The mechanics in The Suits are pretty unique –kind of a twist off of the “I-cut-you-choose” mechanism. It’s an abstract style game that reminds me of games like War and Poker.
Jeremiah & Kara
Publisher: Hornet Games
Designer: Krzysztof Matusik
Artist: Krzysztof Matusik
Game Type: Card Game
Game Type: Cut & Choose
Initial Year of Release: 2019
Age Range: 10+
Expected Playtime: 10 min
Number of Players: 2
Theme and What is it?
You stalk down the dark city streets, pulling your fedora low over your eyes. It’s imperative no one sees your face, for fear they might recognize you. You take a sharp right into a grim alleyway and slink through the shadows until you reach a dark door with a bowtie carved into the wood. You look over your shoulders, left and right, to make sure no one is watching before you perform the secret knock. Rap rap …pause …R-rap! The bowtie slides away to reveal the suspicious eyes of the doorkeeper. “Identification,” he requests in a snooty tone. You reach into your pocket to produce your “Gentleman’s Suit” card and hold it up to the slot. The doorkeeper peers at it for a second. “Good day, sir”, he says, and the door creaks open. Quickly, you slip through the door and into the underground gentlemen’s fight club known as “The Suits.”
The Suits is an abstract 2 player card game where players compete to prove who is the most manly. They will fight, scheme, and drink inordinate amounts of coffee in their quest for a gentleman-ship.
Each player chooses a character: The lawyer, undertaker, preacher, salesman, or chef. Each character has a unique ability and a deck of cards. Players take their cards, shuffle them into a deck, and draw 5 into their hand.
On a player’s turn, they choose 3 cards and play them face-down in front of their opponent. Their opponent then flips one card face-up and the effects are applied. Some flipped cards wound the player who played it, while others wound the player who flipped it. Other cards activate special abilities or return health to the active player.
Play continues turn-by-turn until one player’s character is beaten senseless by their opponent.
The mechanics in The Suits are pretty unique –kind of a twist off of the “I-cut-you-choose” mechanism. It’s an abstract style game that reminds me of games like War and Poker games.
The look of the game didn’t really interest me, but we don’t have very many 2-player-only games, so I was excited to try this new one. The rules were very difficult to decipher, probably because they were translated from Polish. We had to read the rules three times to understand how to play, and the game ended up being really simple.
Game Build Quality
The Suits comes with 112 cards, a rulebook, and a box. The cards have a good thickness, rounded corners, and shuffle well. The box is sturdy enough, but could benefit from an insert that would keep the cards from sliding around and getting mixed while the box is in storage. I appreciate that the designer included 2 player help cards, which outline the turn sequence and detail the abilities of each of the cards. This helps gameplay to move along smoothly without having to pause to re-check the rules.
The artwork in The Suits is minimalistic – faceless caricatures, and symbols that denote the meaning of each card. The amount of orange/white/black in the box makes you feel like you should be rooting for the Bengals, but the fronts of the cards have a nice variety of vibrant colors. I wish the game had had some more variety on the backs of the cards, because when they’re all laid out it can be a little difficult to tell which cards go with which character.
There’s a feeling of excited tension that grips players while an opponent is choosing their card, a “Ha HA!” or “aww” moment when the card is revealed, and then it’s back to regular table feelings. Most of the game passes in moderate “meh”-ness. I wouldn’t be opposed trying it again, but I’m not itching to play again either.
Age Range & Weight
The recommended age is 10+, but since the game is mostly language independent, I think younger kids would be able to play with the help of an adult. The rules are difficult to figure out initially, but once players understand them out the game becomes super simple.
The Suits may not be the funnest, most exciting, or most beautiful game on the market, but I think it still has its place as a decent 2-player filler game. It wasn’t for us, but I think people who like 2-player card games like “War”, or other chance-based card games like Poker, could actually enjoy this one quite a bit.
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