Knock Knock...Who's there? No, not that game.
|Knock Knock (2018)|
|Designer(s)||Matthew Wyatt||Artist(s)||Christopher Levin||Publisher||
Trinity Craft Games
No, this game has nothing to do with Knock Knock jokes or even doors; Knock Knock is actually referring to an action you will need to take during the game. Knock Knock is a simple card game where players will take turns playing cards from their hands while racing to be the first to discard their last card. However, it won't be easy with the other players can toss out cards forcing you to draw new cards or even skip your turn. If this sounds familiar, it is no surprise. This game appears to be creating a unique twist on the classic game Uno, but it is adding in some new special action cards and requires all players to be constantly paying attention as some card require specific actions to be performed if you want to avoid drawing more card.
Box and Components
The game is primarily a card game and comes in a card box roughly twice the size of a standard card box. The box art is pretty simple and clean; there isn't much on the box to hint at what the game is like inside beyond the description on the game. The rules are on a single standard size piece of paper that is glossy and double sided. The rules are cleanly written and very easy to follow; one side covers the game play basics leaving the opposite side for a description of the special cards.
There are 104 cards; 100 of the cards will make up the games main deck while the remaining 4 cards are player references. The cards are all color blind friendly and very simple to read overall; the cards have a nice smooth feel and are about the same thickness of basic playing cards (maybe one step above in thickness). The box lists the contents to have 108, but I am assuming that is a typo as my copy only had 104 cards.
The 100 cards in the deck are comprised of 4 wild cards, 24 Orange Square, 24 Purple Circle, 24 Green Star, and 24 Blue Triangle. The Colored shape cards all consist of the same card break down of cards:
- x2 1-7 cards (14 cards)
- x2 U-Turn
- x2 Skip
- x2 Take 1
- x1 Swap
- x1 Mimic
- x1 Mute
- x1 Slap
The special cards are all just symbols on the cards, and the player references put into words what the cards are and brief note about a few of the abilities. We will go over what these cards mean and how they are used in the Mechanics section.
Anyone familar with the game Uno will find this game pretty simple to learn as it feels like a twist on that game. The goal of this game is to clear out your hand before your opponents.
Setup is very simple.
If this is your first game of the day, whoever shouts they are first goes first; otherwise, whoever won the last game will go first. You can also decide first player by any other means as well. The player to the right of the First player is the dealer. The dealer shuffles the deck of cards and deal 7 cards to each player, and split the remaining cards into 2 decks. Players may look and reorganize their hands, and once everyone shows they are ready by placing their hand of the table, the dealer flip over a card from one of the decks to start the discard pile in between the two decks.
On a player's turn, they will either:
- Play a card from their hand on top of the discard pile that either matches the color/shape of the card and/or is the same value (discard card is Orange #1, you can play any Orange card regardless of the value or #1 card of any color).
- Perform the ability of the card, if there is one.
- If you don't have a card to play or do not wish to play on, you can draw a card from EITHER draw pile. If the card drawn is a valid card that can be played on the discard pile, you may immediately play it. Otherwise, draw it into your hand and end your turn.
At any time a card matches a card in ANY players hand (same Suit and Value), that player can Cut In by quickly placing that card from their hand on top of that card in the discard pile before it is buried by another card. This basically switches it to their turn and ends their turn as well making it the player next to thems turn (depending on the current direction of play); this means players can be skipped on that turn because someone beyond them in the turn sequence cut in. Anyone can do this at anytime they have the card that meets this condition.
Once a player is down to exactly one card, they must knock on the table twice before another player is able to knock twice. Basically, if you have played Uno, this is essentially the same as having to shout Uno before another player is able to play a card after you. If you are caught, you must draw one card from either deck.
I won't go into about each card's ability, but they are all very straight forward.
- U-Turn - Reverses the current direction of play (clockwise vs counter-clockwise).
- Skip (Defendable) - Skips the next person's turn.
- Take 1 (Defendable) - Forces the next player to draw 1 card and their turn is skipped.
- Swap (Optional) - May select to swap hands with another player.
- Slap - All players must slap the table; last player must draw 1 card.
- Mimic - Similar to Slap, the player will perform one of three hand/facial motions, and the other players must mimic it quickly. The last player must draw 1 card.
- Mute - All players must immediately stop making noise. The next player to make a sound must draw 1 card. If everyone is able to remain silent until that player's next card play.
- Wild - The player gets to select which suit the wild is and the next card played must be of that suit.
Skip and Take 1 cards are defendable if the target player is able to play the same type of card (suit isn't important); once defended, the effects of those card target the next person in line, who may also defend if they can. This will continue until a player's turn has been skipped or a player has drawn 1 (or more) cards. It becomes the players turn who is after the final target of these cards.
The first player to empty their hand wins the game!
The designer told us there are plans to release a new version of this game that will retain much of the game play, but it will have new art work while retaining the color blind friendliness. If we get a chance to see that version, I will update this article with pictures from that version.
There is also a junior version of the game. While I haven't looked into this version, doing a quick look over the cards, it appears they have modified the mimic card by creating individual cards for the nose, ear, moose antlers, and maybe other facial expressions to make it easier for children. Additionally, it looks like they reduced the number of suits down to three and removed a few of the special ability cards that are more complicated. I also assume they likely reduced the number of number cards to be 1-5 instead of 1-7. This is all purely based on looking at a few pictures of the Junior version on their website so I can't say for sure what the exact changes are, but I assume they are all changes to simplify the game for a younger audience.
This is a great game for people who enjoy simple and straight forward games like Uno. While it is not creating a new set of game mechanics, it is creating a twist on a well known game and is perfert for those wanting more of that style game play while getting to experience some new special abilities. This version along with the Junior version are also more approachable by younger audiences. The quality of the game is very good, and the rules are very straight forward. It is easily a game that can be played multiple times in a short period of time or as a quick filler in between other games. The small size means it can easily find a space in most game night bags. Check out their product page if this sounds like a game you may like and keep an eye on the next revision that will have the new art included.
We received the product in order to write an honest review; all reviews reflect the honest opinions of the writer.