Designed by Michael Schacht, published by Rio Grande Games.

This is a card game for three to five players. It is very simple indeed, and plays quite quickly. The first time I played it, my opponents immediately asked to play it again and again. It is quick, too, which is usually a good thing.

The bulk of the cards show a chameleon of a certain colour, against a background of that colour. The chameleons are irrelevant, and just decorative. There are seven colours.

Row-marker cards are placed on the table - as many as there are players. A player takes the top card from the main pack, and places it next to one of the rows. The next player may then either take that card or take a card from the face-down pack and add it to one of the rows. Simple, eh? The game is such, however, that it is almost always difficult to decide what to do.

The object is to collect as many as possible of three colours, and as few as possible of the other colours. At the end of the game, a player scores three of his colours in his favour, and then subtracts the scores for the other colours. So, imagine a player who is collecting green, red, and yellow, has a turn. He sees that one row has a blue card on it, and another has a brown. He wants neither of these, and so he takes a card from the pack. It is a red. He must place it down. Where? An empty row seems like a good idea, but his opponents are collecting blue and brown, so he may prefer to contaminate one of the other rows with his red card. He decides on this plan, and places the red card with the blue. The next player is collecting blue, but not red. Does he pick up the blue card and the red? He must take all of the cards in a row or none, so the red card will count against him at the end, but the blue will be worth more to him than the red will deduct (a set of four cards, for example, earns 10 points, not 4). He takes the red and blue card, which is a compromise decision. Perhaps later someone will dump another red on him and he will curse his luck. There is almost always a cogent argument for placing a card down on any of the piles, or for taking a pile and not adding to any.

There are also other beneficial cards. Very useful are the multi-coloured cards that can be declared as part of any set at the game's end. There are also some that give a +2 point bonus. When picking up one of these cards from the pack, the player picking them up is often very unlikely to be the one adding these to his hand, and so must place them where they will contaminate an opponent's hand when picked. There is also one card depicting a strange fantasy stone tower with drawbridge and gaping mouth-like archway. Nowhere in the rules does it explain what this card is for. My guess is that it went with a rule that was removed from the game, perhaps because this one card was too powerful.

The rules are clear, the game is simple and quick, and requires lots of tricky decisions. This is all good. The artwork isn't the greatest, the description of the game on the back of the packet is cryptic and unhelpful, but these are tiny quibbles. A good game.


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