UNO was one of my favourite card games for years – until I came across Frantic a few weeks ago. It’s based on the same set of rules as UNO, but is a lot more mischievous and full of surprises.
Frantic is a card game that sounds a lot like UNO, but comes with an additional set of rules and special event cards that make it unique. The aim of the game is to get rid of all your cards as fast as possible in every round.
125 colour cards, 20 action cards, instructions
Suitable for age:
Number of players:
2 – 8 players
30 – 90 minutes
How does Frantic work?
At the start of every round, each player gets seven cards. The rest of the cards are put in a pile in the middle of the table. The top card is placed next to the pile facing upwards and decides which colour and number the game begins with. The players take turns in playing a card and place it on top of the previous one. When it comes to playing cards, you can either play colour on colour or number on number. If you can't go, you have to pick up a card from the deck. So far, so similar to UNO. Let’s take a look at the special cards and event cards; the ones that really spice up the game.
The special cards are similar to the ones in UNO (miss a go, pick up four, etc.), but in Frantic, the player who puts down the special card gets to choose who the card is aimed at. The punishment can be aimed at one player or shared between several opponents. If you play the «Pick up four» card, for instance, you could tell player A to pick up two, player B to pick up one and player C to pick up one card. Apart from the classic cards, the following ones are part of the game:
2nd Chance: You may play another card-
Gift: You can give two of your own cards to another player-
Equality: One player needs to pick up as many cards as the person who played the card has in his hand.
Counterattack: This card protects you from a punishment and hits back at the one who played the card.
Nice Try: Once a player has been able to get rid of all cards, the Nice Try card can be played, which forces the alleged winner to pick up three cards from the deck. The game continues.
Fuck You: You can only play this card if you have exactly ten cards in your hand. As long as you have fewer than ten, you have to pick up a card in every go until you're allowed to play the Fuck You card.
Black cards – cards with a black background and a number on them – can only proceed a colour card with the same number. Every time a black card is played, an event card is triggered. Event cards are what makes the game so special: They can turn the game upside down; either in a positive or a negative way. There are 20 event cards. Here’s a selection of some of the events the trigger:
Tornado: All cards that players have in their hands are reshuffled and dealt out again.
Earthquake: All players pass their full hand of cards on to the person on the right.
Communism: All players pick up as many cards as necessary to have the same total as the player with the most cards in the hand.
The All-Seeing Eye: All players reveal their cards. Only once every player agrees to continue, the game goes on.
Finish Line: The round ends right away and every player adds up the points in their hand.
When does the game end?
The game ends as soon as the first player has no cards left. All other players add up their points and write down their score. Colour cards count as much as the number written on them; special cards count seven points and the Fuck You card counts 42 points.
Before the game, players agree on a maximum score – 137 or 154 points, for example. This is completely up to the players to decide. The higher this score they decide on, the longer the game will last. As soon as a player reaches this total score, the game is over.
My opinion of Frantic
This game is awesome! I’d only played it once and I already knew I’d discovered something special: a card game that’s hard to top. It combines the basic concept of UNO with surprising aspects and action that my adult side was missing in UNO. This card game is compact, portable, can be played anywhere and remains exciting and fun after hours and hours of playing.
Frantic (German, English)
The sneaky card game. This trendy game destroys friendships. And that's a good thing!
Hab das Spiel damals auf Kickstarter gebacked aber erst einmal gespielt. Unsere Gruppe wurde leider nicht wirklich warm damit, weils irgendwann zu nervig war, dauernd die Bedeutungen der einzelnen Symbole nachzuschlagen. Das hat den Spielfluss enorm gedämpft. :(