I first saw Blank at PAX Unplugged 2017 while checking out Untold at The Creativity Hub’s booth. Blank is a card game filled with possibilities. While the basic mechanics of the game are simple, players will be adding new rules and new cards to the game the more they play it. There’s pretty much no limits to what players can create.
Playing a game of Blank is easy. First, make sure the Rule Cards and Game Cards are separated into their own decks and shuffle each one. Flip 3 Rule Cards overs to determine what extra rules will be in play for the game. When you first start playing many of these will be blank, thus no extra rule will be added. Each player then gets a hand of 7 Game Cards and 1 card is flipped over from the Game Deck to form a discard pile. The youngest player goes first.
On a player’s turn, they play cards that match either the number or the color of the current top card on the discard pile. They can play as many of the same color or same number as they like. When cards are played any effects on the last card played are resolved, as well as any rules that may have been triggered by that card. If a player can’t play any cards they take a Penalty by drawing a card from the Game Deck and then ending their turn. There are a few other ways to earn penalties, as seen in the full rules.
Blank ends when a player has successfully emptied their hand of cards. Once that happens that player is declared the winner and may create a new Rule or Game Card of their very own to permanently alter the game. The rules provide a bit of guidance, but the sky is the limit as long as there are no “instant-win” type cards. Most cards are completely blank, but some do have some images or such to help spark a player’s creativity.
Blank comes in a sturdy box with a slide out insert that holds the decks side-by-side. Each printed Rule Card is laid out in an easy-to-understand manner while the blank ones contain everything you need to create your own rule. Game Cards are similar with easy to understand iconography to help even colorblind players distinguish between the colors. Blank Game Cards come in two different formats: completely blank and blank bottom with a printed picture on top to help spark the imagination.
On the surface, Blank is a very simple game of matching colors or numbers. Perfect for the whole family and kids of almost any age. This gradually changes over time as players add their own unique cards into the mix, creating a game that can be drastically different as new rules and items are added in. Want to add an element of dexterity in the game? How about set collection? Worker placement? Sure, go ahead. The sky is pretty much the limit as long as no card creates an instant-win scenario. The first rule I added was “If a player hasn’t brushed their teeth today they must draw 2 extra cards at the start of the game.” Guess who’s kids made sure their teeth were brushed before the next game?
Blank is awesome, but it definitely needs a creative mind to make it so. Leaving that game in its base form would not only get boring really fast but would defeat the whole purpose of it. Some families may even want to seed the initial deck with some custom cards to get the game off the ground a bit faster. It’s worth giving Blank a chance at its $15 price point.
A copy of Blank was provided free for review by The Creativity Hub.