Unstable Unicorns How to Play Guide
2 -8 players
30 – 45 mins
Age: 14 +
What is the goal?
The objective of Unstable Unicorns is to be the first player to collect 7 unicorns.
If playing with 6 – 8 players: Only 6 unicorns are required.
- Separate the Baby Unicorn cards and the reference cards from the black-backed cards in the box.
- Shuffle the black-backed cards (including any expansion cards you would like to use) together.
- Deal 5 cards to each player.
- Place the remaining stack of cards face-down in the centre of the table. This stack is your deck.
- Leave space for a discard pile next to your deck. This is where you will place cards that have been sacrificed, destroyed or discarded during the duration of the game.
- Each player must choose a Baby Unicorn card and place it in their Stable. This is the play area in front of them.
- Place remaining Baby Unicorn cards in a stack on the table. This will be the Nursery.
- Any Baby Unicorn cards that are not in a player’s Stable are always placed back in the Nursery, never your added to your hand, the deck or the discard pile.
- Each player must also take a rule reference card.
- The first player to go first is whoever is wearing the most colours!
The 4 Phases:
The Important Terms:
Nursery: The stack of Baby Unicorn cards on the table.
Deck: The stack of black-backed cards which players draw from during the game. This may include any black-backed cards from any expansion packs.
Discard Pile: The stack of black-backed cards which have been sacrificed, destroyed or discarded during the game.
Draw: Pull the top card of the deck and add it to your hand.
Discard: Move a card from your hand to the discard pile.
Sacrifice: Move a card in your Stable to the discard pile. This term is used for Unicorn, Upgrade and Downgrade cards.
Destroy: Move a card from any other player’s Stable to the discard pile. This term is used for Unicorn, Upgrade and Downgrade cards.
Steal: Move a card from any other player’s table in to your own.
The Types of Cards:
Unicorn Cards have a horn symbol in the top left hand corner.
This card stays in a player’s Stable until it is sacrificed or destroyed. You need to collect Unicorns in your stable to win the game.
Unicorn cards come in 3 flavours:
Baby Unicorn cards have a purple corner. Each player starts with a Baby Unicorn card. The only way to bring more Baby Unicorn cards into your hand is through a special effect from another card as they are kept in the Nursery and are never in any player’s hand.
Basic Unicorn cards have an Indigo corner. They don’t have any special effects.
Magical Unicorn cards have a blue corner and each one has an effect that can give you an advantage in the game.
Ending the Game:
How do you win at Unstable Unicorns?
The first person to collect:
- for 2 – 5 Players: 7 Unicorns, wins.
- for 6 – 8 Players: 6 Unicorns, wins.
If the deck runs out of cards before any player reaches a winning number, the player with the most Unicorns wins.
If two or more players tie for the most Unicorns, each tied player must add up the number of letters in the names of all the Unicorn cards in their stable. The player with the most letters wins.
- If two or more players tie for the most Unicorns and letters, everyone loses.
Advanced Rules & Clarifications:
Cards in your hand vs. Cards in your Stable:
Unicorn , Upgrade and Downgrade cards’ effects’ are only active when they are in your Stable and have no effect when in your hand.
Entering and Leaving your Stable:
Each time you play, Steal or bring a Unicorn into your Stable, it counts as “Entering your Stable“.
Each time a Unicorn card is sacrificed, destroyed or stolen, it counts as “Leaving your Stable“.
Some effects are mandatory, for example, “Discard a card” while others are optional. For example, “You may Steal a Unicorn“.
- If a card doesn’t use the word “may“, you can assume it is mandatory.
- OPTION 1 (EASY): When you play a card with an effect you must declare which player/s you are targeting prior to using the effect. This allows players to decide if they want to respond with a Neigh card.
- OPTION 2 (ADVANCED): When you play a card with an effect, players have to choose if they want to use a Neigh card prior to you selecting your targets.
Some card effects allow you to search the deck or the discard pile for a card. Once you have retrieved that card, reveal the card you chose to each other player before adding it to your hand.
For example: “Sacrifice a Unicorn card, then draw a card”.
Discarding when you have no cards in your hand.
2 Player Unstable Unicorn Rules:
If you are playing with 2 players, make the following modifications prior to starting:
Remove the following cards from the deck and place them into the game box as they will not be used in the 2 player version of the game:
- All Basic Unicorns
- Queen Bee Unicorn
- Seductive Unicorn
- Rainbow Unicorn
- Nanny Cam
- Sadistic Ritual
- Mother Goose Unicorn
- Necromancer Unicorn
- Before shuffling the deck, take out two Neigh cards and hand one to each player.
- Shuffle the deck and deal 5 cards to each player (giving each player a total of 6 cards in their hand to start the game, including the Neigh card).
How do you win?
Win by being the first person to collect 7 unicorns in a 2-5 player game, or 6 unicorns in a 6-8 player game.