The official description:
Sideshow Swap!™ is an original, deduction-style social game based on cunning and chance. Players take turns swapping performer cards and playing tickets in an effort to sabotage others, all while trying to discover and hold the top performer before the game ends. Squirrel away money to play the best tickets and tilt the game in your favor. But beware! Other players are trying to ruin your plan as well, so it helps to keep track of where the best performers are as the chaos ensues. Cards are quickly and frequently changing between players, so you have to time your moves just right. The game ends when someone lays their last ticket, and players reveal their performers. The highest one wins!
In Sideshow Swap the goal is to have the highest value performer at the end of the game. To set up the game one player shuffles the performer cars and deals one to each player, then sets 5 facedown in the middle and the rest are set off to the side in the box. Then you deal each player 3 ticket cards and put the rest of the ticket cards in the center by the performer cards. After that, each player checks their tickets to be sure that no one starts with a red one, if any player has a red ticket they are to switch it with one from the pile until they do not, then re-shuffle the ticket draw pile. set up the bank by putting in 5 of the Bux token for each player in the center with cards, and then everyone takes two to start with from the bank. There are some variation depnding on the number of players, you can see the official setup video to learn more:
Each player will have three options of what they can do on their
Take a Bux from the bank, If you forget that is on you so
Then a player have the option to either draw a new ticket from the ticket draw pile. If you do this and receive a” Now Playing” card you must follow the action listed on the cars and end your turn, Or play a ticket card from your hand.
If a player chooses not to
The tickets cards have a variety of actions to help you get more Bux or swap performer cards to try and find the highest one in the game, after all, that is how you win
Play continues with these using the above steps until either a player runs out of tickets in their hand, or the ticket draw deck has run out of cards.
Once the game then ends each of the players will flip their performer cards over at the same time to determine the winner, which is the player with the highest performer card. The flip is one of the most energetic points of the game when you see all those around expression 😉 You never really know the outcome until then and the reactions are priceless.
The full official instructions cane be seen in their How To Play Video, or by reading the Rules:
While we were playing we had players of all ages from pre-teen to adult and each player was very easily able to pick up the game/rules easily and enjoy it!
Their cards pay homage to the classic Sideshow style art banner and posters one would have seen in the hay day or sideshow performers. The Bux tokens have good graphics and are sturdy enough to last many and many games. We will mention that we did play a prototype so components are subject to change.
- Great graphics
- Easy to learn and teach
- Fast passed
- Enjoyable from any age
- Wording on official rule boards might be confusing to some on setup for the different gameplay with the number of players (you can watch the official video if you has any questions or concerns on setup or gameplay, both videos featured above or on the official website)
- The game seems best played with Three to Six players
Overall the game is visually wonderful with a fun theme that can be enjoyed by all ages. The gameplay is very enjoyable and fast paced as you would want from a card game like Sideshow Swap. The game provides an easy to learn
If you are like us then you have at least 4-6 different games you will play in one night, and Sideshow Swap not only plays great on it’s own, but we will be playing it as a “side” game during others. What We mean by that is when another game take a long time to setup, or waiting for other players is that Sideshow swap is a great filler for players to play during down time as it is a easy, fun, fast paced enough that we will be playing side-by-side with other games on our game nights!