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Mermaid's Song

This is a game for 2, 3, 4, or 6 players.

Deal out all the cards face down.

Look at the cards in your hand. Select one, remove it with your other hand, and keep it face down until each player has selected a card from their hand. Then flip your card over, showing it to everyone. Follow these rules in order:

(1) Kelp forests entangle everything. If anyone's card is a kelp forest, skip to Rule 6.

(2) Mermaids call an end to elections. If anyone's card is a mermaid, this election is over. Add up the number cards in front of you on the table. If you have the highest sum, collect all cards on the table and the just-selected cards from all players and place them in your pile of winnings. Skip Rules 3 to 6. If there is a tie or no cards on the table, ignore this rule.

(3) If your card is the whirlpool, pick a direction: left or right. Each player passes their card to the next player in that direction.

(4) If your card is a conch shell, choose another player and swap it for their card. If someone else selected a conch shell too, ignore this rule.

(5) The sea dragon is fierce. If your card is the sea dragon, then you win the election. Collect all cards showing and add them to your winnings. Skip Rule 6.

(6) Place your card face up in front of you on the table.

Repeat until both mermaids and the sea dragon are played. Then count the number of cards (not the numbers on the cards) in your winnings, and add it to your score. (Ignore any unplayed cards left in your hand.) If you have over 100 points and there is no tie, you win! Otherwise, collect all cards, shuffle, deal, and play another hand.

Example of Play:

1. Ann selects a 3; Bob selects a 2. They each place their card face up on the table in front of themselves.

2. Ann selects a mermaid. Bob selects a 10. The mermaid ends the election. Ann wins the election because she has 3 on the table and Bob has 2. Ann collects the 2, 3, mermaid, and 10 for her winnings.

3. Ann selects a 7; Bob selects a conch shell. Bob swaps the shell for the 7. They place the cards in front of them.

4. Ann selects a kelp forest. Bob selects a sea dragon. Because of the kelp forest, the sea dragon does not win. They place the cards on the table.

5. Ann selects a whirlpool. Bob selects a 10. The whirlpool sends the 10 to Ann and the whirlpool to Bob. They place the cards on the table.

6. Ann selects a mermaid. Bob selects a conch shell. The mermaid ends the election. Ann wins because she has a 10 and Bob has a 7. Ann collects the 10, 7, kelp forest, sea dragon, whirlpool, and conch shell from the table and the mermaid and conch shell just selected for her winnings.

Since both mermaids and the sea dragon have been played, the hand is over. Ann's score is now 12. Bob's is zero. Since no one has 100 yet, they play another hand.


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