Fire ants!                                              

Game Overview: A small box, a small price ($10), and big fun!  Fire Ants! is a card game where you play as an ant and fires are breaking out throughout the ant colony.  As a fire ant, you must extinguish those fires by collecting resources from the card deck.  The fires can only be extinguished by collecting a certain number of metal cards, a certain number of plastic cards, and a certain number of water cards.  You will also find ant magic cards which can be used in place of any resource card that you need.  Each fire card that you extinguish is worth a certain value. The higher the point value on the fire cards, the more resources that are needed to extinguish that fire.  At the end of the game, if all fires were extinguished then whoever scored the most points from their fire cards win. However, the game can beat you when seven fire cards are played at the same time and no one can put out the fires.  When this happens, your entire colony has burnt to the ground.

Box Contents: The game comes in a small box that easily holds the 90 playing cards within it.  The art on the high gloss cards is outstanding.  It also includes a single rules card that explains the game play.

Clarity of Rules: Everything is explained on the rule card and once you have read it, it should be very clear what is expected during the game play.

Game Play:  At the start of the game, each player is dealt three cards and a five point double sided fire card is placed in the middle of the table.  This fire will not be extinguished for a few rounds with players drawing a single card.  You will need a total of 11 resources (2 metal, 4 plastic, and 5 waters) to capture this card and to put out this fire.  While players are drawing cards to get that five point boost to their score, other fire cards may be drawn.  When this occurs they are placed down onto the table.  There are  two five point fire cards,  two four point fire cards, three three point fire cards, four two point fire cards, and five one point fire cards.  If at any point, seven fire cards are placed onto the table, one of the players must put out a single fire without drawing any additional cards.  If no one can, the game is over and the colony has burnt down and everyone loses.  If you are able to get through the entire deck, then you know someone will win.  You will need to reshuffle the cards and then it is a race to get the remaining cards to determine the overall winner.  The first time we played, we made it through all of the cards and I wondered if it would always be like this.  However, the next two games saw seven fire cards hit the table and no one was able to extinguish them--game over.

Replay Ability: It is a fun little game that you can easily take on the go and not knowing what cards are going to be dealt to you, you have a high level of replay ability.  We played both two player games and four player games.  The four player game is much more challenging as more players are going for the same fire cards and the game has a greater chance of ending early as the resources are spread out across more people.

Appropriate Audience:   The box says 7+, which we think is appropriate. Our boys are 11 and 13 and they enjoy this game, so it isn't too simple where they become bored with it.

What We Liked/Didn't Like: Overall, we enjoy this as a family game.  There is just enough strategy that comes into play that we have kept coming back for more. Do you sit on your resource cards and try and get the higher fire level card or do you go down the path of getting the one and two point fire cards that everyone else is ignoring?  Also, when there are seven fire cards on the table do you take the risk of not playing when you have enough resources to extinguish a single fire because it will mess up what you are going after and hope someone else does to prevent everyone from losing?  Choice...choices. 

Add-ons/Other Releases:  n/a

  * A review copy was provided to us.