LUCKY, a letter deck game prototype

I got my cards back from the Game Crafter yesterday! You can buy the deck here. I used this deck to prototype some word game ideas (thereby fulfilling my poem-a-day goal for April, and my game-prototype-a-month goal for 2011). Some action shots of the deck:

Sabrina (my girlfriend) and I came up with a game we call "LUCKY," which is vaguely based on Canasta. It's not great right now, but I think it could be pretty fun with a few more rounds of tweaks and playtests. Here are the rules:

A-B-Canasta, or "LUCKY"

  1. each player gets nine cards, rest of cards remain on table (to be drawn from), one card flipped over to seed the discard pile
  2. on each turn: player can draw a card OR pick up the discard pile; player must discard one card at end of turn; in order to pick up the pile, player must be able to form a word (of at least three letters) with the top card of the pile
  3. discarding a vowel or wildcard "freezes" the deck (meaning you can't pick up the pile unless you can use the top card in a word with four or more letters)
  4. after turn begins, player can form a word consisting of at least three letters from cards in his/her hand, or add cards to existing words (by adding those cards to the beginning or end of one of the words that the player has already put down, e.g. CAR could become CART, or LIMB could become CLIMB)
  5. in order to "go out" (and thereby end the round), a player must have formed at least one word of seven letters or more.
  6. at end of round, hands are scored:
    • for each three letter word, 30 points
    • for each four letter word, 40 points
    • for each five letter word, 50 points
    • for each six letter word, 60 points
    • for each seven letter word, 100 points
    • for each eight letter word, 150 points
    • for each word of nine letters or more: 200 points
    • any word with V, J, X, Q or Z gets 50 bonus points
  7. any cards remaining in any player's hand at the end of the round deduct five points from that player's score (per card)
  8. the player who "goes out" gets a 50 point bonus
  9. special card values:
    • 'Q' card can count as "Qu" (though still counts only as one card for scoring purposes)
    • L, U, C, K, and Y are wild cards


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