Sunday, November 23, 2008

A Little Canasta Anyone? Review

Canasta anyone? You know, I have always heard of Canasta but never played it until just recently while Brett and I went away for the weekend. See, we love games and when the Family Review Network gave me the chance to try Canasta Hand & Foot card game by Marina Games, well, I could not pass up the chance.

The game is intended for four players working in teams of two. Since there were only two of us, it required a little ingenuity on our parts but it worked out just fine. We both read over the directions several times, to make sure we both fully understood the game. Thankfully, the instructions were very detailed and quite clear. We thought it was kind of an 'UNO-meets-Poker' kind of game and eventually decided we were ready to start.

The game came with 4 decks of cards, which should give you a clue right off that this is no ordinary and simple game. Hand and Foot Canasta is called "Hand and Foot" because each player is dealt two sets of cards. One is the "hand", which is played first, and the other is the "foot", which is played when the hand has been used up. The game is designed for four rounds. When you are done with each round you tally up the scores and start the next round. The cards are marked with their point value so adding up the scores was not all that taxing. After the four rounds are completed, the team with the most points then wins.

Now, remember how I said it required a little ingenuity for the two of us to play a game designed for 4 players divided into two teams? Well, meet our imaginary teammates, George and Julie. (They had to have names or we would have gone crazy talking to ourselves!) The game went on so long that we only played the four rounds and then called it quits. The first round was hysterical. We were still trying to figure out the game and who did what when so we had to keep stopping and rereading the directions. Eventually we figured it out and Brett and 'George' won the first round.

The second round was much smoother and lots of fun. We began to develop a little skill and made better choices as to what we laid down when. That round went to the girls - ha!

The third round was a little slow and somewhat tedious. It was then that we discovered just how long one little game of Canasta could go on! Eventually though, Julie and I won.

We decided to go ahead and play the forth and final round to to finish out the game - that and Brett did not want to be the loser! :) This round was probably the most fun of all since we were getting tired and were both getting silly. While Brett and George one the round, we opted not to add up the points because we were happy just having played the game together and isn't that the point of games after all (Please say yes because that is what we are trying to pound into our eldest daughter's head!).

We will most certainly play Canasta Hand & Foot game by Marina Games again - maybe during our annual New Year's Games. We did agree that this is much too complex a game to introduce to our daughter at ages almost 5 and 7. Guess that's why the recommended ages are for people 8 and up, huh?:)

So What Do I Say?
The cards come in a nice sturdy box which fits all four decks of cards perfectly as well as the instructions. It is small enough that it is perfect for trips like ours where luggage space is minimal. Just make sure you have plenty of room and lots of time.:)

I would absolutely tell card game lovers to consider buying Marina Games' Hand and Foot Canasta. As I said before, it is not a game to immediately jump right into and start playing - directions and rules are required. Once you do have it figured out thought, it is plenty of fun. You can practice math skills with it so it is ideal for older kids too, just l;eave the small ones under 8 out of it.

Canasta Hand & Foot is available for purchase via Marina Games or direct from Amazon for about $9.99.

Thanks to Family Review Network and Marina Games for making this review possible!


Because It's Christmas began Nov. 10th on my blog, 3 P's in a Pod and you won't want to miss a minute!

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