Fun-Day Friday – ION (card and dice) Game

Today we’ll cover a game that is kind of odd, but lots of fun.  It’s both a card game, a dice game, and a dominoes game, without the dominoes: ION.

There is another card game by the same name from a different company.  That one focuses on building chemical compounds using ionic bonds.  It looks like a fun and educational game, but we don’t own that one, yet.  That will likely change, and a review will be forthcoming if it does.

This ION game contains cards that are printed with dots, much like dominoes.  A certain number of cards are dealt to each player at the beginning of the game, and a card is placed face up in the middle.  To play a card, the card being played must have the same dots as either half of the face up card.  For example, if the card on the table has 3 dots on top, and 5 on bottom, you would need a card with either 3 dots or 5 dots to play it.  This is where the similarity to dominoes ends.

There are also “Joker” and “Double Joker” cards, which act as a wildcard, and can be played at any time.  Some of the cards are “action” cards, and do different things depending on the icon.  They usually involve punishing other players by either making them draw, preventing them from playing on their next turn, or similar.  The objective is to be the first to get rid of all of your cards.

One of the action cards is called a “bomb” and should only be used in “tournament” play (where you are keeping score, not just playing to be the first to lose all cards.)  This one “explodes” a player kicking them out of the game.

One of the cards is a “challenge” card.  This one forces a roll of the yellow die.  There is a gamble involved where the person playing this card gets to pick 2 numbers, and the person being challenged gets to pick 1 out of the remaining numbers.  Rolling one of the chosen numbers results in drawing more cards.  You take turns rolling until one of you gets it.

Some of the cards actually have “punish” in the name, and those require the player being punished to roll the black die.  The number of dots on the roll determine how many cards to draw.

There is a “block” card that can block some things, but not others.  Usually this is determined by logic of who goes next, but the “gift” can’t be blocked simply “because it’s rude to decline a gift,” according to the rules.

A two player game removes all “punish previous player” and “tick tack” cards, and players are dealt 9 cards to start.  Games with three or more include all cards and players are dealt 7 cards to start.

If you like games similar to UNO, this will probably hold some appeal.  It can be fast paced, or in tournament mode, it can take a while to play.

The game hasn’t been on sale at this link since December, but in case it comes back, here’s the Amazon link.

The game website is here, in case it eventually has links to other product providers.

I hope everyone has enjoyed the game review series thus far.

Thanks for reading!