It was finally the time to try out 3 Wishes, a game we got at Christmas but which had sat unopened since. But of course, what better time than indefinite self-isolation to crack open something new to play?
The game is simple in concept but takes focus to play well.
From a very small, curated deck of cards, one is taken off the top unseen, two are placed face-down in the middle of the play area, and each player is given three cards that are also played face-down except for one they can look at first.
There are three card categories–Super Power, Gift, and World Harmony–and each card has a point value. You want to end the game with one of each category in your hand (with one exception, mentioned below) in order to gain more points than the other players. That is accomplished through a series of rounds wherein players may do two of three possible actions in any order: Peek at one of their own cards, Shuffle their own cards and look at one, and Switch any two cards on the table.
The effect of the limited options per turn is that you will only be certain of which cards you have through enough turns of peeking at what you have, tracking what you know of yours has been switched with other cards, some luck that no one changes the cards you want that you know you’re holding, and some deduction.
When someone calls for the game to end, as anyone can do starting on the fourth round, all hands are revealed and, only for those with one Super Power, one Gift, and one World Harmony, card points are added up. If you don’t have each of those three categories in your hand, you get no points that round. There are two cards that each double a hand’s value (having both in one hand wins the round immediately), and the dreaded Time Machine card will lose you the round even if it’s among the right category trio.
It all makes for something that’s like a combination of a shell game and the old Concentration card game where several sets of paired standard playing cards are placed face-down and players take turns revealing two cards each turn in the hunt for any pairs. In 3 Wishes, you need to try to keep track of not only what you know is (face-down) in front of you, but also where cards you know you want (or don’t) are currently located, all of which is thrown for a loop when players shuffle their own hands or switch other player’s cards.
It’s fun and plays very quickly, if perhaps not as fast as their touted game time of 3-5 minutes. We’ll definitely be back for another go at it soon.
Fast Flip Pizza, first reviewed here, was fun once again. It’s interesting to see how one person’s bad few minutes during a game (tonight I was having a bizarre stint of being one number off on so much that I called) can add an unexpected, but enjoyable, dynamic to its play. You want a game to be fun to play even if you don’t win, and Fast Flip Pizza has hit that mark for all of us each time we’ve played it.