Aren’t there already too many card games? What? No, there are never too many card games. The larger the number of card games, the larger the chances to have fun. This is an unwritten rule!
Even though we’ll dive into the details later, you have to know that Phase 10 is a game that requires strategy, concentration, and needless to say, a desire to triumph! No matter who’re you playing it with, we think the feeling of competition must be present, just like every other rummy-style card game, this is what makes it fun…
It is undoubtedly a very special one, which brings fun to every party, even if it’s played by kids to elders, that doesn’t matter. The game’s quality, including here the box and cards are to be admired, the instructions are pretty simple once you’ve played it some times, and of course, it gathers all the people together.
Now, since we decided to write a review about it means that it is unique enough. But, is it a drinking game? Can it be played by all ages? What are the cards inside it, and aren’t they pretty similar to some other games we mentioned? How many players can play at one time? How much does it cost, and is it worth it? Keep your calmness, we’re gonna explain all these in detail in the following. A good journey’s about to begin!
To give you an idea about what we’re about to tell you today, here’s the table of content:
- What are the game’s pieces of information you may want to know?;
- What’s inside the ‘Phase 10’ box?;
- Playing the game instructions;
- Showing you our experience with this game;
- Places to buy the game &‘Phase 10’ competitors;
- Let’s sum it up!
What Are The Game’s Pieces Of Information You May Want To Know?
- Phase 10 was first created in 1982. Its creator was Kenneth Johnson, and first started selling by Mattel.
- The game is recommended to be played by 2-6 players, ages 7+, and that is why I said it works for all ages!
- If we have to define the game type, Phase 10 is a rummy-style card game, which means it has to do with matching cards and stuff.
- There are 108 cards inside the box, including wild and skip cards, which make special actions of course!
- All the players compete to be the first to complete 10 varied phrases.
- To start playing, every player should be dealt 10 cards, but don’t worry, we’re gonna talk about it later.
- It has 7178 ratings on Amazon, 4.8 stars out of 5!
What’s Inside The Box?
Well, let’s not skip one step, first, we have to see how the box looks, and then we’ll open it:
To be honest, the box gives you that vibe of a card game, and that’s the point. It should express what it’s all about, and while seeing the cards, numbers, I don’t think anyone doubts that. We like the font the game name is written in and the cute blue background color too!
Right below the name, it tells shortly what game it is, and also shows some pictures of the cards, just for the buyers to create an idea, before buying it. On the bottom left corner, it tells you the age range, and the number of players that can play at a time, while in the upper right corner, it’s the logo of Mattel, the manufacturer.
Okay, the front of the box is gone, now, what’s left?
Why do they keep writing this many details on the back? Why? Do they want us to run out of breath while reading? No, just kidding, they’re all necessary. It’s like, I bet you immediately turn the box on the back right after you find a new game, and you read everything you need to know about it in there!
What we love is that it tells you all the phases you need to complete to win the game, and that’s awesome! So, during the game, if you accidentally forget the phases, you just take a look at the box, why keep everything in your brain!
It also tells you the game twist, which means that that has to be your goal if you want to be the winner. On the bottom half, there is some information about the manufacturer, the box’s barcode, and some other stuff which you don’t need to memorize, we’ll do that for you!
It’s finally the time to see what’s inside this pretty box, just as we promised. First things first, Phase 10 has 108 cards inside, including two sets of each color, meaning red, yellow, green, and blue, starting from numbers 1 to 12, 8 wild cards and 4 skip ones, so, if you use the calculator, you prove that there are 108 cards.
Just to be clear, there are two decks of cards in the game, meaning 2 groups of 54 cards wrapped together. The cards have the same size as the standard playing cards, and the quality is pretty lovely!
I know, I know, you’re dying of curiosity… We talked about them but felt different seeing the cards. Here’s how they look:
So, there’s one color for each of the numbers, and the extras: skip cards and wild ones, which are a total blast!
How Do We Play Phase 10: Is It Complicated?
Finally, we can now talk about the rules, don’t stress out, we’re gonna make it easy for you! Just to remind you real quick, you can play it with the whole family, if they’re all ages 7+. Just to be clear, if there are kids under that age, that’s fine in case they get the instructions.
The game works best if played by 2 to 6 players, and first, the dealer has to deal each of the players 10 cards, and the left pile of the cards has to stay in the center of the table. Now, let’s get to the real rules! First, take a look at the 10 phases one more time:
- 2 sets of 3;
- 1 set of 3 + 1 run of 4;
- 1 set of 4 + 1 run of 4;
- 1 run of 7;
- 1 run of 8;
- 1 run of 9;
- 2 sets of 4;
- 7 cards of one color;
- 1 set of 5 + 1 set of 2;
- 1 set of 5 + 1 set of 3.
Here is some information you may need to know about these terms:
- When a set is mentioned, it means that you have to make a group of a specific number of the same cards. For example, a set of 4, means 4 same cards collected together.
- A run, just as in Five Crowns, is a group of consecutive numbers, for example, 5,6,7,8, etc. If it asks you to make a, let’s say, run of 8, you have to make a group of 8 non-repeating cards in sequential order. The color doesn’t matter.
