WARNING: Do not be alarmed, when the next review occasionally contains the word poker. Yamy is really game for families and you can play it without fear with your children. Like the great funny game Black Sheep (available Czech review only), it simply uses poker as the principle basis. But that is all.
Now let’s look at the very beginning, from which we were interrupted by this warning. Yamy is a simple card game by a French company Gigamic. Not only Hazgaard, but also other companies begin to fashion a metal box. Recently we played Forbidden Island (review), and now Yamy hides in beautiful pressed box. Game by Max Gerchambeaua builds on an earlier play, which is apparently related to: Yami.
The box is a little larger, than we are used to, when it comes to the classic card games. Reason is, taht you find a lot of cards inside and they have quite a large square dimensions. Inside the box, there lies a comfortable insert for two square stacks of cards. Next to them lies a pencil, which you will need to mark round results. These components are overlapped by rules and especially with the notebook of papers. This is the one, the players write on.
The cards in the pile have four colors, as indicated by the cover and spinning letters in its logo. On the cards, there can be found dice representation of numbers from one to the six in a simple shaded graphics. We are happy to see the repetition of values in all corners of the cards, so even if you hold more cards in your hand, you have no problem to have an overview. Given the size of cards, it is a fairly major improvement, that would otherwise be greatly missed.
At the beginning you shuffle of all square cards into one pile. Each of your opponents gets five cards to start and match can finally begin. Your goal is obviously to collect most victory points for various combinations of numbers.
Each of the players will receive one sheet of paper torn from the notebook for this purpose. It has two sections on it – left part is for ordinary combos of same numbers and right for a special combinations. You can collect one to four pieces of each value. For that, you get exactly as many points as is their value – eighteen for three sixes and eight for two fours. But this applies only to left side. On the right, you will find six units – two doubles, fullhouse or a straight.
And how does the game plays? Simply – players can make their move by drawing one random card from the deck. They can either drop it, because it does not fit into their plans, or they may keep it and discard another card instead. Players can also avoid drawing cards at random, because they can take the top card of opponent discard pile.
The last option, which is available constantly to all players, is to end the round. But it may not be the round, when they do something different. If any of your opponents really decides to lay his cards on the table, everybody else must do so too. This means, that the length of each round is different and nobody can know, when it would be over. This brings into the game an element of tension and constant need to feint.
Players are usually trying to work with, what they can get during draw at the beginning of the turn. They usually bet their chances on any number or numbers and push their luck. Often the cards do not come or there can be times, when several players are trying to collect the same numbers. You should therefore observe opponents discarded cards to eliminate the numbers, which are they seeking.
Based on the results, which will remain in your hand, you can determine on your own, which combination of cards you want to score. Then you check your scoring sheet. Any combination can be used only once per game, so it is good to first try the most difficult options, that bring many points with them.
The game is played for a total of twelve rounds. Unfortunately you have no choice, but to always count the number of crosses on the paper, when you would like to determine, which stage of game are you in. There should not be a situation, when you cannot take points for anything – you can always take points for at least one single card.
At the end of round twelve, players count their points. Only now you will notice, that the distribution of scoring sheet into two parts is justified – if you get more points than 52 on the left side, you get a bonus in the form of 40 points. This is the way, how game tries to motivate you to score not only the complex combinations, but also the same numbers. The total score achieved is the sum of the left side with a bonus and profit from the right. The player, who has collected together the most points is the winner.
Yamy uses only the numbers from one to six, from which you can arrange fullhouse or straights. It is here, that the only obvious link with poker arises. But you can see, that there is no gamble in the game, players are simply trying to collect the best combination of cards.
Of course, all that drawing of lots of cards is based on luck. But also your tactics and decisions have its value. If you know, that there has been a lot of fives in the game already, then their collection will not succeed. Here comes the counting, which many people find boring. And we also have always played our test games using intuition, instead of trying to analyze, which cards will not come.
You just need to start each round with the right decision and have a little luck. And at the end of the game, you must pay close attention, because you can try to get combination you already have. You cannot count it again and that would be a shame to waste good cards. Although some combinations can be applied twice in the game – for example, once a trio in general (on right side), and then again as a specific set of numbers (on left side).
The game has pretty, but simple appearance. Nice touch is done by the metal box. The cards themselves have a very unusual size and sharp colors. Everything is clear and the icons on paper are intuitive. Perhaps only the last one for a straight flush is not obvious at first glance.
Yamy is a game, that builds its principle in collecting random numbers from drawn cards. If you do not mind a significant luck influence on the result and like to work with risk, then this game will provide you with a sophisticated scoring system. But do not rely, that the metal box contains something special this time. It does not.
+ clearly distinctive colors
+ nice point system
+ unusual cards
+ metal box
+ twelve rounds is enough to equal luck on all sides
- bad luck can take many points from you
- game may get repetitive in time