Count down to Christmas with 26 cool games – H = Hanabi

The holidays are coming up! The time to find good company, catch up and play games! Still looking for an original present under the tree? I give you 26 game tips.

The H of Hanabi

Hanabi is a maddening cooperative card game for the whole family. Together, you have to put cards in order to make a beautiful firework. The problem is: you can’t see your own cards!

Your fellow players give you hints so you can figure out which cards you have in your hand. In your turn, you always decide whether to give one of your fellow players a hint or to renew a card in your hand.

I spy with my little eye

In Hanabi, you only see the grey back of your playing cards. Your fellow players see what really matters: the front.

That front consists of one of five colours: red, green, yellow, blue and white + a number between 1 and 5. The fireworks you build together should consist of rows of the same colour and in ascending order from 1, 2 to 5 last.

How do you manage that when you are not allowed to see your own cards? Well, your fellow players may give you one hint in their turn. This may either be about the colour or the number.

For example, they may say: you have 2 threes. And then they may also point to them, so you know where you have them in your hand. They may also say: ‘you have three yellow cards’ (and then point to them). Note: you must always name everything from a unit. So if you have 4 threes, you may not say: you have 2 threes. What you also may not say: you have a yellow 4, which is this card. That’s too much information.

So you keep getting bits of information that you have to combine. When you are sure you have a green 1, put it on the table and you make the start of the green fireworks.

You can give 8 hints

Those hints from your fellow players are nice, but you can’t give them endlessly. After all, you have 8 hint tokens. Every time someone gives a hint, you put a token in the box. If you run out of tokens… well… so you can’t give a hint anymore. By discarding cards from your hand (not to the fireworks, but to the discard pile), you earn another hint token for the pot.

It can be useful to discard a card and take a new one. You may only make one row of each colour. You may also only play each number of that colour once. So if you have a white 1 in your hand and it’s already there… It’s no use to you anymore. Trade them! But be careful! Before you know it, you take a card and turn it over to look at it. That’s not allowed! If you play Hanabi once, you will notice how automatic you are. Good exercise for your brain too!

Did Hanabi give you a taste for cooperative games? I collected more than 10 in this overview.

Want more inspiration for beautiful, fun, funny and original games? Then check out the complete A-Z for the holidays here. ou still have plenty of time to buy gifts that will impress soon! If you buy through a link in this review, you also support Pen & Pion!

General information on HANABI

  • number of players: 2 – 5
  • time: 30 minutes
  • from: the box says 8+, but the game is language-independent and the numbers go from 1 to 5. Moreover, this game is mainly about having a good memory and cleverly combining information. It is also a great practice game for giving targeted information. Every step you take requires careful thinking.
  • price: € 14,95 (Dutch price – update autumn 2023)

You will find affiliate links in this text. If you purchase the game (or anything else) through these links, you support the website and the work of Pen & Pion 🎲🧩♟️

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