52 Family Game Nights: Duck Duck Bruce

Last week I shared one of my long time favorite card games. This week we’re going to talk about another kid friendly card game that my kids told me I had to mention.

family game night duck duck bruceFamily Game Night #10: Duck Duck Bruce

I asked my husband (who has played many, many games of this over the years with our young children) to explain the game:

Duck, Duck, Bruce is a quick and clever push-your-luck style game suitable for younger players. In the game players try to collect ducks in various settings—the beach, in the rain, on a soccer field, in space, and more. Cards come in values from 1 to 4, but only the highest card in each set will count for you at the end. The winner is the player who collects the most ducks.

duck duck bruce gameOn a turn, you reveal the top card of the deck. You can keep this card or reveal another. As long as that card doesn’t match the setting of any previous card, you may choose to draw again. However, once you draw a matching card, those two cards and all the cards in between are discarded. If there are any left over, you get to keep those. Of course, you may stop at any time and keep the ones you’ve revealed before you draw a match.

duck duck bruce cardsOne final wrinkle in this game is Bruce. He’s the dog mentioned in the title, and he likes to cause trouble. If you ever reveal a Bruce card on your turn, all the previous duck cards from that turn are discarded. Instead, you get to do a special action. You choose an opponent and announce how many cards you’d like to steal: 1, 2, or 3. Then you roll the custom die that comes with the game. If you roll equal to or higher than the number you said, you get to steal that many cards (randomly) from that opponent. If you roll less than the number you said, you don’t get to steal any. If you roll the -1, you must give a card to that opponent—ouch!

duck duck bruce card playersThe game ends when the deck runs out. This usually takes about 10 minutes. Then you keep the highest duck in each setting you have and discard the rest, adding them to determine your score.

card playing girlOur kids have enjoyed this game quite a bit over the years. It’s one I don’t mind playing, either, since there is a bit of extra strategy involved. But there is enough luck so that even the youngest player can win. Gamewright has done a great job with the art on the cards. In addition, every #4 card features a duck doing something unexpected and silly. This game is a joy to play—a quick and delightful way to include your younger children in game time.

This is a great game for switching things up. We like to have some easy games on hand for those times when the younger set is feeling left out of game time. After all, everyone loves it when Daddy plays a game with them. This is a great option when you have a family member not quite ready for a more complicated or longer game.

Judging from Amazon, it looks like this game has gone out of print (although it is still available from some sellers). Maybe it’s time to petition Gamewright to bring it back! In the meantime, keep your eyes peeled at yard sales and thrift stores.

Summary of Duck Duck Bruce:

Number of Players: 2-5

Recommended Ages: 6 and up, but we’ve played with children as young as 3.

Reading Required: No.

What are your favorite games for including younger family members in a game night?
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  1. Dwarves and Dice is a good one for kids who know their colors, and they have to learn to pay attention to the cards or someone else will find the right dwarf first! ;)