Ready for a heartless card game? You may be thinking, "What? Of course not!" But you are. You are totally ready. Because the game is Abandon All Artichokes! Abandon All Artichokes is a "deck-wrecking" game from Gamewright. It's like no other game we've ever played and we can't get enough of it.
When it was clear last spring that the kids were going to be spending school and camp days at home for the foreseeable future, I panicked and bought a trove of card games and board games. I chose Abandon All Artichokes on a whim because we have had pretty good luck with Gamewright games, it looked unusual and frankly, I thought the veggie theme was cute. (Sadly, I knew it wouldn't convince my kids to eat actual veggies.)
Note: we purchased this game ourselves; this post contains affiliate links.
About Abandon All Artichokes
Abandon All Artichokes is a unique "deck-wrecking" game. The card deck consists of artichoke cards and action cards, each featuring a different vegetable.
Players begin with a personal deck of 10 cards–all artichokes. The remaining vegetable cards make up the garden. On their turn, each player performs actions according to the hand they currently hold, attempting to "compost" their artichokes and stack their deck with non-artichokes.
Game play is fast paced; it takes about 20 minutes and is for 2-4 players. Go ahead and watch the how-to video at the bottom of this post for more detail.
Tips for Playing with Younger Kids At the Table
However, kids ages 8 and up can learn to play independently, and even younger kids could play on a team with an adult.
We did play the game for several days before we were able to make really well-informed strategic decisions, but that was part of the fun.
Why You Should Play Abandon All Artichokes
Abandon All Artichokes encourages strategic thinking. Some action cards may seem more enticing than others, but are they really? And players must decide whether is is better to compost artichokes as fast as possible, or try to collect a variety of vegetables.
As I said, our strategic approaches evolved as we continue to play the game. Learning to adjust one's thinking is essential for a lifetime of success at many endeavors!
Other unusual card games we love:
Watch how to play: