Played Yomi for the first time with my buddyPaul last week. Yomi is a card game meant to simulate the kinds of fights that take place in arcade fighting games like Street Fighter. That means a lot of distinct characters and some pretty cool cards. In Yomi, you have a standard set of playing card suits, and each card has an attack, block, dodge, or throw on the top and bottom sides (i.e. if you turn the card 180 degrees, you’re likely to have a different power than when it’s in the upright position). Each player starts with a hand of 7 cards, and plays one card at the start of each turn, face down. The players then flip their cards over and compare attack types in a rock-paper-scissors way. Attacks beat Throws which beat Blocks/Dodges which beat Attacks. If the cards are the same type, you compare their speed, and the faster card wins. If you made an Attack or (some) Throws, you can combo off the attack by playing cards in a straight (but your opponent can negate your combo with a well-played Joker). The attacks and throws do damage, and when you run out of health, you lose.
The five or six games I played with Paul were quite fun. The first couple were a bit slow and we had a hard time seeing the strategy, but by the later games, we were having fun bluffing and cheering our good hits. We also started to pick up on the differences between our characters. (I played Garus Rook and Paul played Jefferson DeGrey.) For example, DeGrey does extra damage for every card his opponent has in his hand over the number DeGrey’s player has, and Rook has no Dodge cards, but he has a ton of Throws.
In a series of games like this, with each person playing the same character, the strategies become more obvious. If you played with the full suits of characters, and always played different characters against different opposing characters, I think the strategies would take longer to become apparent. I’m not sure I have the time or energy to really “learn” this game in that way, but as a before-the-real-game kind of game, Yomi was a ton of fun, and I’d like to get more characters so I can see what they can do.