Hanabi is a co-operative card game where you and your friends aim to put on a fantastic firework display! The word Hanabi translates in Japanese as ‘fireworks’. That’s something to impress your pals with when you teach the game. But will you impress the crowds with your fireworks, themselves?
Antoine Bauza has designed a corker of a game, here. It won the much-admired Spiel des Jahres (Family Game of the Year Award) in 2013. Hanabi is a heavyweight in this respect, sitting alongside fellow winners such as Catan, Carcassonne, Azul and Just One. Games of Hanabi are simple to teach, easy to grasp, but difficult to master!
The aim is to place sets of firework cards in order, as if you were planning a display. There are five different sets of fireworks, and each set comes numbered, 1-5. You need to place sets in numerical order, starting with the ‘1’. That’s 25 cards in total, to get the perfect score. Easier said than done… Because there’s a twist in this tale.
Players get a hand of four cards each, but they hold them back-to-front. Meaning, everyone else can see your cards, but you can’t. This results in constant asymmetric player information. On your turn, you can give a give a clue to one player, about their hand. You can either give a clue about a card’s number, or its colour (set). You only have a limited number of clues tokens to use – so don’t waste them! You can earn extra clues tokens by throwing away a card from your hand. But be careful – if you throw away a vital card, you ruin the chance of advancing that set of fireworks.
Hanabi provides addictive, collaborative gameplay. Are you up to the challenge of scoring 25/25?
Player count: 2-5 players
Time: 25 minutes