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Prairie Rescue Card Game

Monday, August 31, 2020
By ALLISON HARRELL
Texian Time Machine & Outreach Coordinator

SCENE:
You are a pioneer who has been living in Texas for a year, and a few new settlers have been staying with you for the past few days. This morning when you got back from taking care of the chickens, you found a note: “We have gone out to explore a little, and will be back by lunch time.” When no one returns by nightfall, you start to get worried. The Texas prairie is confusing at the best of times, and these people have only been in Texas for three days! You have to go into the prairie and find them. You set out early the next morning with a plan and food rations to last a few days. Explore the prairie and find all of your friends!

MATERIALS:

  • One standard deck of cards
  • 1-4 people

GOAL: Find all the Aces! (The Ace cards are your friends who are lost in the prairie.)

DIRECTIONS:

  • Take out all of the Kings, Queens and Jacks from the deck of cards and set aside (Jokers and instruction cards should also be removed).
  • Shuffle the deck well
  • Lay out the cards into an 8×5 grid on the floor face down.
  • Each player should start out on one side of the grid
    • You can use the Royal cards (King, Queen, and Jack) as player tokens – they can be placed on the players chosen side of the grid (North, South, East, or West)
  • Each player picks a location on the grid on their chosen side to start walking into the prairie.  You can only move in cardinal directions (no diagonals)
Picture

The Ace cards are the people that you are looking for in the prairie. Your goal is to find all of the Aces before you run out of moves!
  • Each turn, each player can flip over and move one card “distance” in a continuous line from where they started.
    • Any time an Ace is found, the card is taken out of the grid and kept with the Royal card being used as a player token. The Aces are the missing settlers.
    • Players can only travel one card distance a turn, so if the card is flipped over, it is still a turn to get across it.
    • Two players can be on the same card at the same time – if that card happens to be an Ace and both people are on it on the same turn, use one of the spare royals to give the second person the ace, too. They get credit for “finding” that person as well!
  • After every player has moved 10 cards spaces, the game is over. A day of searching the prairie has passed and it is time to go home and recoup.
  • If fewer than four players are playing, and there are more than 10 undiscovered cards left, day two can begin.  Make sure to keep out any Aces that have been found.
    • Reshuffle all of the cards and make a new grid of cards (it will vary in size, based on the number of cards available, so just try to make it a square, or rectangle).
    • Start the game just like the first round – each player picks a side and start moving into the grid, one card at a time.
    • Once all of the Aces have been found, the game is over despite however many cards might remain.
  • The winner is the person with the most rescued Aces!
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