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Rainbow Knights by Ninja Division

Theme and What is it?

Each player in Rainbow Knights is a knight riding through the sky, leaving a colorful trail polka-dotted with clouds.

Gameplay Mechanics

Four corner cards are laid on the table to establish boundaries for the game. All players shuffle their decks. While working under pressure of a timer, players lay cards chosen at random simultaneously, forming a winding trail across the playing table. You may cross your own trail, but not those of your opponents, and you may not leave the boundaries set by the corner cards.

Cards are not laid in typical card-to-card fashion, but in a unique way that really sets the game apart. Each card has part of the trail pictured on it, with one end of the trail having a plain cloud, and the other end having a cloud with a knight on it. You start your trail with the plain cloud side, and as you add each card, you cover up the cloud with the knight with the plain cloud of the new card. You’re at the mercy of the cards you draw!

Initial Impressions

The game is literally full of rainbows and unicorns and clouds, so I was definitely expecting a game for children. The timer and placing obstacles make the game infinitely more interesting, and if things are too easy, just tighten those corners up a bit. Making the playing area smaller increases the difficulty significantly. With the fast-paced nature of the game, adults can easily find themselves having just as good a time with or without the kids.

Game Build Quality

One thing I absolutely love about this game is that the cards are made of clear, thin plastic. Obviously, you need to be able to see through the cards to line up the clouds correctly, but any parent knows that anything that might potentially involve kids also potentially involves spills. This game is great for trips to the beach or the pool, too.

Artistic Direction

The art in the game is very colorful and whimsical as befits a game called Rainbow Knights. The cards are large and it’s easy to discern which end is which when laying paths, so that you can quickly orient your card and get it on the table.

Fun Factor

We were all so busy racing to lay our own cards on a one minute timer that we didn’t have time to really interact much, which may be a problem for some players. For parents looking for a before bedtime game with their kids, this is a sure winner. Four of us played — two adults and two children — and we were all relaxed and having really good time playing a couple of rounds before we shuffled our kids off to bed.

Age Range & Weight

This is a super simple game that even preschoolers can enjoy, but don’t let that make you write it off. It’s the kind of game that has you coming back to it again and again because you can pick it up and go without complicated setup or convoluted rules to explain to new players. There’s a certain appeal about something this accessible.

Conclusions

My biggest criticism for the game is that the multi-hued trails all look a little too similar. If the cards get mixed up, sorting the colors out can be a bit of a pain. Small children may have difficulty with this task. I feel a little silly saying this, since it IS called RAINBOW Knights, but I think the designers could have found a way to more easily mark the cards that match.

Overall, it’s a cute game, surprisingly addictive, and well worth having on your shelf.