Board Game Review: Hanabi

Board Game Review: Hanabi

R&R Games Inc

Ages 8+
2-5 players
30 + Minutes
COOPERATIVE

I was placing an order on Amazon that included and add-on item & needed about $10 to make up the difference in order to actually make it ship.  Searching around, I couldn’t find anything I really *needed* at the time, so I thought I’d try to find some sort of game to finally allow my other items to begin their journey to delivery.

I started aimlessly searching through highly reviewed card games, like you do, and stumbled upon a game with a 4.5 star rating right in my price range: Hanabi. Victory was mine!

Two days later Hanabi arrived, a small, sturdy box with 60 cards, 12 tokens and an instruction manual.  After reading the manual, I was intrigued & couldn’t wait to play!

The game is simple.  Hanabi is the Japanese word for Fireworks, and you are pyrotechnicians who have accidentally mixed up all of the parts of your fireworks display and now — THE SHOW MUST GO ON!  You have to work together to create the best display you possibly can despite your myriad of mistakes! The kicker is, you can’t look at your own hand!

Your teammates can give you limited information about your hand as their turn, but if you misunderstand and play the wrong firework, it can be disastrous!

The game is immensely challenging, and really makes you consider every move!  While the recommended age is 8+, this game mechanic seems to lend itself to older players.  It requires patience, reading your team-mates and figuring out how best to convey half (or less) of the picture to your fellow “fireworkers”.  Hanabi teaches simple strategy and teamwork in a somewhat high pressure environment where you don’t have access to all of the variables at play.

All in all, it is a very thought-provoking game that will help your older children learn how to draw conclusions from limited data, how to give the best clues within in a constrained framework and when to take a blind chance.  As if Hanabi‘s price-tag isn’t good enough, the manual also includes 4 variants for advanced play so once you’ve mastered the strategy of the basic game you still won’t be bored!

We HIGHLY recommend this for any family with older kids that love to work together!

Love cooperative games?  Check out our other reviews here!

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