I was watching my grandchildren play Sorry one day and noticed that about the only time they exhibited any animation was when they were able to nail another player with a Sorry card. The rest of the time they pretty much just ground their way through the game to its end. I got the idea that if I introduced novelty cards to the deck that caused more interaction both with the game and the other players, they might enjoy the game more. It worked!
The very first time they played with the newly enhanced deck within minutes they were laughing as hard as if someone were tickling them and leaning inward toward the game, anticipating of what was coming next. It worked so well that I decided to create this webpage to help anyone else who might want to perk up their Sorry game.
Making the new cards can be accomplished two ways. The easiest is to get a second deck of cards, print out the faces of the new cards on paper labels, then peel and stick the new faces over the old ones. This produces cards that are very slightly thicker than the originals but shuffle evenly into the deck.
The second technique is to scan the back of a card, then copy and print it multiple times onto a sheet of mat photo paper. Then create the new faces and print them on another sheet. After that, cut them all out and glue them together. This process is much more tedious, can result in uneven surfaces depending on how the two sheets are glued together, produces cards that are thicker yet softer than the original cards and that tend to bunch up when shuffled.
I recommend the first method.
Once you've selected how you want to make them, the next question is: "What should the new cards say?" The following 10 cards worked well for us, but by all means be creative and invent your own.
First up we have the BIG JUMP CARD.
A player who draws this jumps one token all the way across the board to the corresponding square on the opposite side. This card is a double-edged sword because if a player's only token is more than half way around the board it's jumped in front of its Start square and has to go all the way around the board again. I added four of these to the deck.
Next we have the FREE PASS card.
Anyone getting this card can move one token from anywhere on the board to Home. This is a very powerful card so I only added two of them to the deck.
To balance this card, I also added two GAME SORRY cards (not pictured.) These send a token back to start. What's nice about them is that they encourage the feeling that it's the players against the game rather than against each other.
Another card that's not pictured is the UNDO card. A player drawing one of these Sorry cards puts it to the side and can play it the next time someone lay's a hit card on them. If it's used to counter a Sorry card, then this is one case where two tokens can occupy the same square. That way the player playing the Sorry card still gets their man out of Start.
The TURBO card is undoubtedly my grandchildren's favorite.
When drawn, the player picks three cards and can use them in any way the want: play them all right away, save one or more of them for later use, or even give one or more of them to help (or hurt) another player. Another very powerful card, only two were added.
The FALL BACK card is a silly entry that the kids always get a laugh out of.
With this card a Sorry token is moved backward to the end of the previous slide and then slides backwards to its beginning. This is a card that the children like to define themselves. Sometimes they'll decided that any other tokens on the slide get knocked back to Start like a regular slide. Other times they figure that since everything is happening in reverse, they don't send tokens back to Start. They like this one so much I added six to the deck.
One of the common questions about the game of Sorry is: "Why aren't there any 6 or 9 cards?" The answer is that young children may have a hard time recognizing which is which by how they look at the card. My response was to create the TOPSY TURVY card.
Players drawing this card decide for themselves if it's a 6 or a 9. Four of these were added.
The next one is a tricky little card. It's designed to help make the game fun rather than competitive. The idea is to get the children playing as if it were them against the game, rather than against each other.
If they draw a HELP A FRIEND card, they have to give it to a player of their choice, who can them use it to get a token out of Start or move one token 15 squares forward. It's tricky because it not only let's them interact directly with another player, rather than through the game, it also hides the fact that it's a loss-of-turn card. The player drawing it doesn't get to move one of their tokens, yet they have the feeling they got to accomplish something. This card ended up being more successful than I imagined. They usually give it to the player that's in last place because it's the safest move. But then the player getting the card has an obligation to return a similar favor later in the game. I added four of these.
Everyone loves drawing the SECRET AGENT card,
The lucky recipient draws two cards, plays one and hides the second away to be used anytime they want. It's not that it's a particularly powerful card, they just like the Secret Agent idea. There are four of these.
Now we come to the last and most revolutionary card, the 2X card.
Whoever draws one of the two added to the deck, draws a second card and multiplies whatever it says by two. The idea was that someone might draw a 12 and get to jump forward 24 spaces or a 4 and have to back up 8. What I hadn't considered is that they might also draw a FREE PASS card, which means they get to move two tokens from anywhere on the board to home. Several times this has resulted in the player in last place suddenly winning the game. It's so unexpected that even the children who lost start laughing at the surprise. Things can get crazy with this card. In one game a player in last place drew a TURBO card next, which gave them not 3 but 6 cards, one of which was another TURBO card, and you guessed... one of those was the other 2X card. They went on to win in a single turn, then had fun handing out leftover cards to the other players to use as they wanted. It ended up being a memorable Sorry game experience. The real magic of this card is that because it changes all the other cards in the deck, its effect is as if the the number of types of cards in the deck were suddenly doubled. Only two of these cards were added.
Adding these cards has increased to fun factor of our Sorry game to the point where even adults started wanting to play it. Part of that was because the cards themselves made the game more fun, but part was also that the new Sorry cards freshened up a game that although excellent, is so familiar that seeing the same cards over and over again makes them feel cliched. I hope this page has helped give you ideas for your own new Sorry cards.
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