This Game Goes to Eleven

Ages: 8 and upManufacturer: Gamewright


This Game Goes to Eleven borrows its title from the 1984 cult rock mock-umentary film This is Spinal Tap, in which the expression “goes to 11” means amping up volume beyond the standard 10 amp setting. The phrase has come to mean pushing the envelope.

Besides a plastic guitar pick (used only for alternative-rules play), an image of an amp on the backside of each card, and an illustrated rock guitarist on the 11 card, the game has nothing to do with the film or rock music. It’s an easy to learn, easy to play, card game for two-to-five players that takes about 15 minutes.

Each player is dealt three cards from the 72-card deck. By turn, each player plays one of his cards face-up to the discard pile and draws a new card. The cards are numbered 1-9, plus six each of the two special cards: the number-11 Guitarist card and the number zero Librarian card. Playing the Guitarist card automatically makes the discard pile equal 11, so you can give it to another player. The Librarian card counts as zero or can block the 11 card and rescue you from getting stuck with the discard pile.

If you play a card that brings the pile’s total to more than 11, you take the pile (not good). If adding your card to pile totals less than 11, it’s the next player’s turn. If your card makes the pile exactly 11, you get to give the discard pile to another player. Or, if your card matches the top card of the discard pile, you use it to start another discard pile which all players can play on.

The game’s over when the draw pile is depleted. The player with the least number of cards wins.

Don Oldenburg ©2019 Parents’ Choice

A former feature writer and consumer columnist at The Washington Post for 22 years, Don Oldenburg is the Director of Publications and Editor of the National Italian American Foundation, in Washington, D.C. He regularly reviews books for USA Today and is the coauthor of “The Washington DC-Baltimore Dog Lovers Companion” (Avalon Travel). The proud father of three sons, he lives with his journalist-author wife, Ann Oldenburg, in McLean, VA.. .

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