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Scout... Come and see the show!

Updated: Jul 3, 2023

Round up, round up, the circus is in town! Scout is akin to a trick taking card game with a few differences. With it's brightly coloured cards and tokens, you'll be scouting new acts and forming sets of cards to put on the best show in a bid to be the best circus in town.

Front of the box for the card game Scout depicting a circus tent in orange and purple with the name in yellow

We'd heard lots of good reviews about Scout and when we came across it at UKCGF South West Games Con 2023 in the sale, we had to pick up a copy to see what all the hype was about!

First Impressions

The brightly coloured box and equally bright components were very striking and certainly caught my eye. However for a circus themed game, I felt that the cards were lacking a circus feel to them. The theming is a little dissapointing for me, for a game so highly regarded and so much that can be done with a circus theme, it really did leave me wanting more as soon as I openend the box and looked through the cards. Theming aside, the quality of the cards and tokens is really good and I really liked the fact the tokens were pre-punched for you, especially considering the size of the box. It really is a pocket sized game!

Game Play Overview

The game is played over a number of rounds equal to the number of players, so if there's 4 players, you'll play 4 rounds. Each round, players will carry out 1 of 3 actions. They can Show, where you play a set of cards of either matching value or with consecutive numbers that beats the active set; Scout, where you can take a card from either end of the active set; or Scout and Show, this can be done once per round using and is tracked through the use of a token depicting a circus wagon. The twist to this game is that you can't rearrange the cards in your hand at any point during the game! New cards can be added anywhere in your hand and all cards have a different number on the top to the bottom so at the start of each round you can invert all your cards to the opposite side if that gives you better set collection options. Play continues until either 1 player runs out of cards or nobody can show a new set. At which point the round ends and points are calculated. This is repeated for each round and the player with the highest score at the end of the game wins.

Hand of cards for the game Scout along with a variety of points tokens, scout chips and circus wagon token

Pros and Cons

If you're playing this game 2 player, there are variant rules and in my opinion it doesn't work as well. The game definitely seems to be geared for 3 to 5 players to work best and the 2 player variant feels like a bit of an afterthought. The theme could be more visually represented on the cards and I feel like this would give the feeling of showing off different acts at the circus, however the game play can certainly have some of the atmosphere of the circus when playing it with the tension and excitement of getting the best sets on show! The gameplay itself is good fun and (aside from 2 player games) has been well thought out. Each round doesn't take too long to play and keeps players engaged as you have to keep up with which sets are currently active so that you can work out which acts you're going to show.

Final Verdict

Overall, I enjoyed this game as long as you have a minimum of 3 players. I wish the theme was more prevelant but this doesn't take away from how the game plays. It's a great filler game for groups and a nice pocket sized game to take out and about with you as long as you know there will be more than 2 of you to play.

In conclusion, we would rate this game a 7.5/10


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