Welcome to Heartcatchers, a strategic two-player deception game. Your goal is to catch as many hearts as you can - but watch out for the tricky effects of the Secrets!
Components - 20 cards
6 Blue Heart Cards (3 Blank, 1 Ultimate Love, 1 Heartbreaker, 1 Change-of-Heart)
6 Red Heart Cards (3 Blank, 1 Ultimate Love, 1 Heartbreaker, 1 Change-of-Heart)
6 Green Heart Cards (3 Blank, 1 Ultimate Love, 1 Heartbreaker, 1 Change-of-Heart)
2 White Uncatchable Cards
To start play, shuffle the deck. Lay out cards face-up in two rows of three, so that opponents face each other across the two rows. The playing field will always maintain this layout - no more or less than 3 stacks on each player’s side.
Place extra cards in a draw pile. Deal a hand of three cards to each player.
Each turn, a player may perform one of three actions.
1. Play a card from your hand face-up on top of a stack of the correct color on your side of the field. Red catches green, green catches blue, blue catches red. The Your Eyes Only Uncatchable card can catch red, blue, or green. At the end of the game, each face-up card on your side of the field will award you one point.
2. Steal an opponent’s stack by catching it with the correct color card from your hand. Once you have placed your card, exchange the whole stack (including Secrets, which we’ll get to in a moment) with any one of the three stacks on your side.
3. Play any card in your hand as a Secret, face-down under any stack on the field, perpendicular to the face-up cards. All face-down cards will be revealed at the end of the game. Certain cards played as Secrets will affect scoring. There can be an unlimited number of Secrets played under any face-up card or stack.
Uncatchable. If you use an Uncatchable card to catch a stack, no other card may be played on top of it. The stack can still be moved through other means (such as catching your opponent’s stack and swapping, or a Change-of-Heart Secret revealed at the end of the game).
Once you have taken one of the three above actions, your turn is over - draw back up to three cards, if there are cards available in the draw pile.
A player may count the cards in a stack at any time, as long as the stack order is not disturbed and Secrets are not revealed.
End of Game
Play continues until the draw pile is exhausted and players have played out their hands.
Look at the Secrets, one stack at a time.
Resolve Change-of-Hearts first; they exchange the stack with the one across from it, and are then discarded. All other Secrets remain with the stacks as they move.
Once Change-of-Hearts are resolved, reveal all other Secrets. Add 3 points for every face-down Ultimate Love card on your side, and subtract 3 points for every face-down Heartbreaker on your side. Each player then receives a point for each face up Heart card in the three stacks on their side of the field. A stack with three face-up cards gets three points, four face-up cards gets four points, etc.
Add up the scores. The person with the most points wins! Because of the fast-paced nature of the game, ties can be broken by “best of 3,” “best of 5,” etc.
Each card has a suit (red, green, blue, or Uncatchable). Some cards additionally have actions.
Change-of-Heart - If played as a Secret, at the end of the game, the stack swaps with the one across from it
Heartbreaker - If played as a Secret, at the end of the game subtract 3 points from your score.
Ultimate Love - if played as a Secret, at the end of the game add 3 points to your score.
Uncatchable - Catch a stack. Cannot be caught again.