LLAMA is a card game by Reiner Knizia. The concept is so simple – you can teach it in under 30 seconds – but there’s pleasant depths to the in-game decisions. Your aim is to get rid of your hand of cards. The core concept, then, is hand management. But the thing that makes LLAMA shine is its wonderful push-your-luck element…
The deck of cards consists of a bunch of colourful cards, and they’re numbered 1-6. Others have no number, but a cheerful llama on it. The active player must play either a duplicate number onto the current card or one number higher. Llama cards can sit on 6s, and 1s can sit on llamas. If you cannot play a card, you have to pick one up from the draw deck.
The decision to make throughout LLAMA is that at any time during the round (on your turn) you can pass. This means you’ll no longer participate in this round; instead, you keep your hand of cards. The round ends once either everyone has passed, or one player has got rid of all their cards. Then everyone takes tokens, according to their final hand value. And you want to score the least amount of points in this game!
Every unique number in your final hand is worth tokens matching the said number on the card. Llama cards are worth 1 (black) token (worth 10)! If you’re able to play all your cards, you’re allowed to return one token (white or black) to the supply. Trying to empty your hand to get rid of one of those tokens is the luck-pushing factor that makes LLAMA so much fun!
Then you shuffle the cards, deal everyone another six cards and start again. Games of LLAMA end once a player ends up having tokens worth forty points (or more). At this stage, the player with the fewest points is the winner!
Player Count: 2-6 Players
Time: 20 minutes