 9, and both Caesar and Dora are safe since they at least match your new total. Then on his turn, Antonín also plays a 5, he teams up with you and Babs and ‘Team 5’ now has a total of 15. Caesar and Dora have to Flush their cards since the new total for ‘Team 5’ is more than their cards. Or, to put it in a classical analogy, Caesar and Dora crossed the Rubicon and this time they failed. Or was it Wishbone that crossed the Rubicon with Caesar?
Once you are part of a team, you are safe so long as the following cards do not beat your team’s total. Example: Antonín, Babs, and you have a total of 15 now. Caesar plays the 14 on his turn. All three of you are safe as your total is higher than his card. But Dora is out for revenge, she can hold a grudge that way. So, she plays a 16, causing all of you as well as Caesar to have to Flush your cards.
How do you get rid of a card? If it makes it back around to your turn and your card is still up you have “Pushed it through”, and you can discard it without having to take a replacement. I usually describe it as you get to “Trash It”. If you are part of a team and any member of the team makes it to their turn with their card still up, everyone on the team gets to trash their card. So teaming up is a handy way to get rid of those darn 2’s.
The wrap up.
Fuji Flush is a neat little card game. The only issue I have encountered with it is how people explain the ‘Teaming Up’ mechanic. That can throw folks for a loop until they have played a round or two. Once they have grasped it, the game goes pretty quick. And this can be avoided by the right teacher.
Is the game deep with subtle decision making? No. Is it light and a fun filler? Yes! Play it accordingly. Not every game has to be high strategy. I often use this game as a Summoning Game. You know, the game you start playing while you wait for Jason to show up. If you don’t start playing something, they will take another hour to show up. But if you start to play a game, they are there in 10 minutes.
I do have to cover a bit about Friedemann Friese. The man loves the color green. Most of the time even his hair is dyed green. And many of his smaller games are all titled F F, Fuji Flush, Fabled Fruit, etc. So he also loves his initials. So if you love the color green check out any of his games. You will be in for a treat.
Hope you get a chance to play Fuji Flush.