Playroom Entertainment Games

2009 August 21
by Stupid Ranger

This year at GenCon, Dante & I played a couple of demo games with Playroom Entertainment.  And had a great time.  So here’s my recap of our game experience with the Ligretto and On the Double card games.


I love Ligretto.  It’s fast-paced and a lot of fun.  One box with allow 4 players to play the game; you can add expansions to add more players.  Each player gets a stack of cards that are numbered 1 to 10 on different colors: green, red, yellow & blue.  You deal yourself a “Ligretto” deck of 10 cards, then lay out three face-up, playable cards.  The rest you hold in your hand and flip through, three at a time.  Anytime you come across a 1 in your three face-up cards or in your hand, you move it to start a pile in the middle of the play space.  Then, anyone can add to that pile, sequentially matching the color.  So I play a Green 1, Dante or anyone else at the table could play the Green 2 on that pile.  If you play one of your three face-up cards, you replace it from the “Ligretto” deck.  The first person to run out their “Ligretto” deck wins the round.  Then, everyone counts the cards they have in their hand, multiplies them by two and subtracts that total from the number of cards they played on the piles.  The first person to 99 points wins.

The trick to Ligretto is being able to keep track of all the piles in play.  With four players, we easily had 7-10 piles on which to play, and trying to keep track of all of them is the key to winning.  So this game is great for those of us who can multitask and keep track of so many game elements all at once.  If you’re the kind of person who is most comfortable focusing only on one element at a time, this could be a frustrating game.

On the Double

On the Double is still a fast-paced card game, but it differs from Ligretto in one key element.  On the Double plays on a single discard pile, so there are few game elements to track.  The game begins by dealing the entire deck among all players.  Then, the youngest person plays their top card to create the discard pile.  Each card has a split personality: each side of the card has a color & shape combination.  So you have two different shapes and two different colors on each card.  You can play a card if you can match either the shape or color on each half of the card to the card on the top of the discard pile.  If the top card is a yellow-cross/red-diamond, you need to find a card from your hand that is: yellow and red, or cross and diamond, or yellow-square and blue-diamond, or blue-cross and red-star or anything that would allow you to match one element on each half of the card.  You still have to be quick to play your cards, otherwise, someone will play their card first.

Game Experience

Ligretto was my prefered game; I had a fun time keeping track of all the various game elements, and I won two of the three hands we played.  Dante preferred On the Double, as he could focus better on the one discard pile.  They were both very fun games, and we had a great time playing them.  Thanks to Frank who ran the demos for us.

I recommend both games, but I encourage you to consider your game-play preference and pick the one that’s best for you.  In the end, we brought home our own On the Double set, and we are looking forward to crazy amounts of fun as we introduce our friends to the game.

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