Designer: Amanda Zufelt
Artist: Andrew Stockton
Publisher: Skill Board Games
Year Published: 2020
No. of Players: 2–6
Playing Time: 15 – 30 minutes
Main mechanic / Theme: Draw and play / Building your pirate ship while sabotaging others
Build ye a ship worthy of the Seven Seas.
Find more info on BoardGameGeek.com
Yarr Harr! is a draw and play to build a ship. Being the fastest isn’t the goal. Cards are worth different point values (doubloons), even some that represent the same part, and when a specified number of cards are played in the building of a ship the players count how many doubloons they’ve earned.
The basic game includes Ship and Action cards. There are also Captain cards that can be added which give each player specific abilities. And there are Objective cards players work to secretly complete during play.
Yarr Harr! expands as players become more adept with the strategy.
Gameplay and Mechanisms:
Each player starts with a bow and a stern in front of them. This is their harbor and where the ship is built. They also have a hand of five cards they will be playing from. If using the Captain cards, each player draws one randomly and places that face up in their harbor. If using the Objective cards, each player is dealt three and they keep two facedown until the objective is achieved.
On your turn you first draw cards. You draw two cards unless you have none left in your hand, then you draw five. From your hand you can now play up to three cards. The only limitation is you can only play up to two Ship cards. Play continues until a player plays a card on their ship to reach the set number to end the game.
When a ship has reached the set number of cards, play immediately ends and players count how many doubloons they have earned. The richest player is the winner.
Theme, Artwork and Illustration, Graphic Design and Layout:
The cards are high quality playing cards and are color coded to know the main playing deck from the starting, Captain, and Objective cards. We found all of them easy to read.
The base Yarr Harr! is easy to learn and younger players wanted to move on quickly to adding the Captain and Objective cards. They were able to pick up the concepts of those cards easy with only a little help.
Inclusivity and Accessibility:
This is designer Amanda Zufelt’s debut game. Yarr Harr! is appropriate for all ages of players. The colors are easy to recognize to separate for the different needs
The main playing deck of Ship and Action cards is the size of a double deck of playing cards and may be a little harder for smaller hands to handle all at once.
Our younger players enjoyed the pirate theme and wanted to choose their captain based on the art without concern of the ability going along with it.
Yarr Harr! is a good family game. The younger players we had enjoyed it and they were able to learn it fast and wanted to continue playing on their own. The games size, just over two standard decks with a tray insert, make this a great cabin game—easily stored in the luggage or camper and needing a flat surface to play.
Yarr Harr! won Game of the Year for 2021 from Creative Child Magazine.
I recommend Yarr Harr! to players looking for family friendly games that can be played by the whole family or just the younger members.
About the Author
Daniel Yocom does geeky things at night because his day job won't let him. This dates back to the 1960s through games, books, movies, and stranger things better shared in small groups. He's written hundreds of articles about these topics for his own blog, other websites, and magazines after extensive research along with short stories. His research includes attending conventions, sharing on panels and presentations, and road-tripping with his wife. Join him at guildmastergaming.com.