My husband and I played a nice and friendly game of Sloop last night. We had never played before and I had to read the directions a couple times to be sure we knew what we were doing. Once we played a few rounds it felt like we were pros. The game is played by trying to collect as many cards possible. A game of strategy and math, the game is fun for all ages while being a great educational family game to play with the little ones. This game is lots of fun. It has an addictive quality to it and I cannot wait to play again.
—An Angel's Kiss blog
Mike Fitzgerald and U.S. Games Systems, Inc. have come up with a very creative card game called “Sloop.” It is a numbers game based on the classic Italian card game “Casino.” Although “Casino” was generally played with a standard deck of cards, “Sloop” introduces several new twists, including special action cards. “Sloop” can be played by 2-6 players, with a recommended age of 8 years old and up.
The “Sloop” game contents include 122 colored playing cards, 10 each of numbers 1-12 plus 2 wild cards. There are also 6 colored build markers, 12 numbered build counters and a nice set of rules, including several examples that really help beginner players understand the options available on each turn.
The game begins by dealing 4 cards to each player to form their starting hand, plus placing 4 cards face up in the center of the table, called the display. The object of the game is to collect as many of the playing cards as possible, with the player holding the most playing cards in their score pile at the end of the game being declared the winner. The values shown on the playing cards make no difference at the end of the game, as the winner is the player with the most cards regardless of their face values.
The game begins with players alternating turns, with each turn providing 4 options.
First, a player can simply “capture” one or more cards from the display. This is done by adding together the values of one or more cards in the display so that they equal the value of one card in your hand. For example, if a player has a 10 in his hand, and there is a 7 and a 3 in the display, all three cards can be claimed. The collected cards, including the one in hand, are placed on the player’s score pile.
Second, a player may start a “build,” in which case one card in the player’s hand becomes the number of the “build.” Another card from the player’s hand is then added to one or more cards in the display such that the values equal the number of the “build.” If this can be done, all of the cards, including the one from the player’s hand used to complete the “build” (but not the card matching the value of the “build”) are placed in a special “build” pile in the display. A “build” marker indicates that “build” belongs to a specific player, and a numbered “build” counter is also used to show the “build” number. For example, if the display contains an 8 and a player has an 11 in their hand, along with a 3, he can take the 3, combine it with the 8 and begin a “build” of 11. The player must have that 11 in his hand or this cannot be done.
The third option is to either continue a “build” by placing one card from a player’s hand plus one or more from the display which add to the “build” value and place those cards on the special “build” pile in the display, or to simply capture the entire “build” pile by playing the card in your hand that equals the value of the “build.” In that case, all of the cards from the “build” are collected and placed in your score pile, including the one from your hand.
Lastly, if the player cannot perform any of the other 3 options, they may place a card in the display. This is the time for those “special action cards.” If a 1, 2, or 3 is placed in the display (not used for a capture or build), that player gets a special action. If a 1 is placed in the display, that player can steal one card from each player’s score pile. If a 2 is placed in the display, that player can play another card from their hand and if a 3 is placed in the display, that player can look at the next 3 cards in the draw pile, and pick one to play.
At the end of each turn, cards are taken from the draw pile to bring the display back up to at least 4 cards, and to return the player hand back to 4 cards as well. There are also 9 “supercharged” numbered playing cards, which basically require one additional card in play for each “supercharged” card placed in the display. And of course, the two wild cards can be used as any numbered card from 1-12. The game ends when all of the cards have been exhausted from the draw pile.
We played “Sloop” frequently over a week’s period, and found it to be a fast, easy to play card game. However, it can be confusing trying to remember whether you are adding cards from the display such that their sum matches a card in your hand (“capture”), or simply trying to start a “build,” by adding one or more cards from the display together with one card in your hand to get to the “build” amount.
“Sloop” might also be a nice way for younger players to practice some basic addition skills. Adults may even find themselves having to think fast, as it is easy to overlook some very simple combinations in the heat of play.
– RJ Cullen, ToysBulletin.com
There aren’t many components to this game, however the production value is top notch. The cards are all very bright and colorful with a UNO type feel to them. They are very sturdy and will be good for lots of play. The build counters and player markers are thick cardboard and are very nicely done. Overall, these are very nice as is everything here.
9 out of 10
The rules for this are small enough to fit inside the box and have lots of examples of play inside. There are explanations of how everything works. There is even a picture for setting up the game. There are rules for playing 5 or 6 players as well as 4 player rules for 2 teams. Everything is easy to read and understand. Just like the components, the production quality of the rules is just as well done.
9 out of 10
This is not a very difficult game to learn and play. Pretty much if you can play UNO, you can play this. Having never played the classic game of Casino, this was all new to me. However, I really like the ease and fun that is to be had playing this game. It doesn’t take that long to play and is easy enough that pretty much anyone that can add numbers can play it. There’s not really a lot else that can be said about this one, other than I like it and enjoyed playing it.
9 out of 10
Sloop is light card game based on the classic game of Casino. Everything here looks great and play is lots of fun. The game is fairly quick with about a 30-minute play time. It’s very simple and easy to play. Anyone that likes card games like UNO or Phase 10 should DEFINITELY love this game. Growing up with those types of games really helped me to love it. That said, I’m afraid that most hardcore board and card gamers might not like it all that much. There aren’t a lot of decisions to be made like in a Euro or war game. Still, if they grew up playing those types of games that were usually found on the shelf at Walmart, they just might like this one as much as I did. I highly recommend giving this one a try.
9 out of 10
—Jonathan Nelson, Funagain Games