The Test of Time: Hanabi

Hanabi was very popular for a while. It did something that people hadn’t seen, had not played before. You kept your hand of cards backwards. You could not see your own cards, but by looking at the other players’ cards and hints from those same players you could figure out what you had in your hand and what you had to play. In my review then I recommended it. Do I like it still?


Oh, and Hanabi is a cooperative game. I forgot to mention that. It has all kinds of elements that made me very interested in this game. The small piece of text above, that does not do the game any justice at all, might already peak your interest. Cards backwards? How will that work? A cooperative deduction game? That might be fun. That’s what I thought and that’s what I got, an interesting and fun cooperative card game that fits into your pocket. It is quite addictive, in that you want to improve your collective score right after you’ve finished a game. All good.

Now, about four years later, I totally lost interest in this game. There’s a big chance I will never play it again. It’s still in my collection, but for how long? I still think it’s a good game, but I just became a different gamer I think. Cooperative games do not attract me that much anymore, plus I’ve played some other games that had a similar ‘hold your cards, or tiles, backwards’ mechanism and those games did not enthuse me for other games in the genre, or going back to Hanabi itself.

I do understand why people love it, I did so myself for a short period of time, but what I don’t understand is that you would buy a deluxe edition of the game. Part of the charm of the game, for me, was that the game was cheap and portable. Why would you want a bigger box with bigger, heavier tiles?


Would you buy a deluxe edition of a game you like? Do you make it deluxe yourself? Or maybe you don’t care at all about deluxe components? Please tell me in the comments!


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