Try not to watch any creepy video cassettes until then.

The Ring is undoubtedly a classic of horror, spawning several movies, theme taxis, milkshakes, ceremonial first pitches, and much more. I personally always enjoy revisiting the original movie from time to time and enjoy how its twist ending completely renders everything that happened before it pointless. But in this busy workaday life, how can I afford one hour and 36 minutes to do so?

▼ Oh, speak of the devil…

Thankfully, Kadokawa has come up with a way to condense all that terror and suspense into a card game that only takes about 10 minutes to play. It’s called Sadako: Cursed Countdown and isn’t a complex card game in the sense of Magic: The Gathering or Pokémon TCG, but more like a standard playing card game that’s been around for centuries.

In fact, if you had to compare it to something, it plays a lot like Old Maid. Each player has a hand of cards made up of Rumor cards and Clue cards. They then take turns plucking a card from the neighboring player’s hand in the hopes of getting a Rumor card that corresponds to their Clue card or vice-versa.

▼ In this example hand, the play has a Rumor Candle card and a Clue Candle card which they can now discard.

In this game, the Cursed Video Cassette takes the role of the old maid and whoever is stuck holding one is in trouble. However, unlike Old Maid, holding the curse card also has the disadvantage of the holder having to turn over all of their Rumor cards so the other players can see them.

▼ A person holding the Cursed Video Cassette would have a hand resembling this to the opposite player

That might sound like a huge disadvantage at first, but now the player choosing the card must decide between picking one of the Rumor cards they can see or one of the Clue cards that are still hidden. This dilemma is heightened by the rule that if the player selects a visible Rumor card, they must also take on the Cursed Video Cassette card.

This is further complicated by the Sadako Countdown cards in a deck on the table. In the event a single player gets two Cursed Video Cassette cards, the countdown begins and one of the Sadako Countdown cards is flipped over. When the last one is flipped, everyone still holding their cards is dead as a doornail.

▼ The Sadako Countdown cards depict her slowly climbing out of a well and approaching you, as she’s known to do.

It’s a simple game that also effectively captures the themes and feelings of the story. Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait until 21 December for it to go on sale for 2,200 yen (US$15) a deck. In the meantime, there are plenty of other card games out there, including ones that’ll teach you the scale patterns of different fish.

Source, image: PR Times
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