Tides of Madness
This is a smart little game in just 18 (large format) cards and three rounds of play. The nominal theme is developing a kingdom, but this doesn't really affect game play. What does affect players is madness! Playing some cards gives the player a madness token: too many of these and you've lost the game! However, having more madness at the end of a round lets you get rid of one. Players score points at the end of each round and the highest total wins.
Each round, players start with a small hand of cards and play one. The twist is that they then pass the rest of the hand to their opponent. So, after the first turn, both players know exactly which cards are in play this round. Now the fun begins: which cards can you play to score points without your opponent stopping you? Ooh, this is clever.
I'm not that keen on two-player games – I prefer the chaos provided by several players and competing goals – but this is an ingenious tactical challenge. It plays in no more than thirty minutes, which is great for filling in a gap.
It is a sequel to Tides of Time, which I also stock.
For 2 players, aged 10+, playing time 20 minutes: £10.00 (£8.33 outside the EU)