Ratuki was designed by former United States Marine Captain Greg Zima, who decided it was time to follow his dream and take his next battle into the game arena. Zima teamed with fellow Marine Officers and long time friends Greg Lane and Stefan Maroudis to develop and design innovative, fun, and educational family games such as Ratuki. Having spent time away from family and friends while serving, the team wanted to create exciting games that encouraged family togetherness. With more households spending family time together during the pandemic, Ratuki is the perfect game to add to family game night. Ratuki (manufactured by USAopoly) is easy to play, fun to win and totally addictive!
Each player takes a different colored deck of cards and shuffles their cards. If playing with two players then the remaining cards are placed back into the box. Next: Each player then takes the top three cards from their deck and places them into their hand. The remaining cards are placed in a pile in front of them. Game play starts by one or both players placing a card in the middle of the table.
The number of piles that can be started is equal to the number of players in the game. For example when my daughter and I were playing we could have two piles. Each pile is started with a one card. After a pile has been started any player can play a card on the pile that is either one number higher or one number lower than the card on the top of the pile. For example a player can place either a one on top of a two or a three on top of a two. Ratuki cards are wild and can be played as any number. When you play a card you must pick up a new card from your deck as you always have to have three cards in your hand.
If you don’t have a card to play you can discard a card and pick up a new one. The discarded card is put off to the side in a pile and will count as a negative point again at the end of the game. Game play continues with players playing cards on the piles of cards until one of the piles reaches the number five. The first player who plays the fifth card yells out Ratuki. These cards then get taken and added to your score pile.
Ending the Game
When a player plays their final card, the current round ends. Each player counts up the number of cards they obtained during the round. Each card is worth one point . However, players lose one point for each card discarded or not played during the round. The next round begins. The game ends with the first player reaching 100 points.
My daughter and I played about three rounds. While Ratuki is a fun fast paced game I found the instructions very complicated and I had to watch the Youtube video explaining how to play the game. The age range of the game is seven and up, however I think that younger children may have trouble understanding the game. If you like games where you have time to plan out your moves then Ratuki is not the game for you as it certainly fast pace with all players playing at once.
One thing unique about the game and often times confusing for my daughter due to her brain injury was that numbers on the cards are displayed in numerous different ways. For example the number two could be shown by two fingers being held up, two lines, the number two on a die, or the ‘2’ symbol. Her brain had trouble connecting the image to the corresponding number.
One issue that the instructions never really address is what happens when placers are left with no more cards to pick up, but yet a card in their hand that can’t be played. This happened a few times during our game. We decided to end the game and count the card in our hand as a subtraction point.
Overall, Ratuki is a fun game that will be getting lots of play as we face a 2nd Cover lock-down. If you don’t already own a copy I recommend picking up one today via Amazon.