Overview: SAVVY is a Push Your Luck card game where the odds move between all levels of doubt and certainty. The beauty of it, as one player explained, is that you're never out it, and can win from anywhere. It is full of laughs and drama from start to finish. All that players need to know is the difference between high and low numbers, and if so, they're good to go. That's it; if you're a family with children, this is the game they'll want to play. It's also the only game where you have a chance of winning at any time, even if you're in last place. Playing as a parent, it's quite easy to make the easy mistakes that will let your children in to win. It's quite normal though for younger people to beat their elders regularly, because they exercise different mindsets, so we would advise to play your own game, as you're going to lose anyway! If it's all adults playing, watch out for escalating humour.
Game description: Players guess whether the next card turned over will be higher or lower than the previous one. The deck is 36 numbered cards. As each number is revealed, it is marked off with counters on a chart, showing at a glance all the numbers that have been played so far. This then allows you to see at a glance what the chances of the next card being drawn are. Get it right and you take a chip. Get it right again and take another chip. Get it wrong and you lose all the chips you've just won in your turn. At any time, you can stop and move the chips to your bank.
However, and this is where it gets interesting, on the first call of your turn each time, if you get it wrong, you lose half your bank. So from leading the pack, you're now going backwards. But help is at hand, and by paying a nominal chip back into the central pool, you can pass on your turn. You may want to do this when you can see from the number chart, that your chances of getting your first call right are not too certain.
As cards are being marked off on the number chart, various situations will occur. You will see that sometimes your chances of a correct call may be over ninety per cent; one number could make you lose, but twenty other numbers will win your next chip. Sometimes your next call is a certainty, say number one for example is the last card turned over. Your next call will be a guaranteed 'higher' to win a chip. Sometimes the chances of success may be around fifty fifty, and this is where you may pass and leave this choice to the next player, who will probably thank you immediately.
Game Strategy: Don’t be fooled into thinking that SAVVY is a simple game. It’s got strategy, odds judgement that will tax even the brightest minds, and levels of addiction that compels you to get involved with other players decisions. You may find yourself encouraging players to go for it, when really you want them to blow out and drop points. Oh there’s humour alright.
Then there’s your playing style. Are you an odds calculator who plays the percentages? An instinct player who gets the feel of the cards and plays accordingly? Or never mind all that, you feel lucky and call whatever comes into your head; it's your day right?
SAVVY can be recognized as a didactic game. What this means, is that while it functions as a game, it teaches risk management. Risk is found in every walk of life, ranging from all levels of doubt to certainty. And doubt is risk. Learn new skills, and get set for wicked humour.
See how you stack up when calculating the different risk elements of each call you make whether it be pass or play. Understand what happens when you push the boundaries. Can you stay inside them to win? Put your life experience to advantage here, or learn how to be a better risk taker.
So back to the game. You know how you win and lose chips. That if you keep calling just one more time, eventually you're going to hit the losing card, and lose all those just won chips back to the central pool. So you have to figure out the best time to cut and run, and add the points to your bank. But even then you're not safe. Your first play on each turn has to be right, or you lose half your bank. In no particular order, here are suggested strategies:
1. Pass on middle order cards. Success rates are around fifty per cent.
2. Pass on middle order cards if the next player has a lot of chips, half will be lost if they get it wrong, or they have to pass too, and give back a chip.
3. Set yourself limits, i.e, stop and bank after four correct calls.
4. Beware the new shuffle, the first few cards can be chaos.
5. All good runs come to an end, stop and bank on easy cards.
6. Call the opposite sometimes, it happens.
7. Take note as the number chart fills up, it begins to present runs of certainty and near certainty correct calls, as the card deck runs out between shuffles.
There are no free rides in this game. You won't be able to just sit there in front, waiting for an easy moment to just stroll across the winning line. Every turn is a dilemma, and passing will cost you points. SAVVY is a one-off rollercoaster. Master the art of 'When To Stop'. Judge the moments well and take the kudos. Gain the SAVVY status.
Light casual games: Nearly all gamers of any genre, usually have a selection of shorter light casual games at hand to fill in those idle moments before and after game sessions. This is the one to add to your collection that combines fun and playability. It ticks another box too that's familiar to everyone.
You're in a game and it's soon evident in the time that's left that you cannot win it. The beauty of SAVVY as one player put it, is that you're never out of it, and you can win the game from anywhere. Even from last to first in one turn. Game play is fast, and sessions can vary in length, but it flows smoothly at all times, and younger players beat their elders quite consistently.
When we first trialled the finished rules on Christmas night 2015, our youngest player was the neighbours child from across the green. We showed him the concept of what to do, and guided him for a while on the best way to play. He played cautiously and lo and behold, won all three games. A feat which has not been equalled since. So to Owen who was six and three quarters then, we salute you. He's welcome back anytime he's changed his winning ways!
Going forward: As SAVVY is a new game on the market, reviews will take time coming through. We officially launched at the UK Games Expo at Birmingham 2017. All games played with visitors at the NEC and subsequently at Camden market, led to on the spot sales. When couples stepped in and played, the women won - maybe you will find out why.
But even though players enjoy the game, this does not translate into immediate feedback, so please bear with us if you like to read more comments before you buy. Check out the review pages.
For 3-6 players, aged 8 and upwards, and a variable playing time of 10-40 minutes. The game info was initially set at 3-6 players for review purposes, but is also very playable for couples.
The SAVVY Concept: Games that are light and easy to learn. With degrees of sound playing depth that family members can enjoy. And where every player has a chance of winning at any moment in the game.