Judgement and Wheel of Fortune

Even though I don't use the Tarot deck for divination (what would be the point? I would draw The Fool every time), I like the illustration of its figures and the illusion of supernatural power they carry. When I saw that 22 Offerings, one of the games that takes part in the 2020 Solitaire Game Design Contest, uses the Tarot deck and just a sheet of rules, I was glad to get my old deck out for a spin.


Gameplay is very simple: you first separate the Major Arcana cards from the Minor ones, and give each pile a shuffle. Then, you draw 4 Major Arcana cards and place them in a row, and 8 Minor Arcana cards which you place under the Major Arcana ones in two rows. These 8 cards will serve as your hand for the round. Each of the Major Arcana figures has different requirements: the Emperor wants two Kings of any suit. The Hermit wants a Wand card of 9 or more. And as soon as you reveal The Devil, you have to wipe off your whole top row and put it in the discard pile. He is then pleased and goes away.


So, every round, you will check what each figure wants and try to fulfill it. The game allows you to start working on fulfillment with the hope of completing the requirement in a later turn. For example, The Sun wants at least 19 Coins. It's unlikely that you will have a 9 and a 10 right away, but you may have a 5. You can place it on the Sun card and finish the offering when you get more Coins.


The biggest challenge is to refresh your hand. You may often get stuck and not be able to offer anything to the current row of figures. In that case, you can discard one of the cards in your hand, replace a Major Arcana figure with a new one, and see if you have what they want this time.


This is a Solitaire-style game, like the ones you can play with a standard deck of cards. I tend to enjoy this type of card games and find them addictive. In fact, I played 22 Offerings six times back-to-back. It is easy and quick, but you have to constantly reference the rules to see what each figure requires. After repeated plays, you will be able to memorize some but probably not all of them. I didn't mind that much, but it is something to be aware of.

Even though the luck factor is quite strong, there are a few things you can do to manipulate the decks, especially once you get to know what each figure wants. If, for example, you remember that the Empress will ask for two Queens, you won't carelessly waste them when you get them in hand. The Fool repeats the request of the last figure you pleased. So you better try to serve him right after someone who is not too demanding.


Having said that, I didn't manage to beat the game and please all 22 figures. My best score was 20, so I'll keep trying. I appreciate that the designer devised offerings that thematically match each figure (for example, The Hanged Man who is upside down, asks for a 6 and a 9). He has also added a variant that makes the game more varied but I prefer it straightforward and didn't try it. If you have a Tarot deck lying around, download the rules, and see if you can please your fate.


#22Offerings #Llort



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