This mechanic is in part inspired by a recent advertisement that I kept seeing on Youtube – that of an octopus playing against 4 different table tennis opponents at once (link). Could this be possible in a card game?
Day 2: Octopus, the Card Game
Each player is a pesky human opponent who is seeking to distract the octopus for long enough to be able to play all of their cards before their opponents.
Place 8 cards in a circle in the middle of the table – these represent the octopus’s arms. Each player gets a set of numbered cards, lets say 1-7, in their colour marked both on the front and back of the cards.
Each round of the game, players take turns in playing one of their cards face down to one of the octopus’s arms (a probable rule would be that you can’t have more than one of your cards at any one arm at once). Once every player has taken their turn, the octopus will fight back against the pesky humans who are annoying it.
The top card is revealed from a deck of octopus cards, which details which arms will fight back this turn. For example, each arm is marked with both a colour and a quality (say long or short), and a card might say that all red arms fight back this turn.
The cards that were played at the arms that are fighting back are flipped over, with the lowest card there being sent back to its owners hand, and the other cards remaining there face up. If there is a tie, then the next card up is sent back instead. This process happens for all fighting arms. Then a new round starts. Continue playing until one player has gotten rid of all of their cards.
It feels like this game might need a further twist to make it interesting – you could easily imagine special abilities on the player cards that let you look at other face down cards, move them around, or possibly even change which octopus arm is fighting this round. The ability to predict what the octopus might do based on previous cards drawn (and hence what is left in the deck) might give some possibility for tactical play. What do you think?