SNAP Review – Trio
[Andrew] Hey Anitra, what are the primary colors?
[Anitra] Red, yellow, and blue?
[Andrew] Good Things Come in?
[Andrew] Athos, Porthos and Aramis?
[Anitra] The Three Musketeers. This is a three thing. Are we doing a triple SNAP review?
[Andrew] No! We’re not doing a triple SNAP review, but you do have a good memory, and you’re right about the threes. This is a SNAP review for Trio.
[Anitra] Trio is a card game for 3-6 players by Kaya Miyano that plays in 15 minutes or less. The box says it’s for ages eight and up. And since there’s no reading, only putting numbers in order, younger kids could play too.
It’s published in the US by the new publisher Happy Camper Games.
[Andrew] So Anitra, let’s talk about the art in Trio.
Trio‘s components are incredibly simple – it’s 36 bright colorful cards, illustrated by Laura Michaud. Each card has a large number in white in the middle, that’s repeated at the two top corners.
[Anitra] Each of the twelve numbers has a different bright background color with subtle illustration in black. There’s a Mexican flair here to the whole thing, with skulls, luchador masks, guitars, and even guacamole. (Guacamole!)
[Andrew] It looks great, let’s talk about the mechanics: how we play Trio.
[Anitra] Every player gets an equal number of cards, with between 6-9 cards left face down on the table.
Whoever most recently ate something with avocado goes first.
On your turn, you’re trying to find three cards of the same number. You may flip one of the cards that’s face-down on the table, or you can ask anyone at the table to reveal their highest or their lowest number – including yourself.
[Anitra] That’s right, even you are limited to playing the highest or lowest card in your hand!
[Andrew] After the first card you reveal, reveal a second card – again, either flipping a face-down card or asking for a highest or lowest card. If those two cards match, try again for a third card!
[Anitra] As soon as you run into a card that does not match the first one that was revealed, your turn is over. All the cards go back where they were before.
[Andrew] But if you find three that match, you’ve made a Trio! Put it face-up in front of you. Find three Trios – or the magical 7s Trio – to win the game.
[Anitra] There’s also a “Spicy” version that’s a little bit more challenging, where you’ll need to collect a specific set of Trios to win.
[Anitra] So what did we expect from this game?
[Andrew] I first heard about Trio when I heard it was going to be coming to the US via Happy Camper games. Even though Happy Camper is a new publisher, their gaming DNA runs deep, and I knew instantly from the people that were involved that I had to play. I expected it to be light and I expected it to be easy to get in and out.
[Anitra] The first time I ever heard of Trio was when a friend invited me to play it online on Board Game Arena. All I knew was that it was a card game that played pretty quickly.
I really enjoyed it after my first play, and I was really excited when I heard that US localization of Trio was going to be the debut game for Happy Camper.
[Andrew] But as always, there were some surprises when we started playing. Anitra, what surprised you about Trio?
[Anitra] After my first play, I thought Trio was going to be mostly a memory game. But it turns out there’s a little bit of deduction and a lot of luck involved, too.
The restriction of only being able to reveal a player’s lowest or highest card makes for really interesting decisions. Sometimes you see a pair of 6s that match one in the middle of your hand… but until you can access that card that’s in the middle of your hand, there’s no way for you to make that Trio.
[Andrew] I totally agree with that point. For me, Trio kind of has trick taking energy to it, even though it’s not at all a trick taking game. Where I’m trying to figure out how to work through certain cards to get to other ones. But then the memory aspect has my brain working in a completely different way – less calculating, more, memory. Bouncing back and forth makes for a super interesting game, especially when you play the Spicy version, where not only are you trying to remember where everything is on the table or in people’s hands, but you’re also shooting for a particular set of three when you do it.
Like you said, there is a little bit of luck here. Sometimes the cards just come out such that it makes for an easy pairing (triple? pairing? triple?) – an easy triple – and so if you have gamers who really get upset about perceived “unfairness”, it’s a good idea to set expectations with a game like this. But again, the stakes are so low here, it shouldn’t really matter. Just shuffle the cards up and play it again.
[Anitra] We recommend Trio as a quick game for families to play. Some might call it a “filler” game, but I think it’s especially great for busy families who want to play games together but don’t have a lot of time.
It feels like a classic light card game, with its combination of memory, deduction, and luck. But make sure you’ve got at least three players to play!
We give Trio 4½ Trios – which is like 1½ trios? 4½ Trios out of 5.
And that’s Trio, in a SNAP!
The Family Gamers received a copy of Trio from Happy Camper for this review.
This post contains affiliate links, which do not change your price, but help support The Family Gamers.
SNAP review music is Avalanche, provided courtesy of You Bred Raptors?
Age Range: 8+ (maybe younger)
Number of Players: 3-6
Playtime: 10-15 minutes