Stripes (2019) is a sequencing and collecting card game where you create stripes of a single colour from a tangled mess of colours. You flip, draw and trade your cards in an order that creates a complete line of colour. It is about using limited actions to sort your colours, whilst disrupting the stripes of your opponents.
To start you lay out seven Stripe cards in front of each player. Each card has six horizontal coloured stripes. To begin with, these won't line up with each other. The aim is to use the available actions to manipulate the cards to create a single horizontal line of colour across all seven cards.
You take turns choosing one of the available actions. To do this you flip a card over and draw a new card to replace the first card, trade a card from a specific position with another player, shift a card up or down one stripe and (in larger groups) steal a card from the player on your right.
As you progress you realise there are a number of layers of strategy. You need to focus on your progress towards a line of colour. But you also need to see what your opponents are up to. A number of the actions let you mess with their order. Also, as each type of action can only be used once (until they are all used and things reset), you can choose to use an action simply to stop someone else from using it to their advantage.
The result is a competitive tactical game that's fun and simple to play. Although players do things that may obstruct each other, the game nicely limits this. Stealing a card from someone can only happen infrequently. Trading a card with someone gives an advantage to the other player who can place the traded card where they want, while the originating player can only trade their first card.
Our examiner, Andy Robertson
, first checked Stripes 18 months ago. It was re-examined by Jo Robertson
and updated 9 months ago.