Gnomi: A Simple Card game to Take on the Go

 Game: Gnomi Players: 2- 6
 Publisher: Poppy Jasper Games  Time: 15 minutes
 Age: 12+  Replayability: 8/10

gnomi poppy jasper

Gnomi: A Simple Card game to Take on the Go

Poppy Jasper Games is the same team that brought us Lost Woods. Lost Woods is an adventure through a modular board building forest as you fight monsters, collect gold, and escape alive. Popper Jasper brings to us a completely different genre and experience in the smaller shape and size (and I have to give credit to a team that can successfully tackle different genres). Gnomi is a card game that can be played anywhere and by anyone. This is a game racing to be the last player with active cards as each turn will at the very least exhaust a card from your hand. Play gnomes, activate mushrooms, and when your opponent isn’t looking, secretly rotate their active cards to the exhausted side in order to win (kidding about one of those). Each player will begin with three gnomes and four mushrooms facing them in their hand. Each turn you will either activate a mushroom to take a mushroom of the same color, activate two mushrooms to receive any color mushroom, play a gnomes action, or exhaust a card to skip a turn. Each use of a card will exhaust the action flipping it upside down (there is a symbol noted on both side of the card to signify it’s current state). The last player to have active cards in their hand wins!

My Experience

I played Gnomi with three players and then again with two players. I will be going over my two player experience because it was my most recent game. I started off the game with a couple of flavorful cards including a reveal two, take one card and an ignore action  card. Now, in order to maintain a lead, I wanted to have the upper hand over my opponent by identifying as many of his cards as I could. I used the reveal two card to see that he had two white mushrooms. I flipped upside down my gnome card and my opponent began her turn. She decided to exhaust both white mushrooms forcing me to give her one of my mushrooms–great move. Well, at least it was until I gave her a purple mushrooms knowing that I had another purple mushroom in my hand. I revealed the purple mushroom, exhausted it, and received my purple mushroom back. She used Dirk, the gnome that forces me to give her both an orange and a purple mushroom, if available (fortunately, I did not have any orange mushrooms to give her). This continued until I was left with no more moves, my opponent had a gnome that forced asleep one of my gnomes and I used a gnome incorrectly giving her a huge lead over me.

Final Thoughts

Gnomi is a fantastic little card game for all ages. It is easy to learn, accessible to play, and over within minutes. I am a fan of Poppy Jasper Games artwork from their game Lost Woods and was pleased to see that Gnomi does not disappoint. It is directly interactive throughout the game being a great race until the end, and with the addition of more players adds a heavier element of fear. This card game is replayable because of how quick it plays and how simple the mechanics are to learn. The strategy of managing your actions between gnomes and mushrooms in order to be the last player standing is great. I like how the cards have symbols on both sides of the card to signify whether they are awake or exhausted. I did find that there was one particular gnome card that seemed to press a disadvantage in two player only games because of how big of a loss a player can take from it (Gnome is named Leroy). All in all, this is an extremely solid card game that can be played on the table or on the go.

You will like this game if you’re looking for a fun quick card game that is easy to learn.

You will not like this game if you want an experience with a bit more depth.

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