Team Play is a card game that sees the players working – you guessed it – in teams. Unless you only have 3 or 5 players, in which case the game should have been called singular play. The deck is made of two suits (red and blue) numbered 1 to 8, with four of each number in each colour. Players are dealt a few cards at the start to form a hand and also get a Goal card – more of those in a moment.
The rest of the cards go face-down forming a draw pile, and the top three are revealed in a communal area. On your turn you can pick up two cards – either from the display, the top of the draw deck, or a combination.
The goal cards give your objectives. They’re all different but essentially each one asks you to collect certain cards in return for a certain amount of points. A pair of any number, for instance, would get you a solitary point upon achieving that goal, whereas trickier goals – five cards in sequence, for example – bring greater points rewards. As soon as you have the cards you can cash them in, put your goal card aside for later, and take a new goal card. Any time you take a goal card you can choose to reject it for a second goal card instead; but you don’t get to reject a second time.
At the end of your turn you can choose to pass up to two cards to your partner, who will be on the other side of the table to you (partners don’t play consecutively). So watching what Goal cards your partner has and what they’re picking up is important. Equally important is trying not to leave cards on the display your opponents are after!
Finally if you have more than six cards in your hand at the start of your turn, you must discard down to six. As soon as any team completes 8 goal cards, everybody has one more turn then the game ends – the team with the most points from their goal cards wins!
It’s the Ronseal of card games, doing exactly what it says on the tin. Ignoring the oddity of 3 and 5 players not actually playing as teams. If you like Whist but don’t feel ready for Bridge, this could be the way to go. Simple but fun.
I enjoy team games – there’s immense satisfaction in being to help out your partner, having deduced what they need without the benefit of a conversation. Team Play is fast and fun, and plays well with 4 or 6 – despite what it says on the box, this is not a game for 2, 3 or 5 players. The winning team is often a surprise too – though the game ends when one team wins 8 challenge cards, another team may hold 6 cards that score higher.
It's not heavy on the Take That, but you can get stuck with a tricky goal card and your opponents know it all too well, picking up the cards you need before your turn arrives...
There aren't a host of decisions so you shouldn't be waiting too long for your turn. Four inevitably moves a bit quicker than six.
It's not a heavy game.
Randomness guaranteed by the cards and simple rules make Team Play very accessible.