Push: Review


PUSH is one of the latest games from Ravensburger, publisher of puzzles and a ton of other games (including the SdJ nominated Quest for El Dorado). This one's a bit lighter fare, taking aim at the games your family always keeps around the house that you have to play when you go back for the holidays because everyone owns UNO.


In PUSH, you just ... push. Your luck, that is. On a turn, you basically flip cards into one of three columns as long as no card of that color or number is in that column. You can stop at any time, allowing players in clockwise (or counterclockwise, depending on how many Reverse cards come up) order to choose which stack they want to add to their scoring area (the Bench).

One key facet of the game is the Roll card; this forces a player who takes that card to roll the die, losing all cards of that color from their Bench. If they roll the black star, they're safe, unless you play with the harder variant, where they lose EVERYTHING! It's cruel, but fair. A similar fate befalls players who bust; if you cannot play the card you just revealed, you must discard it and then roll the die. The other players then get to choose which columns they want to score, and you get nothing (potentially less than nothing, depending on the whims of the dice).


To prevent potentially unfortunate outcomes, players can opt not to take a turn and can instead bank a set of cards of one color, insulating them against future dice rolls that might cost them dearly. That's generally a good idea if you have a particularly valuable column, especially because your opponents will likely start trying to ensure that you take Roll cards on future turns, if they can. I wouldn't say that this game has a particularly high level of control over that; it's definitely "flip cards until you're done", but, you can at least try to influence that. Play continues until the deck is depleted, at which point the player with the most points wins!

The major wins for PUSH are that it's small, portable, bright, and easy to learn; it's pretty easy to see the style of games it seeks to emulate or surpass, and in a lot of ways it does a pretty great job! I'd be totally fine presenting this to my family or putting it in a stocking or giving it as a gift to a younger family member. It's pretty solidly fun, decently challenging, and sure, luck won't always go your way, but it's pretty easy to laugh it off (since it plays quickly). I've had a lot of fun with it!

Eric Yurko

Eric is the primary reviewer and photographer for his board game review website, What's Eric Playing?. He generally enjoys light, cooperative, and dexterity games, and in his free time he's watching Black Panther or working his actual job as a Software Engineer.