Numbsters: Pocket-Sized Math Game From Button Shy

Numbsters Wallet Game from Button Shy

Why was six afraid of seven?

Because seven eight nine! This math-y kids joke has now been made into a fun and think-y solo card game from Button Shy. Feed hungry numbers while paying attention to each card’s special ability. Eat your way to one Numbster to win.

Numbsters Solo Card Game

Numbsters is a solo pocket game that is fun, challenging, simple, and lightweight. It may even be addictive for competitive players. Like all Button Shy Wallet Games, this one comes in a diminutive package of 18 cards in a cute pink wallet. The game has fun illustrations to accompany the theme and the back of the cards are as much fun to look at as the front. The game has a very clever concept that I didn’t anticipate with such a small deck of cards. The instructions are clear and concise with no ambiguity. Bravo to articulate writing. Because of this I am willing to overlook the hard-to-read tiny text on the instruction pamphlet.

Addictive Gameplay

After learning Numbsters, I find myself playing it a few times a day, which is pretty frequent. We have lots of games to choose from but I do find myself gravitating to Numbsters due to its pocket-ability. Numbsters is challenging, and as a competitive player, I like that sort of challenge. I have been playing Numbsters constantly because I keep losing; I need a win! The game is simple enough to not cause anxiety, but also not easy to win.

Numbsters cards from the game by button shy

How to Play Numbsters

You begin with a stack of six random Numbsters, including the Mouth card. You must strategically eat and move and Numbsters to be the last player standing with only one Numbster and the Mouth card remaining in your hand.

To start the game, remove card 8 from the deck, then shuffle the deck. Take 6 cards, face down. The remaining becomes the draw deck. Merge card 8 (the mouth) with the rest of your hand. Then shuffle your hand a few times  to randomize the sequence. Turn the 7 cards over to reveal the hand, and hope that the top card is not card 8 – which is an immediate lose. Next you can move a card or swap 2 cards per round to position the “8” card between two Numbsters, with one of them to-be-eaten. To win the game you want to eliminate cards from your hand until there are no more moves left.

Numbsters Pocket Sized Wallet Card Game by Button Shy

Numbsters Setup and play:

  • 7 cards in the player’s hand, one of them is card 8
  • Shuffle once and set down the draw pile
  • Goal is to eliminate cards from your hand until there is no more moves left
  • Move a card or swap 2 cards per round to position the “8” card between two Numbsters, with one of them to-be-eaten (according to Eating Rules)

Eating Rules

  • Universal rule: smaller numbsters always eats the bigger numbsters (i.e. 7 eats 9, so 9 is out)
  • Special rule: follow the rule that is written on the top/first card in your hand; every card is different


  • Never let 8 get to the front of your hand.
  • There are only 2 cards left in your hand, a mouth and a numbster.


  • There are 3 or more cards left in your hand but you can’t make any more moves, then you lose.
  • If the 8 gets to the front of your hand while there are still 3 or more cards in your hand, then you lose.

Numbsters Wallet Game from Button Shy

Numbsters – Portable Solo Card Game

Numbsters comes with a card holder that is like a wallet-like bifold with two pockets for storing cards. This is useful for both storage and play. During play, players can pause their game by keeping the draw deck in one pocket while the other pocket stores your hand and the discards. The game is also designed to be played without a table. Perfect for players who are always on the go.

Numbsters Pocket Sized Wallet Card Game by Button Shy

Final Thoughts on Numbsters

We were surprised by how much fun this seemingly simple game is. I found myself playing this game in random moments between at work or picking up my son from school. The challenge of the puzzle is harder than it first looks with unique rule for each card changing the action of each move. The cute artwork in this game definitely keeps me coming back as well. The pink wallet and colorful Numbsters are fun to pick up and play with.

What is Button Shy Games?

Button Shy Games is a small board game publisher known for creating innovative, pocket-sized games that prioritize diversity and inclusion. Their Kickstarter campaigns feature a monthly subscription model that has gained a loyal following.

One of Button Shy’s standout titles is Sprawlopolis, a city-building game that challenges players to create the most efficient and effective urban landscape possible. Despite having just 18 cards and a simple set of rules, Sprawlopolis offers deep gameplay that is easy to learn but difficult to master.

You can order Numbsters on Button Shy’s website.

1 thought on “Numbsters: Pocket-Sized Math Game From Button Shy”

  1. Pingback: River Wild and Ancient Realm Solitaire Games from Button Shy

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