Dutch Blitz Review
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Players: 2-4
Playing Time: 30-40 minutes

Over the last few years, Dutch Blitz has become a regular part of Christmas with my husbandís family. Perhaps the fascination began because of the name of the game and the familyís Dutch descent, but the fast-paced action has made it a family favorite.

The gameís set-up is somewhat complex, but once you pick it up, itís easy to remember. Each player gets his or her own deck of 40 cards (with either a pump, a plow, a pail, or a carriage on the back). The cards are divided into four colors (red, blue, yellow, and green) and numbered 1 though 10. To set up, each player shuffles the deck and sets the first three cards face up on the table. These are called the Post Piles. The next ten cards in the playerís deck are placed on a pile, face-up, next to the Post Piles. This is called the Blitz Pile.

Game play is similar to Spit (though it goes by several other names as well), a card game that I often played in college. Once play begins, players race to build on piles of cards in the center of the tableóusing the cards from their Post and Blitz Piles, as well as the cards from the rest of their deck. One player begins with a 1 in green, for instance. After the 1 has been placed on the table, any player can build on the pile, playing a green 2, followed by a green 3 and so on. Several piles build up at once, and thereís no taking turns hereójust a frantic free-for-all. And once one player has used up all of the cards in his or her Blitz Pile, the round is over. Players keep score by adding up one point for each of the cards they played and subtracting two points for each card left in their Blitz Pile. The first player to 75 points wins.

Dutch Blitz is a high-energy game thatís simple enough for the whole family to play. Itís lively and noisyóand the longer you play, the more competitive it gets. In fact, you can fully expect to get slapped a few times during game play.

If your family tends to love fast-and-furious, highly competitive games, you wonít be disappointed by Dutch Blitz. Itís sure to become a favorite in your family as quickly as it did in mine.

It isnít likely that youíll be able to find Dutch Blitz at your local toy storeóbut fortunately itís now available online at Amazon.com. For more information, as well as a few tips for playing the game with more than four players, check out DutchBlitz.com.

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