FTW Staff Picks - Dutch Blitz
For The Win Board Game Cafe's Staff Picks is a weekly series where we take a quick look at some of the staff's favourite games, old and new.
Genre: Real-Time Card Game
Designer: Werner Ernst George Muller
Player Size: 2 to 4 Players
Game Length: 15 minutes
For fans of: Ghost Blitz, Solitaire, Halli Galli
There are several card games that have been adopted from the standard 52 playing cards. Uno is Crazy 8's, Cockroach Poker borrows from Cheat and most recently You've Got Crabs riffed heavily off of Signal. And while Solitaire may not be the most exciting card game, Dutch Blitz manages to fuse it with Speed to create a surprisingly compelling card game.
In Dutch Blitz, players look to deplete their personal Blitz piles, while filling the center Dutch piles to snag the highest score. Each player's Blitz piles function similarly to Solitaire. The cards here must be played in descending numerical order, and have alternating boy/girl symbols. In the center of the table are Dutch piles, which must be played in ascending order and match colours. There is no limit to the number of active Dutch Piles. There are no turns, as the game plays in real-time. The first player to successfully deplete their Blitz pile yells out "Blitz!" and scores are tabulated. The cards played to the Dutch piles are collected and separated into individual player's piles. Each card is worth +1 point. The cards remaining in each player's Blitz piles are then counted. Each card is worth -2 points. The game continues until one player is able to reach 75 points, and that player is declared the winner!
I've always enjoyed Speed as a quick pickup and play game, whenever I had a deck of cards available. But the way the game plays out feels imbalanced. Massive swings can play out, and slap-happy players are often rewarded without punishment. And while Dutch Blitz is also susceptible to score swings, it feels more fair. It may not be as versatile as a deck of cards, but it brings enough to the table to feel like a solid purchase.
Once upon a time, I recall playing Solitaire on my Windows 95 computer. At a time when I didn't have access to the Internet. And my bootleg floppy games weren't working anymore. Solitaire was my time-killer of choice. I lived to see those cards fly out of the piles, even though it happened very rarely. Dutch Blitz brings me back to simpler times, but this time I can experience it with friends and family. And killing time with others is the best way to do it.