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I Wish You a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!
This is a full-blown, four-alarm holiday emergency here. We're gonna press on, and we're gonna have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny fucking Kaye.
As my girls (soon to be 7 and 5) both enjoyed Loot quite a bit, I figured that another pirate-y themed cardgame wouldn't be a bad idea to tempt them with. So, after reading the rules and finding a copy of the game for cheap, I bought it and put it to the test.
The first thing that jumped out at me about the packaging was that the box isn't big enough to hold all the cards in one pile; the cards need to be separated into two different piles to get put away, which is an inconvenience. However, the box is fairly sturdy and I can't imagine that it will grate on me overly much in the coming times I need to use it.
After getting the cards out, I was pleasantly surprised to find that they weren't just glossy cardstock (as is the case with Loot) but that they feel - and shuffle - like a normal deck of playing cards; I won't pretend to know what the finish on them is, but they have a nice tactile feel and don't feel flimsy.
The previously mentioned rules are pretty straightforward, and after reading them twice and then brushing up on them quickly before each time we played the game went very smoothly.
Because not all cards will be dealt - even with the maximum number of players - there's a fair amount of random chance as to how effective a given player's tactics might be in a given round.
As at its core Walk the Plank is a trick taking game there's isn't a whole lot of strategy that needs to be employed, and all that's needed to keep a player in the ongoing game is a single trick taken (something I managed to avoid twice in the times I have played it, thus getting taken out of the game). I'll also say that the person that ends up as Captain has a huge sway on how the game will likely play out, and pretty much every time we played the person that started off as Captain managed to hold the position for the majority of the games.
The game does move quickly because of the lack of depth, and while I can't see this game being played over and over again in the course of a given day/evening, I will say that the speed of play can allow for a completely played game in a very short period of time.