My family gets competitive with card games. Our latest obsession is Dutch Blitz, a fast-paced game that seems somewhat regional due to the Pennsylvania Dutch influence.
To give you an idea of just how seriously we take it, we have a spreadsheet to keep score and maintain lifetime stats. Feel free to fork it for your own use.
We’ve also purpose-built a Dutch Blitz table with green felt.
The latest endeavor? To create custom cards in the style of Dutch Blitz / Ligretto / Nerts.
The Dutch Blitz cards definitely have a charm, but they’ve also got some usability issues. The color combinations have poor contrast, black on blue in particular. Differentiating the boy and girl takes an extra second, which matters in the heat of the moment. The numbers are small and can be tough to read from across the table.
Flip the cards over, and the vintage etchings — the pump, carriage, plow, and pail — are endearing but have no personal significance to us. One is assigned to each player, but keeping straight which is whose takes a few rounds.
For more than 4 players, the expansion pack is just a palette swap of the same four objects.
If a 5th and 6th suit can be devised to fit with classic poker cards, it shouldn’t be tough to spot more things around the farm for Dutch Blitz.
And so I took the opportunity to design custom cards and have some fun with personalized illustrations.
For the backs, I went with branded objects we already associate with different members of the family. Here are the results.
You might be able to guess which object is mine.
Here are some alternative backs I had printed up for a gift.
Now to playtest this deck and no doubt iterate on it, getting ever closer to the ultimate Dutch Blitz experience.
Leeanne has graciously shared her own spin — silly animals in silly hats! They capture the art style of the original game perfectly. My personal favorite is the raccoon in a Croc. What’s yours?
Download her designs in PNG and SVG format.
Lance Smith also shared his take, representing his family’s ties to DC, VA, OK, and FL.