Three friends gather for a game of Fire-Quackers. Unfortunately, it’s also an old copy of the game, and lots of the cards have also been scribbled on. Phooey. They gather the only usable suits, as well as the 8 hint tokens:

In the box, there's also a little scrap of paper...

The Players

  • Huey thinks he should have a monopoly on his favorite color, so he won’t give any hints for “red.”
  • Dewey loves giving hints, but as a bit of a worrywart, he’ll always discard when there are fewer than two hints left to get more back -- at least until there are at most 5 cards left in the deck and playing becomes essential.
  • Louie frequently gets left and right confused when he tries to play or discard a card.

Turn order goes from oldest to youngest.

The Game

Players draw one at a time until they all have 5 cards in hand, starting with the player who goes first. As they draw, they add new cards to the left side of their hand. This convention continues any time they draw a new card.

QUACK! The game starts off with a clue for the right-most 5, a dangerous position since cards on the right get discarded first. Dewey insta-plays, thinking it’s a 1, and draws a new card to replace it, adding it to the other side of his hand. Like all misplays, the card goes into the discard and the team loses one of their three lives.

QUACK! The next player receives a clue indicating the category that would include the most cards. Following convention, he plays the left-most clued card. Success! In his excitement, Louie drops all but the left-most card. “Keep calm, Louie!” he says to himself. The cards go on the bottom of the deck in order, so that his right-most card ends up on the bottom. After thinking a bit more, he puts the remaining card on the bottom, just to be sure to avoid any fowl play.

QUACK! The youngest plays a card. The other players groan at the predictable error as he reaches for a card, but then realize the play is fine either way, so they’re safe.

QUACK! In these next two turns, everything goes swimmingly. Their score goes up by one, and the eldest ducks out for a bio break.

QUACK! A good clue that fits the bill is given. QUACK! The exact same clue is given (oops) after Huey returns with some quackers to share. On the other hand, for the rest of the game, everyone will know at least one thing about their hand.

The brooder of the family doesn't want a repeat of what happened with that green 5. Pondering his next step, he decides to hold onto the clued cards for his next three turns. Waddle he do now? QUACK! The duck who just clued him receives a clue in turn. Louie tries to discard to get another hint, but accidentally says “play” instead.

QUACK! The duck who played a card most recently receives a clue that includes his middle card. The turn after the next, the player with too many vowels in their name discards a clued card, following his own norms (alas, it was playable). But on his next turn, Huey remembers the hint he got recently! He means to play, but accidentally says “discard”.

QUACK! They’re running a bit short on time, so an ambitious hint is given. Louie realizes that the clued card is currently unplayable, and deduces something about his own hand. (This is the only time in the game he doesn’t get right and left confused, too!) With this stellar play, the brothers get two points for the price of one hint!

The player with only two colors in his hand goes, and he decides the clued cards he was holding aren't important anymore. The player who has given the most hints so far reverses his hand without noticing (silly goose!), but it doesn’t affect his clued cards, so the other players don’t bother correcting him.

QUACK! QUACK! All the unclued playable cards they see are clued (without repeating this time!) Dewey, no longer able to discard by his own rules, plays. Louie wings it and plays one of the two cards that have been hinted twice. Three strikes and they’re out!

Well, game over. Looks like the team would’ve ended the game with six points if they hadn’t blown up -- a bit unfortunate when they still had 3 cards left in the deck. These brothers really need to learn how to read each other’s minds and hands. They may be trash at this game, but maybe they can learn something from it.