Phase 10 Deluxe Review
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Players: 2-6 (ages 8+)
Playing Time: approx. 45-60 minutes+

The popular card game Phase 10 has been around for a quarter of a century—so it’s no surprise that there are all kinds of variations of the game available. In fact, anyone who entered our Phase 10 25th Anniversary Contest earlier this year can tell you that there are currently five different versions out there. Many of them offer a new twist on the game—like a new way of playing, as in Phase 10 Dice, or a change in rules, as in the Masters Edition. But some of them don’t really add much—like Phase 10 Deluxe.

In Phase 10 Deluxe, the rules are exactly the same as the original card game. Players take turns picking up cards and trying to complete phases and get rid of the cards in their hand before their opponents can do the same. (For a more detailed look at how to play the game, see my review of the original Phase 10.) With the deluxe version, the rules are the same, and the cards are the same. The main difference is in the packaging.

Phase 10 Deluxe comes in a large tin, which helps to keep all the parts in one place (a very large place, mind you, but one place just the same). Inside, in addition to the cards, you’ll also find a card tray, which will help to keep the draw pile and the discard pile neat and orderly during game play. There’s also a scorepad, to help you keep track of everyone’s score—as well as which phases each player has completed. These, of course, are definitely handy upgrades—especially the scorepad. But they’re also not essential. Unless you’re playing in a moving motor home, you probably won’t have too many problems keeping your cards in place—and, as for scoring, a plain old piece of paper usually works just fine.

If you’re a collector of all things Phase 10, the deluxe edition does offer something a little bit different. But if you just want to play the game, this version isn’t a must-have. As I’ve said before, the cards game itself is a whole lot of fun—so if you haven’t played the game before, definitely give it a try. But start with the original version. Or, if you’re interested in buying a special edition of the game, I highly recommend picking up the 25th Anniversary Edition instead.

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