Red7 is a quick game of constantly changing targets and survival
Total Game Play: 5 to 10 minutes
Designer(s): Carl Chudyk, Chris Cieslik
Artist(s): Alanna Cervenak
Publisher: Asmadi Games
Red7 is a game about constantly winning, or more accurately, being the slowest to lose. This is all about the last person standing and manipulating the game to keep yourself in a winning position. I love how this game has you manipulate the board state, so you are winning at the end of each of your turns. And if you’re not winning, you’re eliminated. Red7 is all about numbers and colors, whether that’s the highest number or the strongest color of the rainbow. This game is a lot of fun and keeps you on your toes.
This is a general overview to provide context for the review, not an in-depth how to play. Some rules may be glossed over or missing.
Red7 is a game for two to four players but I have found that it plays better at the higher player counts. The difficulty of the game also increases with more players because you now have to think of the winning state of everyone at the table and not just one other person.
Red7 is played by going through player turns. There are no phases or action taken outside of a players’ turn.
Each player will receive a hand of seven cards and then an additional card will be dealt out to each players’ display area. In Red7, a players’ display area is called the Palette because you are using paints to color the canvas (center discard pile). I don’t totally get the paint reference, but it sure makes the cards look pretty!
On your turn you must take one of four actions:
- Play a card face up from your hand to your palette (personal display area)
- Discard a card from your hand to the canvas (discard pile) to change the rules of the game. The new rule will correspond to the color of the card
- Do both actions above (play a card and then discard a card).
- Do nothing and lose. If your hand is empty, then you must do this.
At the end of the turn, you must be winning the game by the current rule. If you are not winning the game, do your turn again. If you cannot win, then you are out of the game and thus eliminated. Ties will be broken in two steps. Step One: check to see which player has the highest number in the cards relevant to the rule. If there is a still a tie, you go onto step two; check to see which player has the highest color relevant to the rule.
Concept: The Ranking of Colors
In Red7, some colors of the rainbow have a higher value than others. Red is the strongest colors of the rainbow while Violet is the weakest color. The game lists colors in the strength from top to bottom following the standard rainbow order: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet.
The game ends when one person hasn’t lost the game. While this game is about constantly winning, it really is about not losing. Because it doesn’t matter how many times your win, it only truly counts if you’re the last one standing.
Who Will Like it?
Red7 is a fun party game. I feel like it is a little similar to UNO but instead of trying to get rid of all your cards, you are desperately trying to hold onto them. Afterall, more cards equals more actions. And options. There are also multiple ways to increase the difficulty of the game making it a great, quick game to play for anyone.
What I Think
This game has some great ideas, I love that there is a constantly changing target that you have to either adapt to or change yourself.
What did I like?
Normally, I am not a very big fan of player elimination. Who likes to get eliminated and then continue to watch their friends play a game? Luckily, Red7 get around this by being extremely short. When the game is only five minutes long, who cares if you’re just sitting around and chatting???
I also love the constantly changing rule of the game. The choice between adapting to the current rule and creating a new one is really interesting. Adapting to the rule might be more challenging but changing the rule will cost you more cards. And your cards are a precious resource.
What didn’t I like?
I do still find the tie breaking rule confusing and a little hard to follow. I know that red is the strongest color but my rainbow get a little jumbled after that. And remembering to only count the relevant cards can also be difficult if you have one juicy card that you wish would apply (like the Red 7 for example).
Red7 is a fun game, its great for when you’re on the road and don’t want to take a big box or don’t want to intimidate other people with hundreds of components. I love the difficulty variation that help ramp up the number of choices. This is definitely a game where I can easily get into my head.
Rulebook/Learning the Game
This rule book is easy to read and very small. The biggest problem with it being so small is that I open it to the center and miss the first few pages of the rulebook. I feel like this almost shouldn’t be a rulebook but a rule page or rule cards. The reminder cards for the game are fantastic and organize the rules in a very clear manner.
This is definitely a game where experience will make you play differently. You won’t waste all of your cards immediately and constantly change the canvas and add to your pallet. I ran out of cards before some of my opponents lost half of theirs.
In subsequent plays, I tried to look for opportunities to spend the least amount of cards possible. The more I played the more I tried to only play one card on my hand. I would try to play to my palette first because keeping cards makes you more powerful. But changing the canvas to fit my cards wasn’t so bad.
Red7 is a great and quick game to play when you need to fill a few minutes or want to introduce a new and fun game to others. This tableau builder is simple to learn and fun to play. I enjoy it quite a lot, but I think I naturally incline towards longer games if I’m sitting down to play board games.
*See my rating scale Here