Phase 10: Masters Edition Review
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Players: 2-4 (ages 8+)
Playing Time: approx. 45-60 minutes


When I was in high school, my friends and I played a lot of UNO. We played it so much, in fact, that, after a while, we needed a change. So we started playing by different rules—and, suddenly, it was like playing a whole new game. The same is true of the Phase 10 Masters Edition. For those who’ve played the original version of Phase 10 over and over and over again, the new twists introduced in the Masters Edition will bring their favorite game to a whole new level.

The object of the Masters Edition is pretty much the same as the original edition: to be the first player to complete all ten phases by collecting sets, runs, or cards of the same color. But here’s where the twists come in.

  
 
Twist #1: You don’t have to complete the phases in order. At the beginning of each round, after you’ve had a chance to look at your cards, you get to choose which phase you want to try to complete. Players then race to complete the phase they’ve chosen and to get rid of the cards in their hand. If you complete your phase before an opponent gets rid of his or her cards, you’re finished with that phase for the rest of the game. If you fail to complete your phase, you’ll still have to complete it later.

Twist #2: You can save cards for later. During each round, you can choose to save one card instead of discarding it. So if you have an extra wild card that you’d like to save, for instance, you can do so. And, in later rounds, you can choose to draw from your save pile instead of the draw pile.

The twists may seem simple enough, but they turn Phase 10 into a whole new game. Play speeds up a bit—especially in the beginning—because players are racing to complete phases that, in most cases, they know they can complete. You’ll have to adjust your strategies, too. Do you want to start with the easy phases and save the harder ones for last—or do you want to challenge yourself a bit, to get the trickier phases out of the way earlier in the game?

The Phase 10 Masters Edition definitely offers a few new challenges for Phase 10 fans. You might even find it frustrating at first—because while it seems so similar to the game you’ve played so many times before, you need to play it in a very different way. But once you get used to the new twists and the new strategies, you’ll find it’s a fun new way to play an old favorite game.

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