Release Date: 2015
Publisher: White Goblin Games
Designer: Chislaine Van Den Bulk
Player Count/Age/ Playing Time: 3-8 Players, ages 8+ 20 Minutes
What I liked:
- Simple rules
- Fun for Kid
- Great Card Quality
What I Disliked:
- Can be fiddly since you use both hands during the game
- Not as exciting with lower player counts
- Great for developing hand-eye coordination
- Would Appeal to fans of Happy Salmon
Palette cleansing filler game that lets your hands do the talking. Entertaining game but not one to play all the time.
About the Game:
Hands is a dexterity racing game where players mimic cards in their hand and try to match other players mimicking the same card in order to score points. Players are trying to score the most points as they race through a deck of cards containing hand gestures. When the deck runs out, the player with the most points is the winner.
Overview of Gameplay:
Take the deck of 90 cards and shuffle the cards well. Within the deck there
are 2-4 copies of each hand symbol using one hand and 12 unique cards that
have 2 -handed symbols. Depending on the number of players deal out a starting
hand of cards, between 3-5 cards. Place the rest of the deck face down in
the center of the table.
At the beginning of the game, one player counts down from 5 and then shouts “Hands Up!” to start the game. Everyone is going to be playing simultaneously so there is no turn order. Players will start mimicking one of the cards in their hand and be looking for other players mimicking the same symbol. Do not reveal your cards to your opponents.
It does not matter what hand you use to make the symbols. If 2 players mimic the same cards and match up with each other, then each player adds that card in front of them in a stack as a victory point. If more than one other player mimics the same card, the first 2 that match up claim the points. If no other player mimics the card you selected, then choose another cards in your hand to mimic. If a player has 2 cards with the same symbol in their hand, they may show it to the other players who can take it into their hand and then try to make a match with it. As matches are being made, draw cards from the deck in the center of the table to refill your hand back to the size it was at the beginning of the game. Players are allowed to exchange cards with the draw deck by discarding cards to the bottom of the draw pile and refilling their hands.
There are some cards that are yellow that require 2 hands to make.
When a player makes a 2-handed symbol, all the other players must imitate that symbol. The last person to mimic the 2-handed symbol takes that yellow card which is a -1 point penalty card for end of game scoring. Play continues until the deck is depleted, add up points to determine the winner.
I found Hands to be more fun for the kids to play, however Hands makes a good filler game for families to enjoy. It can be fiddly since you are shifting cards around, racing to make symbols and looking for matches with other players, but there is excitement as the game is being played. Fans of dexterity games like Happy Salmon will find this along the same vein and should like this one as well. I see this making a good activity game for kids at schools, and it is good for developing hand-eye coordination as well as enhancing perception skills as players are looking around at other players trying to find a match. The component quality is excellent and the game takes up little space in a cute little tin.