Shipwrecked Review
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Players: 2 to 4
Playing time: 20 minutes and up, depending on the number of players

Two to four players bid against each other to earn the resources they need for survival after being shipwrecked on an islandóthings like food (coconut milk), shelter (a cave), companionship (a parrot), and water.

Players begin with an equal number of gemstones, which theyíll use to pay for resources, and a stack of six Bid cards. Game play consists of several rounds of bidding. At the start of each round, one player gets the stack of Resource cards. That player collects his or her income (Iíll explain that later) and puts a Resource card up for bid (usually by flipping over the top card on the stack). Resource cards come in four colors (one for each of the four categories: food, shelter, water, and friends). Each card also has a value (which is the amount of gemstones youíll get if you later need to sell the card back to the bank to fund your continued bidding), an income value (a number, zero through two, which signifies the amount of gemstones youíll receive at the beginning of your turnójust for owning this resource), and a point value. Players use their Bid cards to secretly bid on each Resource card, trying to determine how their opponents are playing.

Once a player has won the bid, he or she pays for the Resource, and the stack of cards is handed clockwise around the table, to the next playeróand the bidding begins again.

A player can win one of two ways: either by earning 100 points in one resource category or by earning 150 points in a combination of categories.

Shipwrecked isnít exactly a simple game to learn (thereís a reason why I didnít try to explain the bidding process in more detail), but once youíve got the six-page instruction manual figured out, itís simple (and fun) to play. Thereís plenty of strategy involved, yet the colorful, cartoonish illustrations keep the game light. While itís a game meant for adults (and teens)óitís not your typical dark, serious, grown-up strategy game. Itís definitely a game that makes you think, yet itís a casual game that doesnít require exhausting amounts of concentration. Itís one you could easily play all night.

For those (like me) who tend to shy away from intense strategy games, this is a great compromise. Itís fast-paced and fun to play. And since it takes just a short time to play (and you only need two players), itís the perfect game to set up and play with your roommate / significant other / teen when youíve got a few minutes to spare.

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