Duck Duck Bruce is one of those card games that has grown worn with use. It’s a simple and easily portable press-your-luck game that’s appropriate for very young gamers. I think Ben was five when he started playing it, and we just played it again a couple of nights ago when we were out for pizza.
Published in Germany as Kleine Fische by Goldsieber Spiele, Duck Duck Bruce was published in English by Gamewright. It plays from 2 to 4 players and is one of those games that is so quick that you may decide to play for a set amount of time or until a player accumulates a certain amount of points.
Inside the game box, you will find a deck of cards, a rule book, and a special six-sided die. The cards feature pictures of one to four ducks walking around in areas where ducks, for the most part, should not be. Sure, you’ve got ducks on the lake or out in the rain, but you’ve also got them at the theater, at the gym, on the football field, and on the surface of the moon.
On your turn, you will reveal a number of cards from the deck. After you reveal your first card, you may stop and put that card face down in front of you or you may choose to reveal another card. You may continue to reveal cards until you decide to stop, you draw a Bruce card, or you draw a duck card that has ducks in the same location as a card you have already revealed.
When you draw a card with the same location, you lose the two cards that show that location and all of the cards that lie between them. So if I draw ducks on the moon, ducks at the gym, ducks at the theater, and then ducks at the gym, my turn is over and I get to keep the card with the ducks on the moon. I could have stopped at ducks at the theater and kept three cards. It’s a fairly forgiving push-your-luck mechanism. Cards that you keep are placed face down in front of you. The game calls this your nest. We call it the stack of cards placed face down in front of me.
Bruce is a dog that likes to scare ducks, and if you draw a Bruce card, then you lose all of the ducks that you have revealed and you have the opportunity to steal ducks from other players. You announce how many ducks you wish to steal and from which player, and then you roll the die. The die has faces with 1, 2, 3, and -1. If you roll the number you wish to steal or higher, you can take a card at random from that player’s stack. If you roll the -1; however, that player may take a card from your stack.
Play continues until the deck runs out and then you determine your score based on the highest numbered card you have in each duck location. It doesn’t matter how many ducks you have on the moon, you only count the value of the highest card of that set.
Duck Duck Bruce is a solid family card game for kids as young as four years old. I highly recommend it. Pick up a copy and play it with your kids, grandchildren, or your nieces and nephews, and have fun!