If you want to shake things up a little bit, the Earthquake card game may just be what you need.
Nearly 60% of people who die in natural disasters worldwide are killed by earthquakes, making them the deadliest natural disasters of the last 10 years. While nobody enjoys actual earthquakes and their devastating effects, we can do an about-face and make something pleasurable out of it.
Enter Earthquake, a card game designed by the people responsible for Magic: The Gathering. It is a fast-paced card game that combines fun and strategy with art inspired by Magic. Even if this game has been around for a long time, it is still one of the best games about earthquakes of 2022, along with a board game of the same name.
If you want to learn more about Earthquake the card game, you came to the right place.
Earthquake Card Game Summary
Earthquake is a relatively quick and simple card game that can be played with two to four players and lasts about 15 minutes. If you want to play more than the suggested four players, you can add another deck to balance out the game.
Playing cards of the same suit to earn points is the game’s primary objective. To make things interesting, it also features several Special cards. Anyone who can identify colors and/or patterns can play, though the scoring will almost certainly require someone who knows their multiplication tables well. The latter isn’t a big deal because we have calculators, so children as young as five can play and enjoy Earthquake.
Earthquake Card Game Components and Game Play
The Earthquake Card game has 70 cards in total. The 70 are made up of:
- 60 cards with no rank or value (five suits of 12 cards each)
- 2 Clone Cards
- 2 Earthquake Cards
- 2 Prosper Cards
- 2 Opportunity Cards
- 2 Time Warp Cards
The five suits are blue wizards, black skeletons, red goblins, green elves, and white soldiers, characters familiar to anyone who plays Magic: The Gathering. That said, Earthquake does not require any prior knowledge of Magic to get started.
Here is how the game is played:
- Each player is dealt seven cards. The remaining deck is placed in the center of the table to form a “draw” pile, with a discard pile forming next to it.
- During a turn, a player must place two combinations in front of him, each containing one or more cards of the same suit.
- As each combination is played, the player assigns a score to a meld using a scoring system.
- The scoring system is as simple as it is interesting: The player multiplies the number of cards in his most recent play by the total number of cards of that suit already played. For example: If you played three red goblins and there were already two of those in the table, your score is three multiplied by two (which is 6). If the next player plays two more red goblins, his score is 10, two red goblins multiplied by five already played on the table.
- Even if you were dealt seven cards of the same suit, you must split them up for scoring.
- The cards are not on the table for the duration of the game. You begin your turn by picking up any cards before you and discarding them to the “Discard” pile. All such cards would not be used for scoring. As a result, you begin your turn by discarding the cards from your previous turn.
- Your turn ends when you have played your two combinations. After this, you must replenish your hand to seven cards. If the draw deck runs out of cards, shuffle the “discard” pile to create a new deck.
- When someone reaches 100 points, the game ends.
Role of Special Cards
The 10 special cards have incredible “powers” if you choose to play them. Here is an outline of what each special card can do:
- Earthquake Cards have the power to remove all cards from the table. Strategy-wise, it is best to play the Earthquake as your second meld to prevent the next player from scoring off the cards.
- Opportunity Cards allow you to draw four cards. Unlike Earthquake, Opportunity is best played in the first meld to open yourself up to more scoring opportunities.
- Prosper Cards scores five points. Prosper is typically played when you can’t find any high-scoring suit already on the table.
- Time Warp lets the player play as many melds as he wants in his turn.
- Clone cards can be used as wild cards in any meld to boost your score. Clone cards, unlike Earthquake cards, can only expand a normal meld but cannot be played on their own. It works this way: If you play two soldiers and a Clone Card, your score is automatically computed as nine (three multiplied by three).
How to Maximize Enjoyment For Earthquake Card Game
Earthquake is a game that should involve a little bit of strategy, but to maximize the fun, it must be played quickly, without thinking too much. That is why it’s always a good idea to include kids in playing Earthquake. This card game helps kids raise disaster prevention awareness and will also enhance arithmetic skills.
If you’re thinking about how the elves, skeletons, goblins, and soldiers relate to the game, they do not, except for the design. Don’t expect this to be anything remotely related to Magic: The Gathering. The artwork is just there to represent the suits, and since the design team is the same one that came up with Magic, they probably thought of going for familiar faces.
Overall, this should be a go-to game if you want something simple to play or when you’re around your grade-school nephews and nieces. It’s no fun if you’re getting beat up by the kids, but hey, at least it’s fun!
The Earthquake is one of card games about earthquakes that just flew under the radar. It has been around for a while, but it’s not as well-known as Magic: The Gathering or anything from the design group responsible. I wouldn’t go on a limb and say you’d miss half your life by passing on this game, but it is fun and easy to learn. It won’t help you learn some fascinating earthquake facts, but at least you’d get to be the most popular aunt or uncle among your nieces and nephews.