Rowboat

  • Manufacturer: Moosetache Games
  • Year: 2010
  • Players: 2 – 4
  • Time: 60 minutes
  • Ages: 13 and up

Ah, summer’s over here in eastern Ohio. The temperature has been in the sixties and low seventies for a while now. I love autumn, but I kinda miss summer too.

However, this winter when I’m longing for the beach, for warm weather, I can at least pull out Rowboat, a very pretty trick-taking card game. These are some of the “face” cards, but there are also the standard 2-10 of the four suits, shells, waves, oars and maps.

Isn’t the nautical theme beautifully done? The game play itself is reminiscent of several other card games, but put together in a unique way. The dealer lays cards out on the table face up until all four suits are showing. This is called the Tide. The number of the cards varies each game. Each card in the deal represents a round and is the card that controls trump for that round. The dealer deals each player the same number of cards that are in the Tide. Then, you predict how many rounds you will win. You navigate your way through the Tide with the cards in your hand. Make your bid and score points. Fall short and lose points.

David and I picked this up at Origins at the end of June but didn’t get around to playing it until last weekend. I’m not sure why we didn’t open it sooner. It’s a nice game, easy to learn especially if you know spades or euchre, but the strategy can be complicated. I personally find it difficult to predict how many rounds I’ll win, just because they’re are so many variables. And there are three special cards that can be played once per game. The Moon controls how many cards are in the Tide, the Rowboat beats every other card and the Lighthouse lets you see your players hand. I do love how they stuck with the theme.

With just the two of us playing it was enjoyable. It’s a nice relaxing card game, and it plays 2-4 which is a reasonable number. I can see people like us who enjoy card games, but don’t often play the old standards finding it a nice change of pace.  And it’s easy to stuff in a bag to take with me to the lake or a friend’s house.

We received our copy from the manufacturer and the above is my honest opinion. I am an Amazon and Funagain Games associate.