Oddball: Review

Math lovers rejoice, a math game is here for you! Those who fear the mighty calculator might want to run away from this math-influenced card game, Oddball.

About the Game

Oddball is actually two games in one box, Oddball In, and Oddball Out. They play 2-6 and 2-5 player respectively,  and last about ten to fifteen minutes each. Both games use the same components, but play differently.

Oddball In is a game in which players are trying to be, well, the oddball: the player whose card results are most unique compared to the other results. Players are dealt two numerical cards from a numerical deck, and one card from a deck known as a Directional card deck, containing either a math symbol (+,-,x,/), WILD cards, or ODDBALL cards. WILD cards may be used as any symbol for the player who drew it, or to change the type of symbol for all players, IE all players play as though they have minus directional cards. There’s also a VARIABLE card that is in the numerical deck – this can be any number the player chooses.

Players keep their directional card secret while their numerical cards stay face up. Players then use the two numerical cards and directional card to create a result that is an integer. For example, if I have a “5” and a “7” card face up, and a “+” Directional card, my result is 12. If a player wants to, she may swap a numerical card for a new one from a shuffled numerical card deck. After players have their results, they will write their result down in secret, and then reveal simultaneously. The order of winning is as follows:
1. If a player has an ODDBALL card in their hand, they win immediately upon drawing the card. Otherwise, the player who is holding a WILD card and also has an “ODDLUCK 13” card in front of them wins.
2. If no one, the player whose result is the only odd number revealed.
3. If none, the only even number.
4. If none, the result that is the greatest outlier of all results. IE a “3” result would stand out in a game that had the results 22, 29, and 34.

Oddball Out plays much differently. Oddball Out plays with both decks shuffled together, and seven cards dealt to each player. Players will attempt to use the cards in their hand to create equations. The first player to empty their hand by creating equations will win. On a player’s turn she can either build an equation, attack an opponent with a #13 card, which forces an opponent to draw cards equal to their hand on their turn and they are not allowed to play cards on their turn, or she can draw a card. There are some other rules as well regarding specific cards like WILD cards and ODDBALL cards.

Final Thoughts

Mechanics

Oddball In and Out are both easy games to play. The basics are really close to being take-that. The games are described as being similar to Blackjack when playing Oddball In, and a combination of Uno, Crazy 8s, and Dominoes for Oddball Out. There is a lot of math in either game, as that is the game’s focus. Oddball In is quick. Like, the game takes 2 minutes to play. I’m not sure if it’s supposed to be played in multiple rounds, but I would think someone would want to play multiple rounds if they enjoy Oddball In. Oddball Out does not play as quickly. It is difficult sometimes to establish an equation so you choose to draw cards. You have to know your math, however, because players have a hand limit in Oddball Out.

Rules

The rules were OK. I was sent a review copy of the game which included a review copy of the rules. There are a lot of “notes” to the rules, which really should just be…Rules, if that makes sense.

Art

I do not like this game’s art. It uses emojis. I think emojis are very unattractive, do not help a game at all, and because of the use of emojis, I can see why it is recommended for children learning mathematics.

Product Quality

As mentioned previous, I was sent a review copy of the game with no proper rulebook, so I cannot truly evaluate the product quality as I don’t have a final copy. However, I do know that the game is able to purchased through The Game Crafter, and TGC always puts out good quality products.

Is It Fun?

As an adult, not really. Unless you love math, I don’t think you’ll get too much enjoyment out of this game. However if you have children, they may really enjoy this game, especially as a way to practice homework, or a way for teachers to incorporate gaming into their lesson plans. I really do wish they had invested in artwork though. I just…Don’t like emojis.

You can find more information about Oddball at The Game Crafter page for the game.

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