Review: Karma Card Game

The following is a review of the Karma Card Game, provided to me by the Amazon Vine program.

Simple enough for kids, but fun for all

A number of years ago I was introduced to the SET Card Game by a former co-worker. SET is fairly basic game that requires a deal of thinking, and is something I really enjoyed playing. So when I saw the SET name on the box for the Karma Card Game I knew I had to request a copy. Having now played a few games of it, I'm glad I did.

Karma is a pretty basic game, similar to the game Shithead, but with additional cards. Basically you and up to 5 other players take a set of cards, some of which are in front of you face down, some of which are face up, and some of which are in your hand. Each turn you either need to lay a card higher than the last card played, or pick up the stack. If you do play a card and have less than a certain number of cards, you draw a replacement card(s), with the goal to have no remaining cards.

If you've played one of the other variants you'll find the inclusion of the Karma cards to be a nice variant. These can be played against any card and have effects ranging from requiring a card below a certain value to be played, a card higher in value than the bottom card, or for someone to pick up the entire stack.

Play initially starts slow as you run through the main desk, especially since unlike other variants there's not really a good way to clear the play pile (a variant I play has a set of 4 cards in a row clear the pile). Because of this game length varied from 25 to 35 minutes.

We did generally agree that the game would be great for playing with kids, although the number of cards you need to manage when you pick up a large play pile can be a bit overwhelming. Since there's nothing more than a small stack of cards required, it's also very portable (I played a couple games waiting for food at a restaurant).

The price is a little unfortunate, as when I told people how much it was (list price $13, Amazon for a little over $10) they were expecting something around $7 or $8 instead, especially since this could easily fit into a smaller package. With the exception of the Karma cards, you can also play one of the standard variants with a normal pack of playing cards. The numbering these cards use, however, does seem like it would be better for younger players.

Ultimately it's still a very fun game, and is highly recommended. However, I have to give the Karma Card Game only 4 of 5 stars, since while fun, a normal pack of cards would be fine for most older players.