GAME DESCRIPTION: Aquarius is 2-5 player card game, where the object is to complete a seven card link of a specific element. Each turn, a player draws a card, and plays either an element that can link with another element already on the table, or an Action Card.
LINKING: In order to play an element, you must play it in a standard grid formation (long side touching long, short side touching short) and all sides touching another card must match one of the elements on that side. You cannot move cards already in play, and all cards must line up perfectly/no skewed placement.
ACTION: There are various Action Cards you can play in place of an Element Card:
- Trade Goals: You can swap goals with any player.
- Rotate Goals: Every player passes their goal card to the next player in the order decided by the current player.
- Shuffle Hands: Gather all the cards in every players hands, shuffle them and re-deal them evenly, starting with yourself.
- Trade Hands: You can swap your hand with another players.
- Zap A Card: Take any card on the board, and add it to your hand. Your hand size increases from 3 to 4 until the next turn.
- Move A Card: Take any card on the board, and move it to another legal spot.
WINNING: Each player has a secret goal card, known only to them. The way to win is to complete your goal by legally matching 7 elements together that correspond with your goal card.
CONCLUSION: This is one of those games that feels quick and easy, but gets tricky due to luck and directly opposing strategies from other players. It's not a long game, so it's easy to get a round or two in between long campaigns, or during a quick break or some down time. In addition, the simplicity of the rules allows even youngsters to learn the game, with rule-sets added for simpler play. Now, the version I played and reviewed was the 2nd edition, which changed a couple cards from the first edition. Any differences in review or gameplay will be due to this.