52 Family Game Nights: Anomia

Anomia is one of my personal favorites. My husband gave me the party edition for my birthday last week. Consequently, we’ve played a lot of Anomia in the past few days!
family game night anomia card game

Family Game Night #29: Anomia

Anomia is a fast paced card game for 3-6 players. Your goal is to win the most cards.

How to Play Anomia

All cards start in a draw pile (or two draw piles if you’re playing with a larger group). On your turn you take a card from the draw pile and quickly flip it face up in front of you.

All cards have some text and a symbol. Players continue drawing cards and flipping them face up in front of themselves until the symbols on two players’ cards match. If no symbols match you continue flipping cards up, one at a time, until they do. (Each player only has one card visible at a time, the others are buried under the top card.)

anomia cards in boxWhen symbols on two players’ cards match, there’s a face off. A face-off consists of giving a correct example of the person, place, or thing on an opponent’s card, before they can give an example of the text on your card. The winner of the face-off gets the card and places it face down in a separate stack.

“Cascades” can happen after a face-off, if a card is revealed and matches another cards. All face-offs must be resolved before players continue drawing cards.

Wild cards allow face-offs between cards with different symbols. Wild cards are drawn and placed near the draw piles and only one is in play at a time. If someone draws another wild card, it covers the old one.
examples of anomia cards

Winning Anomia

When the draw piles run out, the person with the most cards from face-offs is the winner.

We usually play with the “no repeats” rule. This means that once an answer has been used in a face-off, it can’t be used again. All players help judge the validity of answers.

Anomia Variations

The basic Anomia card game requires strong reading skills, because you have to read your opponents’ cards quickly. There is a variation to use with younger children: give them one category (books, movies, animals, etc.) and have them simply match the symbols. The rule about not repeating answers keeps this from being too easy. We’ve used this adaptation with great success to include our not-quite independently reading players.

The rules also include variations for two or three player games and advice for using multiple decks.

Summary of Anomia

Number of Players: 3-6
Recommended Ages: 10+, but we’ve played with 8 & 9 year olds
Reading Required: yes, quick reading is a must

You can get the basic edition of Anomia (2 decks of cards) for around $15 but the party edition (6 decks) is just a few more dollars.



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