Rainy Day Game's Card Game Review of Balloon Cup:
Balloon Cup in Summary
The Balloon Cup card game is just plain addictive. And it's not a complex game or a great challenge, but the RDG crew ends up playing this game "just one more time" again and again. Balloon Cup is one of those games that you play for the way it makes you laugh and have fun with the other player. The rules are quick to grasp and the strategy doesn't throw up any barriers. They fade into the background and you're left with a great way to have a quick 30 minutes of fun.
Balloon Cup Gameplay
The Balloon Cup card game is simple. Like kids-can-play-it simple. There are four balloon races (numbered 1 to 4). Each race has its number's worth of wooden cubes on it. These cubes are randomly drawn and come in 5 different colours. For example, on the balloon race #3, you reach into the pouch (included) and pull out 3 cubes. Let's say two blues and one grey.
Each player starts Balloon Cup with a hand of 8 cards. Each card has a point value, and comes in one of the same five colours as the cubes. On each turn you play one card, then draw a replacement card. So in our example above, you have to play two blue cards and one grey card on that race.
Once both sides of the race have completed the required card set, the race is finished and you count up points. If it's a race over plains, the lowest point total takes the race. A mountain races goes to the highest point total. The race winner takes the cubes from the race and collects them. When they collect enough cubes of the same colour, they win that Balloon Cup. And when you've won 3 of the 5 Balloon Cups, you win the game.
That's fun, but Balloon Cup takes it another step. You can play your cards on your opponent's races as well as your own. So.. . on that plains race make sure you play your highest card against the other guy!
Who should buy Balloon Cup?
The Balloon Cup Board game will fit well into almost anyone's game closet, unless you really do only play serious strategy games. Anyone who is looking for a fun and engaging two player game: this is the one. Gamers of all ages and abilities will find Balloon Cup a great diversion.
The Manufacturer's Card Game Review of Balloon Cup:
In Balloon Cup, the players compete in several short balloon flights (hops) to collect the colored cubes associated with each hop. When a player has collected enough cubes of a given color, he earns the trophy card for that color. Players may even trade 3 otherwise useless cubes for 1 they can use. The first player to earn 3 trophy cards is the winner! Each player has a hand of eight balloon cards. The players play their balloons on mountain or plain hops. Players play their high-valued balloons on the mountains and their low-valued balloons on the plains. Players usually play their balloons on their side of the hops, but winds (and cunning) can cause them to play on their opponent’s side, a move that can ruin their opponent’s plans.
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