I had heard rumblings on the various podcasts I listen to and videos I watch about a quirky little card game called Nana. Nana, which is Japanese for seven is a hard to aquire game about making sets with a small memory element thrown in for good measure. This game has been rethemed in the UK as Trio, with a bright day-of-the-dead art style but luckily, it retains the same mechanics. Grab some friends and get ready to realize how rubbish you are at remembering basic information. Welcome to the Zatu review of Trio.
Setup in Trio is quick and easy, deal an amount of cards to each player, depending on player count and then deal the rest to a face down display in the middle of the table. Then, inform all players to arrange their hand into numerical order and you’re ready to Trio.
The Teach, The Game & God I’m Old & Can’t Remember Stuff
Trio is a deck of cards made up of three copies of each number from one to twelve. Depending On whether you’re playing standard or the spicy version, you should always play spicy BTW, you are looking to make sets of three cards with same number.
On your turn you can look at anyone’s lowest or highest card, even your own or turn over a card from the centre of the table. When you hit 2 different values or make a Trio, it’s the next person’s turn. It’s all delightfully simple. Trio is one of those games, like Skull or Cockroach poker where it seems too basic to even be a game but blossoms over repeated plays into an experience that is larger than the sum of its parts..
It’s certainly fun watching more and more information being leaked to the group about everyone’s hands and the cards in the centre of the table. The ooo’s and ahh’s of certain cards being revealed is always fascinating and creates some good table banter. Of course, when you fail to make a Trio, when you hit two different values, the revealed cards are returned to their original location, so remembering where things are is key to success.
You can win in one of two ways in both variants. In both, getting the Trio of sevens will instantly win you the game, whenever a seven is revealed, it always creates a bit of drama as everyone knows what’s at stake. Otherwise any three Trios in the standard game will win it for you. In the spicy variant, you need two ‘connected’ Trios. Connected Trios are printed on the cards and have people fighting over specific numbers more than the normal mode and in my opinion, is the only way to play. It adds no more complexity and makes it a little, well, more spicy.
Good Things, Small Package
There’s not much to Trio really, it’s just a deck of cards. These cards are however, bright, linen finished and well produced. I also appreciated how small the box was, too many times in recent memory I have had a small box card game that came in a box twice or even three times the size it needs to be. Not here though, not here.
Trio shines best with larger numbers, it plays to six and only takes fifteen minutes or so. It’s one of those games that anyone can play, even people who don’t normally play games. Not only that, they can grasp it in seconds and be good at it straight away.
The table banter, the laughs as people keep picking the same card that everyone already knows and the groans as people realize they have gifted a set to another player never gets old. It’s quick, simple and entertaining. While not being something I drag out at game nights too often, it’s great for family gatherings and introducing new players to the hobby. Plus, my kids love it as I can’t remember anything at my ripe old age.