Board game reviews, news and commentary.
Card Attack!
Thrift Sift
Updated: Thursday, May 29, 2014
Hello, and welcome to another episode of Pair Of Dice Paradise’s Thrift Sift series, where I discuss games that I find at thrift stores and garage sales because they look interesting, bizarre, or a combination of both. Today I’ll take a look at a game that will not only entertain you, but will likely cause traumatic childhood experiences that you’ll be repressing for years to come while it does it. Join me for a flurry of fun and flying cards with a 50% chance of bodily injury as we take experience paper-pushing pandemonium in 1991’s Card Attack! on this episode of Thrift Sift!

I’ll get to Card Attack! in a minute, but first we need to do a mental exercise together in order to get you in the proper mindset necessary to really understand this game. So, let’s start out by picturing yourself as someone’s older brother. Chances are pretty good that at some point during your day, you’ll decide that tormenting your younger brother sounds like an enjoyable way to spend your afternoon. Of course, your parents will stop this behavior as soon as they become aware of it. So, you’re going to have to get inventive if you want to continuing doing things that will physically and mentally scar your little brother. You’re going to have to work at it. But don’t worry, nature will find a way. Kids are a lot more creative that you give them credit for, and you’ll be vexing your kin again in no time.

Now, let’s say that you’re my older brother, Lawrence. Lawrence is six years my senior, so I was still quite young, but I had already began to develop a love of both board and card games. My brother, found a way to incorporate this love of games when devising ways to torment this tyke. He satiated his appetite for sibling injury by introducing me to a fun little card game called 52-Card Pickup.

It took me a month and a half before I realized 52 Card Pickup wasn’t a real game. For years afterwards, the sound of shuffling cards would send me into a tailspin. I couldn’t even play deck builders like the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game without throwing up in my mouth a little bit.

Fortunately, I had managed to repress the memories of those horrifying preadolescent card flurries. But then, those mental barriers came crashing down when I discovered Card Attack!: the game that volleys playing cards at your face.

In Card Attack!, each player is dealt seven cards from the 84 card deck. The remaining cards are then loaded into the elaborate and probably not OSHA-approved card firing mechanism. Playing the game is simple. On each player’s turn, they play at least one card from their hand face up onto the discard pile, matching either the number, color or making a numeric sequence, such as three fives or a run from four to six. But beware! If your opponent plays a Terrible Ten or an Attack card, they get to point the machine at you, press the button, and blast you with flying cards.

Playing cards fly everywhere. It’s like having Gambit from the X-Men projectile vomit all over you.

The machine bombards the unfortunate player with cardboard missiles until they manage to stop the onslaught by pressing the button again. The target of your attack then ends the turn by hunting behind the furniture for all the cards that were expunged around the room, and adding any that they can actually find to their hand.

I can only assume that, back when this game was originally released, local area hospitals coincidentally saw a sudden increase in playing-card induced eye trauma in children eight and up. The game’s instruction manual doesn’t do much to convince me otherwise either. For example, the actual instructions from the rulebook encourage players to, “point the machine at the player of your choice and then push the Attack Button until it fires.”

Card Attack! is the game that makes being bullied by your older siblings fun!

Card Attack! was released by Parker Brothers in 1991. Actually, I’m pretty sure that Card Attack! was developed solely by the older of the Parker Brothers. Any game that encourages you to point loaded projectiles at your opponent’s face was definitely thought up by the older brother. That, coupled with the fact that Card Attack! is essentially just an elaborate game of 52-Card Pickup, clinches it.
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