Game Review: Crazier 8’s (Shahrzad and One Thousand and One Nights)

New Versions of an Old Favorite

# of Players: 2-3
Time: 10-20 Minutes
Age: 13+
Game Type: Card
Gamer Type: Casual
Complexity: 3.5

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Getting kids to read classical literature is always a difficult task. In the demanding world we live in today, we can have trouble building a love for the classics in kids and teens, who are more interested in the latest episode of their favorite series. Even adults can overlook some of the classics, as their lives are also busy. This can be said for games too. Some of the classic games that we loved as kids have been forgotten in the ‘new game a day culture. Recoculous games seek to help remind us of our past with Crazier 8’s, a crazy 8’s card game with a classical literature twist.

I am grading both of the games currently in the series. They are Shahrzad and One Thousand & One Nights. The stories of each game comes from the Arabian classics, which is something that we often forget in our western literature. While the game is played like Crazy Eights, each card is a story and a choice. Should I discard the card to lower my hand size, or play the story to enhance my abilities? This really ties the story to the game and earns both games a 7.5 out of 10 on the story.

Pictures Add Dimension

The artwork on the cards is well done. It has the desert classic feel that would really draw you into the game. When looking at the two games for art, I have to give the edge to One Thousand & One Nights (OTON). The artwork in that game has more of the desert feel than the artwork for Shahrzad, which is also very good, but edged out by the ruddy feeling of OTON. This splits the scores of the games. OTON has 7 out of 10, while Shah has a score of 5.5 out of 10.

The mechanics of the game are an amazing fusion of classic gaming and modern gaming. The crazy 8’s element is fantastic, as you would expect with a game that has been around for almost 100 years. However, the addition of card text and abilities really makes the game dynamic. The cards play well together, and allow the play more latitude, than they would with a classic game of Crazy Eights. Both decks are tied on the mechanics, earning each game a strong 5.5 out of 10.

52 is the Strategy

Strategy for card games is always a difficult thing. You can only do so many things with a deck of 52 cards. Recoculous made the best of this difficulty with Crazier Eights. Both games have the ability to play defensively or offensively. There is a limited engine building element, but it is not a high point of the game. The cards in Shah seem to have a little more combo potential than OTON. As a result, in this category, Shah earns a score of 6 out of 10, while OTON earns a 5.5.

A New and Fun Take on an Old Classic

Is this game novel? Crazy Eights has been around for 100 years, and this is the first company I have seen break it down like this. So, yes, this game is novel. Building new elements into a classic game is one of the best ways to expand the field. Since Crazy Eights is PD, most people ignore it. We need to thank Recoculous for taking the time and effort to make this fun little game. It earns a novelty score of 6 out of 10, for each game.

So how do these games match up against each other? Shah has earned a 30.5, setting a very good score for a card game. OTON is also good, edging out its progeny, with a score of 31.5 out of 50. Both games are fun, fast card games that take up very little space. They are great games to play with the family, and even take along on travel. They are definitely games to be added to any game collection.

Christopher W Smithmyer
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