Game Review – Hanabi

Hanabi

Hanabi is a cooperative card game by R&R Games Inc and is rated for 2 to 5 players, ages 8 and up and plays in about 30 minutes. The objective of the game is to put on a stunning firework show with your other players, but the catch is you cannot see your own cards! Players work together to put different colored fireworks in the correct order while employing listening and communication skills. 

Box Art for Hanabi Game

Ease of Set Up and Play

Set up for a game of Hanabi is easy peasy! Play is simple to understand but difficult to master! Players are dealt their cards but cannot look at them. Instead players see the back of their own cards and the front of everyone else’s cards. Then play begins. On a player’s turn they can give information, discard a card or play a card. The idea is that the players work together to place in cards in order 1-5 of each color. If the players play all 5 cards in order, for all colors, they are rewarded with a spectacular firework show! 

The objective of Hanabi is simple to grasp, but getting to the end is not as easy as it seems!

Replayability

After playing through Hanabi and losing twice, my family immediately asked when we could play again! I honestly expect this one to be popular in our house for a while. One family member already asked if we could buy extra copies to give to their friends! I also love that the whole game is basically a deck of cards so it will make for easy travel for road trips and camping. 

Once you master the basics of Hanabi, there is also a multicolored variant suit of cards to add for a more difficult game plan. I look forward to the day when we are prepared enough to handle those!

Artwork

The artwork on the Hanabi cards depicts a number, symbol and fireworks. One thing I appreciate is that the different colored fireworks also have different styles. This can help make the game more accessible to someone who experiences low vision and/or colorblindness participate in the game.

Enjoyment Level

Given the competitive nature of our players, I wouldn’t have expected Hanabi to be such a hit. We love games that we can master and win! I was so surprised at how much fun we had playing, even though we lost. Since our first playthrough, I’ve already been asked if we could play Hanabi again several times. 

“It gave the table an opportunity to work on a lot of strategy and skills that are needed when in combat for Dungeons and Dragons.”

Overall

I loved the teamwork and communication building skills one must use for Hanabi. It’s about figuring out what information is the most pertinent to tell your teammates and when. Without having knowledge of your own cards, you are very reliant on the rest of the team to be able to communicate clearly with you. There is also a memory recall aspect of the game because as your team is telling you about your cards, you must remember which cards are what color and number in order to pick the next card to play. I think this game is great for honing group strategy and communication skills. Even though this is a family card game, I think a lot of TTRPG players will get enjoyment out of Hanabi as well. It gives players the opportunity to work on a lot of strategy and skills that are needed when in combat for Dungeons and Dragons. I would like to play this at my next Session 0 where players are getting to know each other for the first time. At a price tag of less than $10, I hope you are able to enjoy Hanabi at your table as well!

Hanabi 1 Cards of different colors
A run of cards 1-5
Hanabi Cards of different colors

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What are your favorite games that rely communication skills? 

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