OUCH! rules title

OBJECTIVE:  Have the most valuable collection of cactus flowers at the end of the game.

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2 – 5 players

MATERIALS: 44 card cactus deck, rules

TYPE OF GAME: Card game


OUCH! box


Ouch! is a prickly cactus flower collecting card game in which players are trying to carefully pick cards from a layout.  Players must choose from which side they are going to flip a card.  If they choose a side that has cactus needles, they are pricked!  That card is discarded from the game.  Picking a side with nothing means the player is safe, and they get to keep that card.  Whoever has the most valuable collection of flowers at the end of the game wins.


OUCH! contents

The cactus card deck is forty-four cards in total.  Thirty-six of the cards have flowers on the back, and eight of them have an animal on the back.   


OUCH! gameplay

Shuffle the forty-four card cactus deck and place the pile so the cactuses are face up.  Without looking at the cards, draw six and lay them out cactus side up.  


Play goes clockwise around the table and begins with the youngest player.  On your turn, choose one of the six cards from the cactus layout.  Announce which side you are going to pick the card up from.  Say left, right, top or bottom.  Flip the card over by touching that side.  

If the side you used has needles, you have been pricked.  Discard that card and end your turn.   Getting pricked by a card containing a red flower means you discard an additional card from your collection.  Choose any card from your collection you wish to discard.  Flipping the card over by a side with nothing on it means you get to keep that card.  Add it to your collection.

Cards with animals give the player a special ability.  A snake forces the next player to give you their card if they are pricked rather than discarding it from the game.  Revealing a fennec gives you the ability to take another turn immediately.  Getting pricked on this second turn means you must discard the fennec as well.  

After a player has taken their turn, fill the layout back up to six with cards from the draw pile. 

The more points a card is worth, the more dangerous it is to flip.  Adjust the game’s difficulty by excluding some of the rules.  For younger players, play without the red flower rule and scoring bonus as well as the wild bouquet scoring bonus.


The game is over once a player has eight cards in their collection.  An empty draw pile also ends the game.

Each player gets one point for each flower in their collection.  Every set of four different color flowers earns four additional points.  Whoever has the most red flowers gets five points.  If there is a tie, each player in the tie gets five points.  The player with the most points wins.

Mark Ball
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