It is a laid back, small press your luck and enjoy your company type of game.
Publisher: CSE Games
Designer: Odd Hackwelder
Artist: Odd Hackwelder
Game Type: Hand Management, Set Collection
Initial Year of Release: 2015
Age Range: 8+
Expected Playtime: 20
Number of Players: 3-5
Theme and What is it?
Ten Down is a point scoring game dependent on the series of runs you get in a game. It is a modern game of sequence and set collecting with a classic feel like Gin. It is a press your luck, in a not so stressful way, in order to earn more points.
Each player begins the game with 10 cards. The player closest to the birthday 10/10 goes first. The object of the game and the way to score is to complete a full series of cards that are numbered one to ten. This is done through “draw one, discard one” mechanics. You have two ways to draw: a draw deck that is face down where you draw blindly, or from draw piles where a card is face up. Once your series is complete, you may lay down and declare “10 Down!” You will receive 1 token for completing a 1-10 series; however, you can score additional tokens based on color runs in your series. If you create a color set, in order, of three or more cards (4, 5, 6 green) you receive additional tokens. The first player to collect ten tokens wins. You can press your luck and gather a series of ten all in the same color and receive ten tokens to win the game.
I am a fan of simple, fast paced games. I enjoyed this game a lot. It was easy to understand and you are able to just jump in and play. When introduced to new players, they picked up on it fast. We were able to get multiple games in one sitting. There is a lot of variety to the game as well as a small press your luck too. Do you lay down quickly when you get 10 in a row or do you try to collect more of just one color for more points? It is faster paced, you can have small talk while playing, and the points can change at any time during the game. You really never know who is going to win.
Game Build Quality
Ten Down is mostly cards. They aren’t very thick and after being played multiple times the cards are starting to bend a little. You move through the cards quickly and use a lot during a game, so they will get wear and tear. There are also point tokens that are super thick and sturdy. If you take care of the cards, whether sleeving them or just being extra careful, the game should last you a long time.
There isn’t much artistic direction with the game. It is colors and numbers. I do like that in the background of the colored cards there is some form of an arrow. They tried to add a little detail to a simple game. The colors are more subtle than vibrant and they look like they all go together. There is no clashing in colors. It’s simple yet calming.
How far are you willing to go? The more of one color you have the higher you will get in points. Do you continue to collect the same color and try to earn more points, or will an opponent lay 10 down before you and get points first? It is so tempting to see that 7 out of the 10 cards in your hand are the same color. There is that want to keep collecting cards…just one more card! It’s fun to take that risk and to press your luck. You never know who else is collecting colors, or even worse, who might be collecting the same color as you!
Age Range & Weight
10 Down is a 3 to 5 player game for ages 8 and older. I think this is a good age to start this game. I think younger kids may grasp the concept of counting to ten and be able to play, but trying to earn more in points may not make sense to them.
Ten Down is a quick and easy to game to learn. I found it very satisfying to play. Especially if you can accomplish gathering your ten cards all of one color, or close to it. I like that there are different variants of play, whether you play single player, team mode or color mission mode. It gives you many different options. It is a laid back, small press your luck and enjoy your company type of game.