How to Play
To setup the game shuffle all of the cards and place them face down on the table so the side with the different type of fruits is face down. Fast Flip includes three different games that you can play with the cards. In all of the games the players play at the same time.
First is Flip It!. To start one of the cards is flipped over and placed next to the stack of cards. Players compare the two cards in order to find a match. One of the cards will display a bunch of fruit while the other either displays a fruit or a number. If a fruit is displayed the players need to count up how many of that type of fruit are on the table. The first player to say the correct number gets to take the card that shows one fruit.
If one of the cards display a number, players need to find the fruit that has exactly that many pictured on the other card. The player that yells out the correct answer takes the card that displays the number.
If a player says a wrong answer they can not make another guess until the next round. The game continues until all but one of the cards have been won by a player. The player with the most cards wins the game.
Token Grab is the second game. Token Grab plays almost the same as Flip It! with some slight differences. Instead of saying your answer out loud, a player needs to grab the corresponding token from the table.
Once a player grabs a token it stays in front of them. If the token is the correct answer for a future card another player has the opportunity to steal the token from the player that won it in a previous round. The first player to get four tokens in front of themselves at the same time wins the game.
The final game is Token Line. Before the game begins the tokens are randomly placed into a line. The token that is furthest left determines what the players will be looking for on the next card that is flipped over. For example if the furthest left token is the number four token, players will look for the fruit that is pictured four times on the next card. The first player to say the correct answer gets a point. The player with the most points after ten turns wins the game.
Being a fan of speed games, I have played quite a few games from the genre. While I like most of the games from the speed genre, the genre tends to lack originality. Most games are only slightly different from other games in the genre with some just being a change in theme. Today I am looking at the game Fast Flip which is a new speed game from Blue Orange Games. Fast Flip is simple but still engaging and is probably one of the better speed games that I have played.
When you first see Fast Flip you are probably going to think that it is a children’s/family game and you would be correct to a point. Based on the artwork and simple gameplay, Fast Flip will likely appeal to children. The game is quite simple to play since it takes just minutes to learn how to play. The game has a recommended age of 7+ which is probably right but younger kids with good addition and shape recognition skills may be able to play the game. I can see Fast Flip being a great family game for families that like speed games.
There is more to the game than you would first think though. Clearly Fast Flip is far from a strategic game but there is enough to the game to keep adults who like speed games interested in the game. The game is not hard but there is more of a challenge to the game than you would think. You need to be on your toes to quickly look at one card to see what you need to find on the other card. Since players usually get the correct answers within seconds, you really need to be on your game to win a round. I would say that Fast Flip is more engaging/challenging than a lot of speed games since you don’t know what you are looking for before the card is flipped over.
So lets go through the three different games included in Fast Flip.
I’ll start with game one, Flip It! Flip It! is a fun game but it is not the best game included in Fast Flip. Flip It! plays like a lot of other speed games but at the same time feels different. I like a lot of things about Flip It! It is easily the longest of the three games even though it still only takes around five to ten minutes to finish. The reason it takes the longest is that it has the most rounds since you play through the entire deck. The other two games aren’t going to use the entire deck. With more rounds luck has less effect on the game so the best player is more likely to win the game.
My favorite game is probably game two, Token Grab. The reason I thought Token Grab was the best game is that it has a bigger emphasis on speed than the other two games but also has a little strategy. With players having to grab the tokens it requires more speed since it is harder to grab a token then yell out a word. Having to grab a token also makes it much easier to determine who was first in a situation when two people reacted at pretty much the same time. This can be an issue when the players are equally skilled since they can yell out the answer at essentially the exact same time.
The main reason I prefer Token Grab is that the game has the stealing mechanic. At all times your tokens can be stolen so you need to protect the tokens you have already taken while trying to get more tokens from the other players or the center of the table. I would usually find the stealing element to be kind of unfair but the game handles it perfectly. A player can lose a token they won in a previous round but the player who controls a token has an advantage in retaining it since they will be closer to the token and thus it is easier to grab before the other players are able to. The stealing mechanic adds a little strategy to the game since when a player gets close to winning the game, the other players are going to try and focus on the tokens that the winning player controls hoping that they can steal one of them. At the same time though this can help the player that is currently winning get new tokens if the other players are focused on trying to steal one of their tokens.
The only real complaint I have with Token Grab is that it is pretty short. Usually it will be the shortest game since it is pretty easy to get four tokens at a time since players usually get tokens in streaks. While the rules suggest maybe lowering the number of tokens that a player needs at a given time, I would suggest maybe raising it. If you are playing with more than four players four tokens may be fine but if you are playing with three or four players it is too easy to get four tokens. If you have around four players I would probably recommend playing to five or six tokens.
Finally we get to game three, Token Line. Token Line is a fine game but it was my least favorite game. It plays very similarly to Flip It! The only real difference is that you get to know what you are looking for ahead of time and the game is shorter. Knowing what you are looking for ahead of time has an impact on the game but not as big of difference as I would have expected. The game only lasts ten rounds which is too short in my opinion. I personally don’t see myself playing Token Line very often because Flip It! is a better option in my opinion.
Token Line actually shows one of the problems I had with Fast Flip. While the game includes three different games, they aren’t drastically different. Flip It! and Token Line are very similar with only slight differences between the two games. Most people will probably have a favorite between the two and will rarely ever play the other game. Token Grab is a little different from the other two games but still shares a lot in common. While there are three games, most people will likely only play one or two of the games. I personally will mostly play Token Grab but will also occasionally play Flip It!
Another issue with Fast Flip is that there are quite a few speed games that are pretty similar to Fast Flip. Fast Flip is probably one of the better speed games that I have played but it is not so remarkable that it is a must own. If you don’t own a lot of similar speed games, it is worth picking up. If you already have a ton of speed games though, it might not distinguish itself enough that you have to add it to your collection.
Finally the biggest problem I had with Fast Flip is that it is not the type of game that you will sit down and play for hours at a time. I definitely had fun with the game and plan on playing the game in 15-30 minute stretches. I can’t see many people wanting to play the game for long stretches of time though. With each game being so short you can play quite a few games in a really short period of time. You probably are not going to want to play more than five or so games in one sitting. Fast Flip is more of a filler game that you will play in addition to another game(s) during a board game night. You will want to play it for fifteen to thirty minutes and then put it away to play another day.
Like most Blue Orange Games, the components for Fast Flip are quite good. The artwork is kind of childish/cute but I think it is really well done. The cards aren’t really thick but have coating which prevents them from sticking together and they just feel like high quality cards. Since people aren’t grabbing the cards to score points it doesn’t really matter that the cards aren’t really thick since they shouldn’t get damaged. The tokens on the other hand are thick cardboard and should easily withstand the damage incurred from Token Grab. There really isn’t anything to complain about in regards to Fast Flip’s components.
I had fun with Fast Flip. The game is simple so it will work well for families with younger children but it is still engaging enough for adults. If you like speed games you will enjoy the game. There is some variety in the different games even though I wish there was a little more. The components are high quality. While fun, Fast Flip is the type of game that you are likely to play for 15-30 minutes and then put away for another day.
If you don’t like speed games or already have a ton of similar games, Fast Flip may not be for you. If you really like the genre though and don’t have a lot of similar speed games I think you would really like Fast Flip and should look into picking it up