- A wild card is a card that can be used as any number of cards, in case you need it to complete a set or a run.
- Skip cards can be used as a card to make your opponent skip their turn, which makes you win faster!
But, how does the game flow? Well, the player left of the dealer plays first, continuing further with the other players, going clockwise. First, everyone can start by drawing a card from the deck, or the discard pile (which are cards discarded from all the players).
All of the players have to complete the phases in the order the phases are written in. So, first, everyone competes to make 2 sets of 3. When anyone can’t make anything else with their cards, they have to put one of their cards on the discard pile, which means that their turn is over.
When a player completes their phase, it means that they can start playing cards onto theirs and other players’ phases, just to get rid of the cards. Players that continue one phase, continue with the other phases. The other players that didn’t complete it, stay on the same phase until they make it.
Are there any rounds? Yes, the round ends after a player has no cards left in their hand. The other players get points for each card they have left. We’ll tell later each of the cards’ worths… Anyways, after the round has ended and all the points have been counted, the dealer deals 10 new cards to every player, so, a new round starts.
The game goes on and on, with runs, sets, until one of the players completes all 10 phases. If there’s a tie between two players, meaning that they’ve both completed the task at the same time, the player with the lowest points (based on their cards), wins the game. As we promised, this is how much every card is worth:
- Cards from 1 to 9, are worth 5 points;
- Cards from 10 to 12, are worth 10 points;
- Skip cards are worth 15 points;
- Wild cards are worth 25 points.
So, after a round ends, when a player has run out of cards, all the other players should check what cards they have left in their hand, so you count the points together. Use a paper and keep track of all the points for each round, you may need it in the end…
So, yeah, you all compete to be the first who completes all 10 phases. To do that, you should be concentrated, and why not, use a kind of strategy!
Showing Our Game Experience: How Much Did My Friends Like It? Did We Have A Tie?
Usually, when playing an all-ages card game, we create the idea that it is mostly for family time. To be honest, lots of card games that have this age range seem pretty boring to a group of adults… That’s why we wanted to prove you wrong! Jokes aside, I wanted to know if the game works well with my 18+ friends.
My funny family played it some years ago, but anyway, I wanted to prove a point! Since we had a birthday party to go to, I took the game with me. There were more than 10 people, but they didn’t believe it was a good game, so they didn’t give it a chance.
This is why I played it with 4 other people, which I think is the best number to play the game (5 players). First, as the rules asked us to, I became the dealer and dealt 10 cards to each one of us. The game was started by my best friend who was on my left, even though the game direction doesn’t matter.
I took a look at my cards and saw that I already had two sets of 3, which means that I already completed the first phase without even drawing a card. I had a set of 4s and a set of 6s. The other cards were two 11s, a 5, and another 4…
2 of the other players had completed half of the phase (1 set), which made it possible for me to play cards onto their sets. Lucky me, one of them was making 11s, and the other 5s, so I got rid of them quickly! I had another 4 left, didn’t I? Well, I added them to my 4s set! What does this mean? We finished that round!
Next, since I was the dealer (the prettiest dealer ever), I dealt 10 new cards to each of us. I was on the second phase while all my lovely friends were on the first phase yet. Let me tell you something, I was doing my best to win. I mean, If you didn’t know, I’m addicted to card games, so why not win all of them!
Just to see how concentrated all my team were to win! Huh, did they win? Well, we’ll see that later! Anyways, minutes ago, they completed phase 1, which means, I finally had competitors, didn’t I? When my turn came, I drew a card from the pile, which turned out to be a wild card (thank God), and it helped me to make one set of 3 and 1 run of 4. This is how they looked:
Perfection, isn’t it? Anyways, I was doing great until the 6th phase, which asked us to make one run of 9… How do you get 9 cards all different from each other, and besides that, they should all be consecutive! I was getting mad at the game, and my friends enjoyed it. Just to see how much they laughed with my angry face, or as they liked to call me, angry bird!
Anyways, as I mentioned, I was winning until the 6th round, and I had only 2 cards which meant only 10 points… My male best friend was taking the crown… How could he?! Okay, he came to the same phase as me, I accepted that, but, as I opened and closed my eyes, he was at the 8th phase. Making a group of 7 cards, of the same color? Nah, I don’t think he could do that. But guess what? He did! 7 cards weren’t enough for him, so. This is what he did:
Here and there, this is how the game went. It already came to a competition between only me and my bestie, the others were far away, I think at the 4th phase or something. Crazy, right? I loved our fights to win though… I also completed the 8th round some minutes ago, and we were on the same track!
Unfortunately, I had a skip card left on my hand, I guess at the fifth round, so, it was minus 15 points for me, which penalized me later… I’m happy to announce that I was the first to complete the 9th phase, but, all the war started at the final phase. Just kidding, it wasn’t a war, we loved doing that… Especially with all the blows, we gave each other every time one of us was close to winning it!!!
