Groundhog Day: The Game was released in January of this year. I’ve heard virtually no one talk about it, and I have no idea why. Not only is Groundhog Day: The Game a way better game than it has any right to be given it is a low priced ($16.99 MSRP) movie license game, it’s just a good game, period.
In Groundhog Day: The Game, 2-6 people are working together to try and create a “perfect day” for the lead character from the classic film, Phil Connors, by repeating the same day over and over again until they get it right. To create a perfect day, players will need to play 7 perfect suite cards in a round (a time looped day). However, there are only 12 perfect suite cards in the game, and only 6 start out in the deck.
A round starts with the dealer shuffling the deck and then dealing out a number of cards indicated on the game board to the players as evenly as possible.
Players can speak with one another – until they pick up their hand of cards. Once a player has picked up their hand of cards for that round, they will not be able to speak to other players until the round has ended. If players speak during this time, they lose the game.
When all players have picked up their hands and indicated they are ready to start the round, a timer is started. If the timer runs out before the players have completed the round, the players lose the game.
Players may then play cards (numbered 1-12) from their hand, seeking to play 7 total cards in ascending numerical order. If players cannot play 7 cards in ascending numerical order, the players lose the game.
Additionally, each card has a suite, with a different point value per card (selfish 0, wild 1, nice 2, learning 3, perfect 4). At the end of every round, the 7 cards will have their point totals scored. If the point total of the round that was just completed isn’t higher than the prior round, the players lose the game.
At the end of the round, if any of the 6 perfect suite cards that don’t start in the deck have been unlocked by learning suite cards that have been played, those perfect suite cards are shuffled into the deck and might be available in the next round. The round marker is then moved one space to the right. If 6 or more perfect suite cards have been played and there has not yet been a perfect day, the players lose the game.
Play continues until either the players play 7 perfect day cards in a row, or they lose.
I really love this game. It’s quick, it’s simple, it’s fun, it’s highly thematic, and – even better – it’s cheap. For me, it has basically completely replaced the filler game slot The Mind used to hold. Groundhog Day: The Game has more gameplay factors to take into account. In The Mind, you are just trying to read the other players as to when to play cards in numerical order. However, in Groundhog Day: The Game, you also have to track the round timer, the current round, the value of the cards you are playing, the value of the cards you have played, how many perfect day cards are in the deck, and which learning cards need to be played. Even though it’s fast and straightforward, there’s still a good bit of dynamic data to track and crunch for a filler length game. Plus, I really enjoy the ability to talk and strategize with other players between rounds. The game’s art is stylized – but works pretty well.
If there is anything bad I have to say about the game, it will be related to the components. The cards are smaller than normal playing cards and feel a little cheap – almost like index cards. Also, the game’s box is ridiculously large:
Groundhog Day: The Game
I really love this game. It’s quick, simple, thematic, fun, and cheap. Groundhog Day: The Game is a great filler game that seems to have gone completely under most people’s radar.
- The game is fast. It can be played in under 15 minutes, and does not overstay its welcome.
- For as simple as the game is, it is remarkably thematic.
- The cards are oddly sized and feel a bit like index card cardstock.
- The box is way too big.