Gudetama is an unstoppable cultural phenomenon. It must be true: Vox said so! This cute little guy represents the Millennial in all of us. Or at least, the stereotypical (one might say prejudiced) view: lazy; unmotivated; can’t be bothered. It literally means “lazy egg”. It’s one of the more recent additions to the Sanrio multiverse–that’s right, the folks who brought you Hello Kitty.
The idea for Gudetama came from a contest that Sanrio held in 2013 to generate ideas for a new food-related character. How appropriate then that it came second; the salmon-headed Kirimichan came first. Pfft. Salmon heads. Who need’em.
Gudetama’s success naturally spurred a ton of merching: from Gudetama-themed cafés in Singapore and Japan to half a dozen minute-long digital shorts to YouTube. And now Oni Games and Renegade Games have teamed up to publish a tie-in card game.
That’s right folks! Now you can hang out with your favorite o-meh-let-y buddy with Gudetama: The Tricky Egg Card Game, a trick-taking card game for 2 – 7 players designed by Ben Eisner (Wonderland’s War) and Steve Ellis (Tea Dragon Society).
The Gudetama deck is composed of 63 cards numbered 1 to 14 in different amounts. Points are bad; the end of the game is triggered after someone reaches 21 and the lowest score wins. Rounds consist of 7 tricks each, and the only one that matters is the last trick of the round which you don’t want to win, because whoever wins it scores points equal to the rank of the card they played, which goes in front of them (so you don’t have to keep score with pencil & paper) and the only consolation is you get to look at the adorable illustration on it for the rest of the game.
There are no suits or trump in Gudetama; instead, each player must either play (a) a card of equal or higher rank to the one just played or, b) the lowest-ranked card in their hand. It’s an honour system, and the rules specifically recommend “not playing games with nefarious folk”. The winner of each trick leads the next, with ties being broken by the last player to play that high-valued card.
Only 1’s and 14’s have (mandatory) special effects when played: 14’s force the winner of the trick to pick someone else to lead the next, and if a 1 is played in the final trick, every player must score the card they played.
Like L.A.M.A., Gudetama is okay as a 2 player game, very tactical but a bit dry, whereas with 4 or more it’s a riot and a great filler. As trick taking games go it is very rules-lite because of the lack of trump, so it’s a great way of introducing people to the genre.
The back of the rules say it is based on a class of games from the Baltics called Cucumber, so if you enjoy Gudetama you can grab a regular deck of cards and go back to the source–but you won’t have THE CUTENESS.
Thanks to Renegade Games for providing a copy of Gudetama for this article.