Flash 8: Speed puzzle game that’s good for a variety of ages

I recently took Flash 8, a new speed game from IELLO USA and Scorpion Masque, on a family camping trip and out of all of the games we brought Flash 8 got the most use BY FAR.  Sure, it’s new and that makes it exciting, but it was also really fun!
Flash 8 whole game

How To Play

Flash 8 is a speed game that’s really quite easy to get, especially when you look at the back of the box (below).  Each player has a cardboard tray that holds 8 electrons that you are going to frantically zip around your tray trying to match what’s on one of the cards in the center of the playing area. The key is that you have to match what you see EXACTLY.  So if the card shows a row of colored electrons going from the upper left corner to the lower right, it has to go from the upper left to the lower right on your board. No mirror images, no turning your board to make it match.  Your opponent across the table will see it from their perspective, and that’s what they copy.  So when they yell out “Flash” to indicate that they completed a card, you can quickly look up and see it matches exactly before the take the card.
Flash 8 back of box art
While most of time you’re playing Flash 8 you’re face-down looking at your board as you scramble to recreate one of the three cards, there’s still some player interaction.   Players regularly seem to just barely out “flash” another player working on the same card.  Or you can do what my charming 5 year old daughter did; she watched to see what cards other players were looking at and then tried to beat them to it.  Now how can a 5 year old beat me in a speed game like this?  Because she has one less blue electron floating around her board.  Instead of 8 electrons she only has 7 which makes her quite competitive in the game.
When all of the cards have been claimed, Flash 8 is over and it’s time to determine the winner. Count up the number of cards — don’t forget to score 2 points for any card with a star in the corner — and the player with the highest total is the winner!  Easy!  The rules say that in case of a tie the tied players share the victory, but that’s no fun!  We do a 3 card play off between the tied players, but I’m sure you family can find some inventive way to break a tie!

My Thoughts

Overall, I really enjoyed Flash 8 and so did my family.  I had seen it at Toy Fair this past February (doesn’t that feel like ages ago?!) and thought it looked fun then and I was absolutely right!  The pieces are really quality and solid, as you would expect from IELLO.  I was really excited to find that it’s easy to make it competitive when there’s a variety of ages.  Not only can you remove an electron from some player trays, but you could also give “handicaps” (let someone start with a bonus 2-5 points) to make it a bit more of an even playing field within a group of mixed aged kids. (That’s not in the rules, but it’s easy to do!)  I should also note that there are solo instructions in the game.  I haven’t tested them out, but that’s because I’ve never NOT been able to find someone to play it with me.  That’s a pretty good sign!

Flash 8 Stats:

~$25 on Amazon or you can visit the IELLO site to see where your local IELLO dealer is
1-4 players (special solo rules)
15 minutes
Ages 7 and up (I’d say 6+)

Game was provided free of charge from the manufacturer with no guarantee of review (I’ve got to like it).