So, we had a tie! The two of us were this close (visualize the fingers telling you how close) to winning the game, but, who will win it? I loved seeing everyone’s confused faces, we were taking the game to a whole new level. A competition mixed with fun, and laughter, laughter from our hearts…
Since it was a tie, we had to count all the points. I had 3 number cards, and a skip, while my opponent had 4 number cards… Do the math, you’ll see that he won. That merciless bestie. Don’t worry, I took revenge… We played it again some weeks ago, and I was the winner!
The fun part was that it was his first time playing this game, while I had played it various times before, and thought I was the game queen, of course, until he became a part of this game. Yes, I loved getting beaten by him, I deserved it, sorry not sorry.
Where Can We Get ‘Phase 10’ & What Are Its Competitors?
You can’t get it anywhere. It doesn’t exist. You have to make it yourself… Calm down, just kidding, of course, it can be bought in many shops, but as always, we’ll show your our favorite & most trusted ones, we know you’ll love them:
- On Amazon, it costs $6.79;
- On Mattel, it costs $6.99;
- On Target, it costs $4.24;
- On Walmart, it costs $9.43;
- On eBay, it costs £3.60;
As you can see, it is a card game under $10, which is, of course, cheap, and fun, lots of fun… Even though the prices in the shops we listed are quite different from one another, you have more chances to choose your favorite one, and we’d recommend you buy it from a trusted shop of yours.
We answered the shops and things. We have one more left: what are ‘Phase 10’ competitors? I bet you’ve heard about all of them:
1. UNO – $6.70
If you haven’t heard of UNO, my apologies, I can’t deal with you… Okay, I will deal with you. UNO is a card game made for 2 to 10 layers, great for all ages, starting from 7. There are 108 cards inside the box, divided into 4 suits of cards and 8 special wild cards.
The point of the game is to be the first player to achieve 500 points, which can be possible after a few rounds… What we love about UNO is a large number of editions it offers, such as Harry Potter UNO, Mariokart, Emoji, Pixar, Marvel, and the rest.
2. Five Crowns – $7.57
We’re about to give you some crowns, ‘cuz you’re all queens and kings! Anyways, Five Crowns’ game style is pretty similar to Phase 10 with all the runs and sets, but obviously, there aren’t these phases. The game works great if played by 1 to 7 players, from ages 8 to adults.
In ‘Five Crowns’ you have gotta get the lowest score if you want to be the winner! This five-suited rummy-style card game is great for a family night, or even for a party with all your besties…
3. 3 Up 2 Down – $12.95
The name is making you overthink a bit, huh? 3 Up 3 Down is a card game that contains 84 cards, which are designed to be played by 2-6 players, once again, ages 7+. If you want to play it with more players, just buy another deck of cards!!!
The point of the game, simplified, is to get rid of all your cards before your opponents get rid of theirs. There are 3 colors of cards, two copies of each number from 1-10 and of Clear +1, also, there may be some special cards (eyes blink).
To make it all easier to compare these 4 together, here’s a table:
|Game||Phase 10||UNO||Five Crowns||3 Up 3 Down|
|Number of players + age||2-6, 7+||2-10, 7+||1-7, 8+||2-6, 7+|
|Point of the game||Complete all the 10 phases first.||Be the first to score 500 points||If you’re the player with the lowest points you win.||Get rid of all your cards first.|
|Amazon Ratings||4.8 out of 5 stars, 7,180 ratings||4.8 out of 5 stars, 7,842 ratings||4.9 out of 5 stars, 19,128 ratings||4.6 out of 5 stars, 4,479 ratings|
Let’s Sum It Up Together! What Are This Game’s Strongest Points?
First of all, don’t panic when you see all that stuff about the rules, it’s pretty simple once you start playing, it’s just me who likes explaining everything in detail, do not worry… So yeah, we took care of the rules, talked about my lovely experience with this game, analyzed the box together, made a shortlist of shops from where you can order ‘Phase 10’ and the list goes on, as you saw…
But, just in case you missed them, and you want all the good things listed together, here’s what we love most about this fabulous card game:
- Firstly, and most importantly, it is a total blast for all ages, including here a group of adults, it doesn’t seem too childish to them it’s pretty entertaining;
- The rules are pretty fun and simple as well, but of course, you should concentrate if that’s your first time playing. Modesty aside, I explained them wonderfully…;
- The cards’ quality and their design are to be admired. They have a normal size and can’t get destroyed that easy, even if you spill some tea on them;
- Its price is worth it, I mean, give up that classic meal at McDonald’s for once and buy the game!;
- It awakens that sense of competition within you, and of course, helps you with your strategy skills;
- ‘Phase 10’ also makes a great gift, for Christmas, Birthdays, or simply, just to make someone happy;
- It isn’t a drinking game, but anyway, if you wanna do that, it’s in your hands! The winner can make them all drink as many shots as he/she wants, or, make your own rule!;
- Last but not least, naturally, brings fun to every existing party, no matter the age, gender, or relations between the guests.
Anything else left? Well, fairly, this is it. Concentrate, make your strategy, complete all the phases and win. Just as simple as that!