Billabong Boardgamers


Publisher: Winning Moves
Players: 2-5
Reviewed by Debbie Pickett
Reproduced here with kind permission from Funagain Games.

An old family card classic

You may have played Flinch with a regular deck of cards - although this is not how this edition is sold, of course. Flinch is a game dating back to the 1930s and has not changed much since. Each player is dealt ten cards in a personal stack and a five-card hand. The aim is to deplete your stack of ten cards before your opponents do the same.

You play by placing a card from your hand onto one of the stacks of cards that form in the middle of the table, provided your card is one larger than the top card of that stack (you can always play a '1' card to form a new stack). You can (and should) also play the top card on your personal stack of ten in the same way, if there is a spot for it. You keep doing this for as long as you can or wish. When you can no longer play, you put a card down onto a reserve stack in front of you (from which you can play later), and the next player goes. When you run out of cards in your hand you draw another five. It is the ordering you choose for your reserve stacks that will determine how you fare in the game, as you can hopefully plan a sequence of cards to allow you to offload one of your personal stack or stop someone else playing theirs.

The game is naturally very luck-based and it can happen that playing the top card from your personal stack of ten cards reveals another card underneath it that can be played right away. With luck, you can thus go out very quickly. The game can also stagnate, however, when everyone is waiting for one card before anyone can proceed. The 1999 Winning Moves edition of Flinch includes a number of wild cards that can replace any number and speed up the game during these slow patches.

Flinch is a fun game for families or casual gamers. It probably has too much luck for serious gamers to want to play it.

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