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Pixel Hanafuda

Affordable Japanese Flower Cards with Unique Lo-Fi Design!




Pixel Hanafuda is the first in my series of Pixel Cards, a take on traditional playing cards from around the world using pixel artwork somewhere in the 8-bit to 16-bit realm. I hope you enjoy my rendition of the traditional Japanese flower cards in the style of classic video game graphics.

For those who don't know, hanafuda are unique Japanese playing cards, which, rather than having a number of suited pips and corner indices to distinguish between cards, feature unique artwork on each card in the deck. The species of plant depicted determines the suit, while additional figures such as animals, ribbons, or other cultural images, further differentiate the cards in a suit from one another. They are also played in other parts of the world, including Korea, where they are known as hwatu. Interestingly, they ultimately derive from a common ancestor with the cards you probably have in your home, but evolved in a different direction due to the political and social history of Japan. Unlike the international pattern of playing cards, the hanafuda deck is asymmetrically designed, with most suits having a different distribution of special cards. This gives games played with it an extra layer of depth.

This product comes with two 54-card micro-decks, one with red backs and one with black, each comprised of the traditional 48-card hanafuda deck plus 6 jokers. I designed the jokers as palette swaps (a classic pixel-art trope) of some of my favorite cards in the set, and each of the two included decks has completely different joker designs. Because this affordable set comes with two decks, you can gift one to a friend and keep the other yourself, or use the two decks together to play larger, longer, or more convoluted games.

Included with the two decks is a downloadable document with a breakdown of the cards, along with rules for Koi-Koi, a great introductory game played with hanafuda, as well as some of my original games, which blend elements of Western card games you may already know with the unique structure of the flower card deck. Koi-Fish combines the easy-to-learn gameplay of Go Fish with the nuanced scoring system and risk-reward management of Koi-Koi. Po-Koi, on the other hand, takes its primary gameplay mechanics from Poker, while taking advantage of the many interesting combinations of cards unique to the flower card deck. For the advanced players, Hana-Hearts is an avoidance trick-taking game for 2 to 5 participants with a unique usage of the Lightning card. Of course, Pixel Hanafuda can also be used to play any of the dozens of traditional hanafuda games, including Godori, Higo-Bana, Hachi-Hachi, and Mushi.


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Average Rating 2 reviews
Publish Date January 18, 2020
Edition First
Department Playing Cards
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Why buy this?

  • Learn more about Japanese culture!
  • Celebrate pixel artwork!
  • Two decks for the price of one!

Ryan Sartor

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  • This game contains a premium upgrade called UV Coating that makes the printed components more durable.
  • This game contains a premium upgrade where the printed components will be embossed with a linen texture.
  • This game does not come in a box.


See It In Action

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Ratings and Reviews

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Own It Played It Fun Priced Well High Replay Value Well Written Rules Nice Artwork


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