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Competitive Card Games Without Play Restrictions

6 replies [Last post]
Joined: 12/12/2011

I have a vision for a style of card game I'd like to develop in which players have no restrictions on the cards they can play each turn (there may be restrictions to deck building to compensate for this).
I could play my entire hand on turn 1 if I really wanted to, but that's not necessarily a good strategy.
While games like Gwent, Blue Moon, and Epic come close, in that there aren't any costs to play cards, you still have limits on how many cards you can play each turn.

Have you heard of any card games with no restrictions or limits on card play?
I'd like to see what's out there, and see how they handle this concept.

Thanks for your time!

Jay103's picture
Joined: 01/23/2018
Why is that important to your

Why is that important to your game? I mean, how does that enhance the game vs. having more normal restrictions of some sort?

Joined: 12/12/2011
I like the idea of removing

I like the idea of removing the need to meet a condition to be able to use specific cards in your hand.
Conceptually, the focus of the game would be to use the right card/s at the right time.
You'd have to make tactical decisions of when to commit playing cards vs when to hold back. This is an often sought after trait of card games with restrictions, however my hope is to develop a game in which the restrictions are removed so that the focus more centered on the choice of what to play and when.

I should also note, I don't have an entire game in mind. I'm currently looking at this specific concept, how a game might develop around this concept, and what if any games out there fit this concept.

Daggaz's picture
Joined: 12/19/2016
There are lots of games like

There are lots of games like this, but they all have the same mechanism: first player to empty his hand, wins.

Limitations on actions set the pace of the game. If you remove those limits you need a countering mechanism or the game evaporates: the aforementioned games all force the player to draw extra cards thru various means.

So yeah.. what is your design goal here? Would you also remove turns which are just more arbitrary restrictions? Not saying it can't be done,but these are fundamental rules that delineate an ordered game from chaos.

Jay103's picture
Joined: 01/23/2018
Well, there are other ways to

Well, there are other ways to restrict useful play of the cards.. if you've got "do 2 damage" and "do double damage this turn", you probably want to wait until you get a "do 5 damage" to use the 2x multiplier.

But really, you need a lot of the cards to be situational to make this work (if the win condition isn't "empty your hand" or similar).

Check out Exploding Kittens. As I recall, it has no limitations on card playing.

let-off studios
let-off studios's picture
Joined: 02/07/2011
Two Suggestions

I have two games I would recommend for you, and one that doesn't really work but is worth mentioning. Two are real-time games which eschew traditional turn-taking structure, and so may not mesh so well with what you're envisioning.

I was going to recommend Falling but since the player can only have one card in their hand, it doesn't necessarily meet your criteria. It's an old Cheapass Games title. Here's a review:

Incidentally, the game must have been re-released, since I have the version of the game shown in that video, but there's also a version out there with goblin-like creatures on it instead.

Another game that I own, play, and would definitely recommend for you would be Tessen, another real-time game. In it, players will draw cards to add to their hand (which has a size limit), and can play into different stacks in front of them in an effort to create sets that will score them points. Here's a well-done write up from BGG:

Finally, there's Phase 10, a staple with my relatives and also likely the most helpful of the recommendations I have for you. It's a typical Rummy-style game, but if you have a required set/Phase in hand (which will include a variable number of cards), then you can drop that Phase on your turn. On future turns, you can drop as many cards as you have that also meet the criteria of completed Phases. I like it a lot.

Joined: 11/12/2012
You could at an element of

You could at an element of real time where your congitive capacities become a spendadle resource

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