Tabletop: Great Plains and Mantis

Great Plains

Great Plains is a mysterious game about a not-so-mysterious behavior of our kind: two players competing for the dominance over the Great Plains! With help from the spiritual animal world, they overcome hills, cross the lowlands, and invade each other’s territory in order to become the tribe who will live on.

Thoughts: I was not fond of this game. I wish I could tell you what set me off, maybe because it is only a two-player game. The gameplay is easy enough. Each player chooses either the orange or blue game pieces. Each player takes a turn placing their game pieces. Player that controls the most lowlands wins the game. The premise is simple. Maybe too simple? That might be what keeps me from loving this game. Granted, I really watered down the gameplay in my description, but at its core, that is the essence of the game. I think it would be more fun with more opportunities to sabotage your opponent. It’s a good base game. It could use a bit more of SOMETHING.


Mantis has only two rules: Steal or Score your way to victory. Collect matching cards by stealing or scoring until the winner has 10 cards in their score pile.

With the simplicity of UNO and depth of Gin Rummy, Mantis is designed for both kids and adults. But adults should be warned that kids will often beat them at this game.

Thoughts: I absolutely LOVE this game. Simplicity is what takes the cake. It has only two rules. You either draw from the draw pile to score or attempt to steal cards from your opponents. There are different colors of cards. Each player gets four cards to begin the game and places the cards in front of them, face up, in their “tank.” The player must first decide whether to score or steal. The player will have an idea of the color they might draw. An indicator of three possible colors is on the back of each card in the draw deck. You can sort of see it in the picture above. If the player declares to score, the player flips over the card from the deck and sees if it matches any of their cards. The matching cards are immediately placed in their score pile if it matches. If the drawn card doesn’t match anything, it goes into the “tank” with their other cards. If the player decides to steal, they will choose the player they will steal from and flip over the card from the deck. If it matches, the player steals those cards to go into their “tank,” not the score pile. If they fail, the person the player tried to steal from adds the card to their “tank.” This gameplay continues until someone reaches ten points. Pretty simple, right?

This game is great for starting off a game night. It’s super simple and easy enough for a family game night.

Author: The Filthy Casual

I live my life one casual hobby at a time.

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