OBJECT OF UNSTABLE UNICORNS: The object of Unstable Unicorns is to be the first player to collect 7 Unicorns.
NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2 to 8 players
MATERIALS: 114 Black Cards, 13 Baby Unicorn Cards, and 8 Reference Cards
TYPE OF GAME: Strategic Card Game
OVERVIEW OF UNSTABLE UNICORNS
Unstable Unicorns is a strategic card game where each player is attempting to be the first player to collect 7 Unicorns. There are many different cards that add effects, some giving you an advantage, and some giving you disadvantages throughout the course of the game. This game may destroy your friendships with betrayal.
You have your cute Unicorns though, so friends aren’t necessary during gameplay. Expansions are available to allow for more competition, larger playing groups, and a wider variety of play.
To begin setup, separate the Baby Unicorn cards and reference cards from the black cards. Shuffle the black cards, then deal 5 cards to each of the players. Place the deck in the middle of the group face down. Make sure there is space left beside the deck, this will be the discard pile.
Each player must then choose a Baby Unicorn card, it is then placed in their stable. The stable is the area in front of the player, face up. The remaining Baby Unicorns are placed in a stack, face up, beside the deck. This stack will be known as the nursery. Baby Unicorn cards will always be in the stable or the nursery.
Each player may then also take a reference card. The player wearing the most colors begins the game.
Each turn consists of four phases. To begin, the player will check their stable. If a card in the stable has an effect, then this effect is triggered in this phase. The next phase is the draw phase, and a player draws a card from the black deck.
Next, a player has their action phase. Here, a player may complete one of five actions. They may play a Unicorn card, play a Magic card, play a Downgrade card, play an Upgrade card, or draw a card from the black deck. Finally, the player will discard the cards in their hand until they no longer reach the hand limit. The hand limit is seven cards.
Cards that are kept in a player’s hand have no effect until they have been placed in the stable. Some card effects are mandatory, so pay attention to wording when playing cards into your stable. If a card says “may”, it may be interpreted that that effect is optional and may be completed if the player wishes.
Cards that have beginning of turn effects will all occur simultaneously. Each cards effect will be put into place before any other move is made. Instant cards may not be used to stop these effects, as they are already set into place.
Gameplay will continue clockwise around the group until a player has collected 7 Unicorns in their stable. The first player to do this is the winner!
Unicorn cards are signified by the horn symbol in the top left corner. They will stay in a player’s stable until they have been destroyed or sacrificed. There are three types of Unicorn cards.
These Unicorn cards have a purple corner. Each player will begin the game with a Baby Unicorn. These cards are kept in the nursery, and the only way to bring them into your stable is with a special effect from another card.
These Unicorn cards have an indigo corner. These Unicorns have no effects, but you might love them anyways.
These Unicorn cards have a blue corner. These Unicorns have magical effects that may grant you advantages throughout the game.
Magic cards are signified by a green corner with a star symbol. These cards only have a one time effect, and once they are used they must be placed in the discard pile.
Downgrade Cards are signified by a yellow corner with a downward arrow. Downgrade cards may be added to another player’s stable to give negative effects to that player. These cards stay in the stable until they have been destroyed or sacrificed.
Upgrade cards are signified by an orange corner and an upward arrow. These cards give positive effects and may be played in any player’s stable. These cards stay in the stable until they have been destroyed or sacrificed.
Instant cards are signified by the red corner with an exclamation point. This card does not have to be played on your turn, and it is the only card like this. Any number of these cards may be chained during a single turn.
END OF GAME
The game ends when a player collects the required number of unicorns. If the playing group is 2-5 players, then the winner must collect 7 Unicorns. If the playing group is 6-8 players, then the winner must collect 6 Unicorns. If the deck runs out of cards, the player with the most Unicorns wins.