A four-leaf clover brings luck to the person who finds it, but you can make your own luck, right? In this game, you play cards in the form of a clover. There are cards with a long-term effect and there are ones with a short-term effects. Will you be the first player to get rid of all his cards? Clover, a family style card game from Rielekst. A little thwarting doesn’t harm anybody...
What do you get for your money?
You get 54 cards and a reference card.
How do you play the game?
Every card represents one-fourth of a clover. Each clover is standing in a coloured field, plus it can have an action on the field or the coloured inner part of the clover. There are six different colours, five field actions and four clover actions.
You start the game by dealing four cards to every player and placing four cards, as an initial discard pile, in a cross on the table. These cards have to have a different field colour.
In this game you have to take turns to lay down on the discard pile. On the cross. Or clover. Whatever you want to call it.
During you turn you have to do three things. First, execute the field action, or if there are more than one, actions. The five actions are: everybody puts their cards face-up on the table, or randomly pick a card from another player, or give one of your cards to another player, or players choose a card from their hand and give it to the next player, or cards can only be played in the direction the arrow on the discarded card indicates.
Secondly, you play a card with a different colour than the visible cards in the middle of the table. If you cannot play a card, you have to draw one from the draw deck and your turn is over.
Lastly, you do the clover action on the card you just played. The clover actions are: the next player skips a turn, or the direction of play is reversed, or every player passes their hand to the next player, or the next card is played in the direction of the arrow. A clover action arrow always overrules a field action arrow.
There is one special card, the Lucky Clover. This card protects you against the ‘Play open’, ‘Skip a turn’ and ‘Give a card’ action. You do, however, have to show everybody that you have the Lucky Clover. This card is also a wild card en can be played on every colour.
The game ends when one player has no cards left in his hand. She or he is the winner of Clover. Luck is forever yours.
Crazy Eights is the first thing that comes to mind. It’s Crazy Eights with a twist. The placement of the cards in a cross shape is a nice find and it makes that the game feel just a bit different from this older, traditional card game. What makes it feel even more different is the fact that the cards have short-term, clover, effects and long-term, field, effects. So you cannot only thwart the next player, but also the players after him and sometimes even yourself.
A big advantage is that the game is very easy to learn and easy to play. Another, is that it’s portable and you can play it in about ten or fifteen minutes. It will therefore appeal to families with kids or people who already like to enjoy themselves with quick and dirty traditional card games.
The changes that were made to the known principles of traditional card games are not revolutionary. They just make the game feel fresh and jet it maintains its familiarity, so it probably attracts the intended audience.
It’s just a simple card game. You will find no theme here.
The game looks very colourful. The way that you create a picture of a clover on the table is nice. Plus, the icons on the cards are very clear. Everything is just very decent.
Quality of the game parts:
The cards are OK. Nothing special really. The only critique I have is that I would always put the rules in the box. Although most people have an internet connection, I do not think you can ask them to go on the internet and find the rules themselves. After reading them once you probably know the rules by heart, but still..
This is just a quick, easygoing card game. If you know the kind of players you have to play with, you can have a lot of fun with it. I think ‘hardcore’ gamers won’t find this one very interesting, but families with kids, occasional gamers and non-gamers will find that the mechanisms look and feel familiar and therefore they can dive right in. Put your brain on relaxation-mode and just play.
Clover is not a game that you will see on my table very often. I tend to play the more ‘gamery’ games, if you know what I mean, but I definitely see that there’s a market for this kind of game.
Don’t get me wrong, I do find it enjoyable, but the fun for me would lie in the fact that I can play a game and share my hobby with people who do not often play play board games, people who might think that a gateway game is still a bit too much. With Clover I can give them a game that’s just a little different than they are used to.
So, in conclusion, Clover is a fun game for kids and a solid, casual family game too.
Many thanks to Rielekst for providing me a review copy.