A Cooperative Card Game Review: Celestial Rainbows – Colorful Card Placement

ToysBulletin.com takes a look at the first product release from Griggling Games, Inc.

CelestialRainbows4Griggling Games, Inc. is a brand new game publishing company located in Woodstock, New York.  They have plans to release several new games over the next year or so, and the first one is a beautifully executed card game called “Celestial Rainbows.”

The game contents include a deck of 55 cards, consisting of 49 Rainbow cards (7 in each of 7 different colors), five Magic Power cards and one Double Rainbow (wild) card.  There is also a short set of rules, including several helpful diagrams.  The artwork on the cards themselves will immediately catch your attention, as they have been designed by artist and illustrator Aurora, using her own original hand paintings to create the rainbow effect on the cards.

CelestialRainbows2The object of the game is for players to work together as a team creating as many complete rainbows (7 Rainbow cards in a specific color sequence) as possible.  Unlike other cooperative games, players do not simply win or lose the game, but rather are rated based on how many complete rainbows are built before the end of the game.  For example, if a team builds 4 complete rainbows, it is considered a “very good” performance, while a team building only 1 rainbow would be described as “a less than fortunate result.”  Of course, if a team completes the maximum 7 rainbows (very difficult), the rules state, “you have achieved rainbow enlightenment.”

“Celestial Rainbows” can be played by 2-8 players ages 8 years old and up, with a typical game lasting 15-20 minutes.  The game setup is very easy, with two cards dealt face up and two cards dealt face down to each player.  The remaining cards, along with the five Magic Power cards are shuffled to form the draw deck.  If a Magic Power card is ever drawn from the draw deck, that card is immediately placed in the middle of the table and the top card from the draw deck is placed next to it.  One additional card is added to the Magic Power card row after every turn.

CelestialRainbows1Players alternate turns, but must do two of the following actions on each turn:

Take one of their cards and continue “Building a Rainbow,” or start one, if none are being built.  Only one rainbow can be under construction at any time, and cards must be played in the color sequence required.  Once a rainbow is completed, it is removed from the game and all 7 cards are set-aside until final scoring.  The team can then begin to build their next rainbow.

“Swap” two face up cards with any player, or with cards next to a Magic Power card.  A player might also “Swap” one of their face down cards with any face up card.  When this occurs, the face down card is turned face up and the face up card is turned face down.  Players should take note of the location and color of cards in such cases.

Use “Good Karma” by playing a Rainbow card that matches the color of a Rainbow card in the Magic Power card row. In doing so, the matching cards are both placed below the Magic Power card.  If at any time there are no cards remaining in the row, the Magic Power can be claimed.  As an example, one of the Magic Powers allows a player to “take one extra action,” but only once during the game.

A player may have to try a “Last Resort.”  In this case, one of their cards is removed from the game and replaced with a card from the draw deck.

After each turn, cards are taken from the draw deck to replace any played during that turn, and the extra card is also added to the Magic Power card row, if one exists.  When the Magic Power card row reaches 8 cards (including the Magic Power card), all cards in the row are removed from the game.

PhotoDec1310630PMWhen the draw deck is finally depleted, each player gets two more turns and then the game ends.  The players count the number of complete rainbows to get their team rating for the game.

“Celestial Rainbows” is a game that can be a bit confusing at first.  However, by playing the game multiple times, especially with 3 or more players, the pieces begin to fall into place.  It is suggested that beginning players read both the rules and the FAQ section at grigglinggames.com.  There is also a very good strategy article (Celestial Rainbows Enlightenment) at the site that is definitely worth reading.

“Celestial Rainbows” is a fun little cooperative game that is quick to play, and offers some challenging surprises along the way.  It retails for $12.95 and can be found at Amazon.com.

— RJ Cullen



Posted in Card Games

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