15 February 2021
Should you rush to get this one?
The appeal in Ripple Rush is simple: guessing correctly feels good. But sadly it doesn’t really carry enough to be enjoyable as a solo activity. It’s like bingo without the monetary reward. Solitaire without the accessibility. Each round in Ripple Rush has you draw from the deck (20 cards in the case of solo play) and write the number on the card into its matching shape. A red triangle with a three on it means you need to write three in one of your empty red triangles. The rub is that you can only place numbers above smaller numbers and below larger numbers. Which does add a dash of strategy into the dump truck of luck. If you’re playing with other people then you get to write down the numbers that they can’t use but in the year 2020, such interactions aren’t always possible.
The strategy is expanded a little with the row bonuses that you get for filling out all the spaces in a row. These give you either set numbers that you can place or your choice in a certain shape and colour which can lead to the occasional dopamine bump of a combo done well. But moments like that are rare. Mostly what happens is you do alright. You have to discard a couple of cards but not enough to kick yourself over.
Bending the rules and playing with slightly more cards does make the experience a little more enjoyable but even then it’s at the low end of the scale. And the fact it uses paper score sheets instead of dry-erase boards just feels wasteful in this day and age. Especially as each game is so short that a bored security guard could go through the entire stack of sheets in just two shifts.
PLAY IT? NO
Designer: Ken Gruhl
Publisher: Stronghold Games
Time: 15 minutes
This review originally appeared in Issue 51 of Tabletop Gaming. Pick up the latest issue of the UK's fastest-growing gaming magazine in print or digital here or subscribe to make sure you never miss another issue.
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