Shift

Release Date: 
Saturday, May 14, 2005
Setup Time: 
Play Duration (experienced): 

by Tanjent

Object

Organize the cards in your hand into consecutive matched pairs.

You Need

A deck of cards with four distinct suits (red, yellow, green, blue / hearts, spades, clubs, diamonds / plains, forest, mountain, island)

Setting Up

Give each player two cards from each suit. The rank of the cards does not matter.
Sort the cards in your hand so that no card is adjacent to a card of the same suit.
Choose a player to go first.

Play

On your turn you can shift or swipe:

Shift
You can say “Shift”, and move one or two cards from one end of your hand to the other. If you move two cards, the cards must stay in order. Pretend that you have a Jack of Diamonds and Queen of Spades on the right side of your hand, with the Queen furthest to the right (on the outside right edge of your hand). If you shift those cards to the left side of your hand, which card is going to be furthest to the left (on the outside left edge of your hand)? It’ll be the Jack of Diamonds.

Swipe
You can ask any player, “Do you have any {name a suit}?” If your target has that suit at either end of his or her hand, he or she must give it to you. If that suit is on both ends, your target chooses which card to give you. Place the card at one end of your hand. Give the card at the opposite end to your target. Your target may place that card at either end of his or her hand.

Play passes to the left.

Winning

If you have four consecutive pairs of suits in your hand at the end of your turn, you win.

Variants

Short-Shift
For a quicker game, play with only three suits instead of four.

Perfect Knowledge
Play with your cards face-up on the table. This is a good variant to use if you’re playing with younger children.

Origin and Credits

Tanjent thought of this game in about 15 minutes at Monday Night Games Night in September of 2004. We were puzzling over how to make a game that could be played while hiking. In a hiking setting, you could replace the cards with clothespins or tiny carabineer painted in four different colors on a string around your neck.

Thanks to the Monday Night Games Night crew for playtesting.

Unedited as of April 29th, 2005

Minimum number of players: 
Maximum number of players: 
Play Duration (new players): 
Minimum Age: 
7
Game Type/Context: 
Price: 
$0(USD)