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Voltage

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Voltage - Card Game

Voltage, a card game designed by Brian Yu and published by Mattel.

Photo © Erik Arneson

The Bottom Line

Voltage is a great two-player card game. The rules are simple, but players always have tough decisions to make as they compete to be the first to successfully power four terminals. Just about every game between good players will be tight to the very end. Voltage is a well-designed game, and Mattel deserves credit for being the first major U.S. game publisher to put the game designer's name on the box cover (much like an author's name is on a book cover).

Pros

  • Tense gameplay in just about every game.
  • Multiple options on every turn give players tough choices.
  • Very attractive visually.

Cons

  • Some players will find the rules too simplistic.

Description

  • For 2 players, ages 10 and up.
  • Voltage was designed by Brian Yu, published by Mattel.
  • About 20 minutes per game.
  • Comes with a game board, 4 terminal tokens, 2 score markers and a deck of 56 cards.
  • The "abandoned power plant" graphic design motif works very well for the game.

Guide Review - Voltage

Voltage starts with a board placed between the two players. Pictured on the board are four terminals: orange, green, blue and purple. At the start of the game, two terminals have positive ("+") markers; the other two have negative ("-") markers. However, some or all of these charges will change during the game.

Most cards are one of four colors (matching the terminals) and are worth 1 to 3 points. Cards can only be played on the matching terminal. When a terminal has a positive marker, players try to score as many points as possible on their side. On the other hand, when a terminal has a negative marker, players try to make their opponent score as many points as possible.

Players begin with four cards each. On a turn, you have three options: Play two cards; Play a card and then draw a card; or Draw two cards. No player may ever have more than six cards.

In addition to the number cards, there are two cards with special powers. Some of the cards have a transformer on the back; when one of these is drawn, that player must flip one of the terminal markers (e.g. from positive to negative).

When played, cards are placed either on your side of the terminal or your opponent's. When five cards have been played on a terminal, it's scored immediately. If it has a positive marker, the player with the most points moves his score marker forward. If it has a negative marker, the player with the fewest points moves his marker forward.

When one player wins four terminals, the game ends.

Voltage is a great two-player game. If you can find a copy be sure to give it a shot.

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