Steal and score cards in this family-friendly card game inspired by the Mantis Shrimp.
Exploding Kittens, the company behind games like A game of cat and mouth and zombie kittenspublished Mantisa colorful card game inspired by the Mantis Shrimp.
We had the chance to try the Mantis card game.
What is this game ? What is it about?
Mantis is a card game for 2-6 players with a recommended age of 7+. The game features artwork inspired by the mantis shrimp, a colorful crustacean that previously featured in a comic book by artist Matthew Inman, also known as The Oatmeal. Inman is co-founder of tabletop game company Exploding Kittens.
How do you play this game?
In every game of Mantisplayers are challenged to earn a certain number of points by matching cards in their tank.
The game’s deck contains 105 cards that feature exaggerated cartoon images of mantis shrimp in various colors. At the start of the game, each player receives four cards in their Tank. These cards are placed face up in front of each player, rather than being held in each player’s hands.
The rest of the cards are placed face down in a draw pile. The back of each card has a circle containing three colored sections. When players look at the back of a card, one of the colors in this circle will always match the color of the Mantis Shrimp on the other side of the card. For example, a card with a purple mantis shrimp might have a circle with orange, purple, and red sections on the back.
Each turn, players will have to decide if they want to try to score in their own tank or try to steal cards from another player’s tank. To make this decision, players can look at the back of the card at the top of the draw pile. If the circle on the card has one or more colors matching the cards they have in their own tank, they may want to try scoring points in their own tank. Alternatively, if the card has one or more colors that match cards in an opponent’s Tank, players can attempt to steal cards from that player instead.
Once the players have decided how they will play on their turn, they turn over the top card of the draw pile. If he tries to score in his own chariot and turns over a card that matches one or more cards in his chariot, he can move those matching cards and the card he drew to his score pile. If there is no match, the new card is added to the player’s Tank and their turn is over.
If the player tries to steal cards from another player and turns over a card that matches one or more cards in the opponent’s tank, he may steal the matching cards and place those cards (including the card that you he drew) from his own reservoir. If the card they turned over doesn’t match any of their opponent’s Tank cards, the opponent adds the card to their Tank instead.
The first player to collect 10 cards in their score pile wins the game. In a two-player game, this requirement increases to 15 points, but players are free to use any score requirement they want (however, since there is no discard pile, the players may need to account for which deck ends up running out of cards).
To be especially clear, players can only score points by trying to match cards in their own tank. Even if someone steals one or more cards from another player’s tank, they can only add those stolen cards to their own tank that turn, not to their score pile. This means the cards they just stole can potentially be stolen again before they have a chance to add them to their own score pile.
Is this game fun to play?
We really enjoyed playing Mantis. The game has a simple setup that’s easy to understand and quick to play, and it focuses on a nice combination of luck and strategic thinking.
Anything else parents should know about this game?
The Mantis The game box includes The Oatmeal comic “Why the Mantis Shrimp is my favorite animal”. The comic explains how the mantis shrimp violently kills its prey and features comedic violent imagery. Even though there are no gore or truly adult images in the comic, it may still be inappropriate for young readers.
Players are not required to read the comic before playing the card game. If you’re concerned about the content of the comic, you can check out the digital version of the comic here. This will allow you to see what’s inside the comic before deciding whether or not to purchase the Mantis card game.
What is the final verdict?
Mantis is a fun and colorful card game with simple gameplay and great artwork. We recommend picking this one up for your next family game night.
Mantis is now available for purchase for $19.99 from the Exploding Kittens website and other retailers.
Disclosure: SuperParent has received Mantis for hedging purposes.