Hanabi – BoardHorde

graceacupuncture - 20/05/2022 - STRATEGY - 277 Views


This cooperative game requires blindly trusting your teammates and thinking strategically a few turns ahead because of one simple rule: you aren’t allowed to see the cards in your own hand.


Hanabi is a cooperative, that’s right- COOPERATIVE- game! These are so rare to find so sit back and soak it all in. No more competing against your friends and being mad at each other, this game allows you to work as a team to complete the objective: create the greatest fireworks show the world has ever seen. In order to accomplish this you and your team must place down cards in both the correct numerical order and color category. Simple? There’s on major caveat: you can’t see the cards in your own hand.

To help you accomplish this are 8 “Note” Tokens, each one allowing you to give one of your teammates a hint as to what their hand contains. You must use your Note Tokens wisely; in order to get a Note Token back, you must sacrifice one of your cards, and with it potentially your ability to complete the game. Apart from Note Tokens are 3 “Storm” Tokens. Storm Tokens are mistakes made physical – three mistakes and your team loses.

At the beginning of the game, each player will be dealt 4 cards. Each player will hold their hand facing out so that their teammates can see their cards, but they cannot. From there, each turn has 3 options:

Give a Hint: use of Note Token to give a one-word hint to your teammates about what cards they may have in their hands. Discard a Card: discard one of the cards from your hand to gain back a Note Token Play a Card: declare what color and number the card you will play is, and then lay it down in the appropriate column. If you are incorrect, your team loses 1 Storm Token.

If your team manages to correctly lay down each color and numbered card chronologically, you win.


As previously stated, Hanabi is a cooperative game, which are very hard to come by in the board game world. For this reason, Hanabi feels very fresh in an industry mainly comprised of competing against others! The idea that you are now working with your teammates, as opposed to against your friends, requires a whole new way of thinking in order to achieve success.

In comparison to other cooperative games, Hanabi excels in the fact that no one player can solve the puzzle by themselves. Each player is essential to the team’s success, as each player will be forced to make decisions based on their own conclusions that affect the entire team. No player can coast – everyone needs to be active and involved.

Hanabi – BoardHorde

When played with the strictest of rules (no table talking, truly one-word clues) the game can be very difficult. Suddenly, each clue has layers of subtext that impact not only your next move, but several moves into the future as well. In this regard, Hanabi excels.

Where Hanabi stumbles is on multiple replays. When we played several rounds of Hanabi with the same group of people, we quickly figured out the most effective way to communicate to each other, and then were able to utilize that to win the game several times. It took several games to get to that place of confidence, but once it was reached we were able to easily excel.

Overall, Hanabi provides a great substitute for those who want to add an element of teamwork instead of competition. It’s a challenging puzzle that utilizes the cooperative genre to its advantage. The games are fast, running around 20 minutes, and are perfect for a group of four who want to test their communication and strategy abilities.

Lists containing Hanabi

The 5 Best Cooperative Games

The 7 Best Board Games for Beginners

The 9 Best Family Friendly Games

The 7 Best Games to Play with Coworkers



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