Welcome to Esmaya & Me!

Hi, and welcome to our website. Things are a bit sparse right now as we set ourselves up. We are preparing to launch our crowd funding campaign to raise production capital for our first product, SwitchUp!

What is SwitchUp! ?

SwitchUp! is based on the classic card game, Crazy Eights *(footnote), but with some twists and innovations of our own added in. In a nutshell, as play moves around the table, you try to empty your hand by matching your cards to either the suit or the value of the card in play in the middle of the table. There are also a number of “Power Cards” that will keep the game jumping from one turn to the next.

Why our game is better than a standard deck of 52 cards.

SwitchUp! Numbers card designWhat does our game have that a standard deck of 52 cards doesn’t? Well, for starters, we’ve taken the decoding and deciphering out of the game.

First, we have replaced the standard ‘suits’ with colors; red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet. Oh, and we’ve increased the number of suits to six. If you’re used to only playing with four, you’ll notice the change.

Second, instead of having to remember which cards do what (for instance, 2s are draw two, 8s are wild, Jacks are skip, etc.) we have broken out power cards into their own easily identified cards, and added in our own SwitchUp! power card as well.

Third, instead of a run of Ace thru King, we have a much simpler run of 1 thru 10 (umm… at least in SwitchUp! Numbers).


Even better if you have kids!

We’ve also taken lessons learned from playing games with Esmaya. We started her somewhere between ages two and three with a modified Uno deck, playing just before story time in the evenings. By the time she was in Kindergarten, she was regularly trouncing her parents at the full-blown game. Based on this experience, we’ve included simplified rules and tips on how to stack the deck to make the game easier for younger players, along with suggestions on how to incrementally increase the difficulty as your child progresses.

Since we were already thinking about kids, we’ve added in a few more innovations that don’t affect game play at all, but should be incredibly helpful when playing with children.

Two Flavors of SwitchUp!, Numbers and ShapesFor one, we’ve written the color directly to the card. This not only helps younger children to get used to seeing the word written out, but also players with color-blindness.

We’ve also written out the card’s value on the bottom, again so that early readers can get used to seeing it written out.

And finally, we’ve created SwitchUp! in two flavors; SwitchUp! Numbers and SwitchUp! Shapes. See, we realized long ago that using numbers was sort of arbitrary. We could match letters, shapes, faces, whatever. Even the standard deck makes this point with its run of Ace, two thru ten, Jack, Queen, and King. So, we’ve chosen ten of the most common shapes to change the game up and to help expose kids to basic geometry.


Two High-Quality Games in One (Set)

SwitchUp! will be sold as a set of two decks in one package. One deck of SwitchUp! Numbers, and one of SwitchUp! Shapes. Each deck is oversized at 87 cards.

Decks in their boxWe created SwitchUp! to be the game that we wished we’d been able to find in 2002. The cards will be made out of 100% plastic and should last, under normal wear and tear, for quite a while. They are washable, difficult to bend or crease, and won’t fray at the edges like paper cards do. We won’t say that they’ll last forever, as this depends largely on how they are used, but Louanna’s grandparents had a deck of plastic playing cards that they used daily for at least fifteen years. After both grandparents had died, the cards were passed along to their daughter and are still in use today.

Putting games that we hope will last you for years into a cardboard tuck box that might last you less than twelve months seems a bit ridiculous. So, both games will ship together in one durable package. Our custom-branded Dual Deck Box from Ultra PRO isn’t much more expensive than a couple of tuck boxes would have been, and will protect your games for many years.

Want One?

If you want a copy or two, or three, or more (they’d make great gifts!) of SwitchUp!, the best way to ensure that you get one is to pre-order during our crowd funding campaign. If, at the end of that campaign, we have raised enough capital to produce the minimum run of five thousand units, your order will be put through and your product shipped by the beginning of December, 2013. If on the other hand, we don’t meet our minimum requirements, all orders will be cancelled and you will be charged nothing.

If you choose to back our campaign by pre-ordering, you will have our heartfelt gratitude, and we know SwitchUp! will provide hours of fun with friends and family alike for years to come.



Louanna, Esmaya and Chris

*In the U.S., Crazy Eights is the better known name, but other names (some with rule variations) include Switch, Mau Mau, Two Four Jacks, Black Jack (not the 21 game), Irish Switch, Jack Changes, Take Two and Peanuckle (but not Pinochle).