GOTW – Hanabi – Belkowitz

Hi! This past week in EDL 290T, we played two games: Hanabi and Mental Blocks. I am choosing to write about Hanabi. I really enjoyed Hanabi. Hanabi is a card game. Similar to Uno cards, the cards in Hanabi have a color and a number. And similar to Solitaire, the goal of Hanabi is for the players to work together to play the cards of each color in order of lowest to highest. Unlike any other game I know, Hanabi has a specific twist; players cannot see their own cards. In Hanabi, players hold their cards facing away from themselves. Players have to rely on hints from the other players to know which cards they should play.

Being unable to see your own cards is possibly the greatest challenge in Hanabi. Players do not know what cards they have. By using tokens, players can give other players clues that can describe the color or number of specific cards. Only one hint can be given for token, and after use, a token is no longer usable. Players quickly run out of tokens, making it more difficult to know which cards you may be holding. Tokens may be regained if a player discards a card. What is difficult about that is that you may not know which card you are discarding, and it may be a card that you need to use for the game. Not being able to see your own cards is a great challenge that certainly makes Hanabi stand out among other games.

With Hanabi, I feel that leadership is spread among the group. Players have to collaborate and work together to find the best ways to tell others which cards they should play. Individual leadership can become present in this game. Players are able to help others figure out if they should use hint tokens or discard. When someone plays a card that cannot be played, the players lose one of what could be thought of as their four collective lives. If the group makes four mistakes, the game is over. As the game progresses and more mistakes occur, it is important that players activate leadership responsibilities by better guiding others.

I would recommend this game for a group of friends. I could see this game being played at small get-togethers and parties. I think this could be a fun game where friends have to better communicate with each other. Friends could also add restrictions to this game, such as one player being unable to talk, which would make the game more challenging and more fun. I recommend this game for groups of friends, and I hope to play it with my friends.