The colors of Crazier Eights have had unique themes since the release of Crazier Eights: Camelot in October 2017. This was actually the original intent. The most important thematic concepts associated with each color are the following:
- Red represents the divine, civilization, and the miraculous.
- Purple represents the paranormal, the intellect, and magic.
- Blue represents the demonic, passion, and death.
- Green represents the natural, the wilderness, and life.
The above chart can help us visualize how each color is divided into various primary conceptual themes. Those concepts can be found in other colors, but they are primarily focused on in one color in particular. Each color is mainly focused on three primary concepts, which are each in opposition to a counterpart found in another color. For example, the divine (red) and the demonic (blue) are in opposition. The natural (green) and the paranormal (purple) are also in opposition.
Conceptual themes based on factions is called a “color pie” or “color wheel,” as it is discussed by game designers.
These conceptual themes are primarily abstract, but they also have an impact on the abilities found in each color. For example, purple’s intellect theme is greatly associated with abilities that say something like, “Draw 3 cards, then put 3 cards from your hand back on top of the draw pile.” Such abilities represent the introduction of new ideas, and the rejection of some ideas.
Let’s take a closer look at each color’s theme:
- Civilization is opposed to the wilderness (green).
- The miraculous is opposed to magic (purple).
- The divine is opposed to the demonic (blue).
Additionally, red is also associated with the Sun, light, day time, protection, faith, justice, law, abundance, conversion, trade, travel, and innovation. Red is primarily focused on humans and heroes. It’s primary interest is to defeat the opposition for a better world.
Some red abilities:
- Get control of assets from an opponent’s hand.
- Fortifications that protect you from drawing cards.
- Guardians that protect assets from being destroyed.
- The intellect is opposed to passion (blue).
- Magic is opposed to the miraculous (red).
- The paranormal is opposed to the natural (green).
Purple is also associated with manipulation, precognition, science, discovery, innovation, and freedom. Purple is primarily focused on wizards and magic items. It’s primary concern is to learn.
Some purple abilities:
- Play cards from the draw pile.
- Draw cards and put them back into the draw pile.
- Manipulate cards from the draw pile or from a player’s hand.
- The demonic is opposed to the divine (red).
- Passion is opposed to the intellect (purple).
- Death is opposed to life (green).
Blue is also associated with the Moon, darkness, night, sleep, destruction, suffering, theft, conversion, enchantment, and freedom. Blue is primarily focused on monsters, charming people, and sea-related people. It’s primary interest is to attain power.
Some blue abilities:
- Destroy assets.
- Gain control of an asset.
- Skip a player’s turn.
- Life is opposed to death (blue).
- The natural is opposed to the paranormal (purple).
- The wilderness is opposed to civilization (red).
Green is also associated with nourishment, abundance, travel, discovery, enchantment, science, discovery, and protection. Green is mostly focused on adventurers, charming people, and mythical creatures, such as elves. Note that the Ankh is the symbol for green because it represents life! It’s primary interest is balance and health.
Some green abilities:
- Put assets into a player’s hand.
- Manipulate the top cards of the draw pile.
- Play assets from the draw pile.
What’s the Point?
Game designers are mostly interested in having a color pie to bring about better balance to a game, but that is not the main point in Crazier Eights. It is more of an aesthetic decision. When I was making the game I wanted it to have different colors of cards to prevent the game from looking too monochromatic.
Even so, I do think the colors help the game function better because of human psychology. First, it helps with remembering what cards do. Just trying to memorize 52 cards and unique abilities can be difficult. When you associate certain concepts with certain colors, and those concepts also have an impact on the game mechanics, that can make it a lot easier to remember what cards do.
Second, when you play new versions of Crazier Eights, the themes and conceptual associations are very similar, and that will make it a lot easier to make sense out of the cards right out of the box. It makes it a lot less overwhelming. Familiar types of abilities are associated with familiar colors and they represent similar things.
Despite the fact that each color has some conceptual opposition in every other color, I consider red and blue to be the main opposition to one another, and I consider green and purple to be the main opposition to one another.
The concept of a “color pie” or “color wheel” was started by Magic: the gathering. An interesting article was written about how the colors of Magic: the Gathering relate to popular culture and everyday life can be found here: How the ‘Magic: The Gathering’ Color Wheel Explains Humanity.
I think this is the first time I really wrote about how the color themes in Crazier Eights are intended.
By the way, I think the primary color for my own personality is green, but purple has a lot of influence as well. I might seem more purple in everyday life, so it’s a bit of a toss up.