Go Low Review - Box Feature

Go Low Card Game Review

Play Time: 15-20 Min / Players: 2-6 / Complexity: Low / Age: 7+ we think 5+ / Publisher: University Games

Go Low Ratings and Summary

BoardgamingParent.com

Kids Rating
Teen Rating
Parent Rating

Summary

Kids rating from our daughters (8 &12).
Teen rating from our son (15).

While my youngest daughter enjoys this game the decisions here aren’t interesting enough for the rest of the family. There are other simple card games that offer more than Go Low, but its simplicity and short play time might appeal to younger kids.

2.3

Pros

  • Very simple to learn
  • Great for teaching basic math
  • Quick to play and easy to set up.

Cons

  • Not much strategy here
  • Games can feel quite repetitive as there isn’t much variation each game
  • High degree of luck.

What You Will Find in Our Go Low Review


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For me a big reason why I enjoy playing games is spending time with people and sharing some fun together. Sometimes there are games I wouldn’t really choose to play but are enjoyed by my kids, which makes it an enjoyable experience for me. Go Low fits in this category. My youngest daughter really likes it and for that reason we have had some fun with it but it’s not a hit with the whole family.

How to Play Go Low

Objective

The objective of go low is implied in the title, to finish the game with the least points.

Set Up 

Set up is very simple for Go Low. All you need to do is shuffle the deck and deal 4 face down cards to each player in a 2 by 2 grid. You then place the top card of the draw pile face up next to it.

You will also need a pen and paper to keep score.

Gameplay

Go Low Review - Game Set Up
Go Low set up and ready to play.

Go Low is played over 5 rounds and each round players will check two of their face down cards before they start. It’s important to remember what these cards are because you won’t want to replace them unless something better comes along.  

The main aspects of the game involve replacing your existing cards with lower numbered cards. Each turn you can either:

  • pick a card from the top of the draw pile and replace it with one of your cards
  • pick a card from the top of the draw pile and place it in the discard pile
  • replace one of your cards with the card on top of the discard pile.

The gamble here is that you only know what two of your cards are at the beginning of the game. So, while you can confidently make decisions about whether to replace the two cards you have seen, replacing the cards you haven’t is a bit of a gamble.

I can’t tell you how many times I have picked up a low card like a 3 thinking it looked good and replaced a card that actually had a 0 on it. The downside is the card you just replaced ends up on the discard pile available for the next player to greedily snatch up.

Go Low Review - Cards
The cards in Go Low.

When you feel like your cards are likely to add to a lower total than your opponents you can declare ‘Go Low’. This gives other players one more turn before play ends and totals are tallied.

The risk with declaring ‘Go Low’ is that if you don’t have the lowest total when summing the face value of your cards, your score is doubled. That is a hefty penalty. Unfortunately, I am often the one copping the penalty in our house. My daughter seems to know how to time this better than I do.

Play will continue like this for 5 rounds and the player with the lowest total points at the end of 5 rounds wins. My daughter often likes to play a variant she came up with called go high, where the goal is essentially the opposite, get the highest total possible.

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Go Low Gameplay Experience  

Go Low is a very simple card game that you can teach in minutes. That makes it great for younger kids because there isn’t really a lot here to get your head around. It is also very quick to bring out and play so it isn’t hard to fit in when we are short on time.

The other great thing for younger kids is that they can be just as competitive as adults or experienced players because there is a high luck factor in the game. The key decision here is judging whether you have enough of an advantage over your opponents to call ‘Go Low’. This is something kids will be able to get their heads around immediately. In my case I am terrible at picking it as I mentioned earlier, which my youngest daughter finds very amusing.

You will also find plenty of opportunities here to help your kids practice some basic math as they will be adding simple numbers together in their head to judge whether they should end the round or try for better cards.

The older kids in our family aren’t really fans of Go Low mainly because the game is a little too luck based for them. The decisions here don’t really allow for any deep strategy and so they don’t find it particularly interesting. I think this game is best suited to younger kids, probably 8 and under.

For me the value in playing here is spending time with my daughter, I wouldn’t choose to play but I would happily play it with her given she enjoys it. In the end that’s good enough to make it worth having in the house. I do prefer Dungeon Mayhem or Monopoly Deal for quick, simple card games to play with younger kids. Dungeon Mayhem has some nice humour in the cards and both have plenty of fun interaction.

Components

Go Low Review - Tin and Instructions
The tin in Go Low is way bigger than it needs to be.

There are two different versions I am aware of for this game, one comes in a tin and one in a card pack. We happen to have the tin version which I don’t really like because the tin is way bigger than it has to be for a small deck of cards. If you are interested in the game, I think the version in the card pack will be more convenient for travel and take up less space.

The cards, as you can tell from the photos, are pretty basic but are fine for a game like this.

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Final Thoughts on Go Low

Go Low’s simplicity and luck factor probably make it better suited to a younger audience. It is a hit with my youngest daughter who really enjoys it. My wife likes a couple of games once in a while mainly because it’s quick and easy. But there isn’t enough here to keep the rest of the family interested.

Is Go Low easy to learn?  Yes, very simple to learn.

What will Go Low teach my kids? There are some good opportunities to learn basic math.

What age is appropriate for Go Low?  The box says 7+ but we think kids from 5 and up should be fine given how simple the game is.

Does Go Low have good replay value?  There isn’t much variation here from game to game, we think this game is probably best in small doses.  

We hope you enjoyed our Go Low review. If you have any more questions or just want to share your thoughts on this game please leave a comment below, or get in touch through our contact page.

About the Authors

We are parents who love board gaming. We have three children and have been enjoying board games as a family ever since we had our first child. We share our real unbiased experiences and opinions on board games so you can decide if they are right for your family. We also write guides and articles to help you get the most out of your family game time. If you enjoy our content and want to support us you can do that through our Ko-fi page by clicking on the button below.

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