Publisher: Z-man Games / Amigo Spiele
Most gamers have heard of No Thanks! This has to be an evergreen title for Gimmler and deservedly so. I have seen No Thanks! published in various versions and languages. It is popular with almost everyone that I play with.
In No Thanks! Players must decide whether to take a card in the center of the table during their turn. Cards have numerical values ranging from 3-35 and collecting cards is bad as you want to exit the game with the fewest points. Only one card is flipped over each round and to avoid picking up any card, you need to play a chip from your hand. As each player declines to take the card and passes, the amount of chips will accumulate. This goes on until one person decides to take the card, along with the cache of chips contributed by all players. Clearly, if you run out of chips during your turn, you must take the card.
The beauty of the game comes from scoring. Cards that are sequential in order score only the lowest value. Hence a 35, 34, 33 card sequence scores only 33 points. This rule alone opens up limitless possibilities for manipulation. The easiest example being if you already own a 34 and a 35 shows up, how many chips can you milk from everyone before someone either runs out of chips or chickens out. Another scenario exists where if a card that bridges the gap comes up, say you own 35 and 33 and a 34 shows up, how long are you willing to gamble before taking the card?
The game requires some sense of chip distribution and player inclinations. It helps to know if Jack plays loose or conservatively. At the end of the game, the sum total of points on the cards minus the total number of chips is your final tally. The lowest score wins.
No Thanks! Has always been a crowd pleaser. Most folks love it and is a favorite filler. This game is a peer of Hols der Geier, 11 Nimnt and 23: All cards, no frills and loads of laughs.
Initial impressions: Good
Another word about boxes. I was thrilled and dismayed that Amigo decided to enter the US market directly with No Thanks! Thrilled because it’s a good game. But why did you have to increase box size? The original packaging was absolutely perfect. By quadrupling the box, the game is bloated. It’s really inexcusable in this age of resource depletion. Stop with the oversized boxes.