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Hanabi Review


In this co-operative card game, you and your team must create a grand fireworks display with the cards in your hand. But, your communication is limited and time is running out.

Hanabi is played with 2-5 players. Each player will have a hand of 3-4 cards, depending on the amount of team players. These hands are kept secret to the player they belong to, meaning that I can’t look at my own hand. Each player takes a turn and has 3 options: 1) look at a teammates hand and give them a clue for one of their cards (color or number for example), 2) play a card from their hand (generally when you know it is playable based on clues your team gives you, or 3) discard a card. Discarding cards gets time back, because every time a player chooses to give a hint to a teammate, they spend one of the time tokens, and there are only 8 tokens.


Image Source: Michelle Anneliese


Fireworks must be matching in color and played in numerical order. Each color has three 1’s, two 2’s, two 3’s, two 4’s, and one 5. Only one of each number is needed but they MUST be played in 1,2,3,4,5. If a card is played out of numerical order, a bomb token is removed from it’s stack and your chances of losing increase. If all bomb tokens are removed and show the explosion, you automatically lose.


Image Source: Michelle Anneliese


The game can end three ways: 1) the fuse explodes on the bomb token and you auto lose, 2) all fireworks are created before the deck is finished, thus giving the team maximum points, or 3) the entire deck has been drawn, each player gets one more turn without drawing and then ends. Scoring is done based on how many fireworks you finish. Example, if you have a full 5 blue, a 2 card yellow, and a 3 card green, you earn 10 points (5+2+3).

This game is incredibly fun and intense. Because there are very specific rules for giving clues to people, it makes it a challenge to play sometimes. It takes quite a bit of strategy and it’s so easy to lose victory. I definitely recommend this game as a two-player game!

The game has a few variants as well. One is adding the 6th suite, which is the rainbow shown above, and attempt to make 6 fireworks instead of five. Another variant adds the rainbow suite as a wild card to help build other fireworks.

You can find this game at your local game store, and even Target.

What are some of your favorite co-op games? Let me know in the comments!


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