What Goes Up… Must Come Down! Cloud 9: the Daring Game of Ups and Downs!

What goes up... Must come down! Cloud 9: The Daring Game of Ups and Downs
Cloud 9

Cloud 9

Cloud 9 is a quick, push-your-luck style card game. You earn points by daring to stay in the basket of a hot air balloon as it rises. Your points increase as the balloon climbs higher from cloud to cloud, but so does the risk of the balloon crashing. Should you jump ship to save your points or trust that the pilot will take you safely higher?

Everyone places their passenger token into the balloon’s basket to start the trip and receives a hand of six balloon cards. Each turn, a different pilot rolls an increasing number of specialized dice to see if the balloon can stay aloft. The dice dictate how many and what color of balloon cards the pilot needs to have to keep the balloon aloft. Each player then decides whether they think the pilot will have the cards to successfully take the balloon up, or whether they should jump ship and keep the points they’ve earned so far. If they stay, they run the risk of getting no points if the pilot fails. If the pilot succeeds, the balloon soars higher and the next player (clockwise) still in the balloon becomes the pilot, rolls the dice and the decision to stay or jump ship is again presented.

Cloud 9 components

Cloud 9 components

If the balloon crashes, place it on the lowest cloud, then everyone hops aboard, draws one new card, and the next trip begins. When a player earns 50 points the game is over.

Cloud 9 has received several honors, including being listed in Games Magazine Top 100 Traditional Games of 2005. It’s a fun, quick game for three to six players ages 8 and up (according to the publisher), though I don’t see why younger kids couldn’t play, too: there’s no reading involved. Cloud 9 plays in 30 minutes or less.

Here Be Books & Games has a copy in their Demo Game Library so we can teach you how to play! Just ask!