Hanabi review from Sean J!
Hanabi is a favourite here at Snakes & Lattes - one of the game's biggest fans (and also our Events/PR wizard) Sean J wrote up his thoughts on the recent nominee for Spiel des Jahres!
Hanabi is less a game and more of a shared group experience. It is cooperative and so we all have the same goal when playing. Every decision a player has to make is tensely watched by their teammates. A false move can cost the game for the entire group.
The premise of Hanabi is simple enough. We play as fireworks experts trying to put on the best display possible for our highly critical audience. We play with a deck of cards. There are five different suits with cards ranging between 1 and 5. We want to play out the cards in order in all of the different suits. So far so good? The trick is that you hold your hand facing away from you. You can see your teammates' cards, but not your own. Through clues, you help your team play the right card at the right time to advance the game.
For such simple rules it is incredible how addictive and engaging Hanabi is. Little wonder it's up for this year's Spiel des Jahres. Hanabi is a little gem of a game that has taken over the Snakes and Lattes staff in a way that few games have. Because you can 'win' Hanabi with a less than perfect score it can lead to multiple re-plays in an effort to better your score.
A perfect game is 25 points. My personal best is 24...so painfully in reach and so far away!