Dice Hate Me Games: Deck Building (The Deck Building Game) – Review

February 2, 2016


Publisher Dice Hate Me Games
Genre Deck Building
Number of Players 2 only
Play Time 10 – 20 min
Initial Review Date 1/19/16
Last Updated 1/19/16
Rules poor quality image

Deck Building seems like the perfect gateway game when it comes to deck builders. Since it is inexpensive and has a very approachable theme. If you can’t figure out from the title what’s going on. It is a game where each player constructs an outdoor patio deck using various types of materials. This is accomplished using the card drafting mechanic often referred to as “Deck Building”.


As with other games of this type, each player starts with a preset deck. Each card in the deck is double sided. The front shows the deck and there are several screw heads shown in the corner ranging from 1 to 4. The back of the card shows a number of unused screws and corresponds to the screw heads shown on the front.

Additionally, there are a bunch of red semi-transparent disks referred to as “stain tokens” which are accessible to both players.

Game Play

Cards are arranged face down into two piles. The screws on the back represents the “cost” of the card. Each turn players draw a hand of cards and then can choose to purchase a card (top one from one of the piles), play a card from their hand or place a stain token.

It should be noted that you can play a card or stain token on your own deck or your opponent’s deck. Cards may be played next to other cards (provided certain guidelines are followed) or they may be played on top of other cards replacing them. Stain tokens lock cards in place preventing other cards from being played on top of them. Play continues until a player no longer has any cards in their hand, draw pile or discard pile.


Players score points based on the cards they have played. Points are then multiplied by the number of cards that are continuously attached for that type of card. For example:
Five single screw cards in a row would be worth 25 points.
(1+1+1+1+1)x5 = 25
Whereas two adjacent, four screw cards would be worth 16 points.
(4+4)x2 = 16


As I said this game seems like the perfect introduction game for the deck building mechanic. Particularly, since it has a very approachable theme and it doesn’t take long to learn or play. However, it fails in a few places that would make me hesitant to pull it out to teach.

  • Only a two player game: This is okay if you have this sort of direct face time with a new player. However, it means that you can’t use this game as a teaching tool if you are trying to introduce deck building to multiple people.
  • The theme might cause confusion: A new player may erroneously think that the theme is what makes this a “deck building” game instead of it’s game mechanics. I could just see this player graduating to something like Thunderstone or Dominion and being confused as to why these are “deck building” games.
  • Not a pure deck building game: This game also has an area development aspect that a new player may think is part of “deck building”. Again, this could color a player’s idea of what a “deck building” game is. Regardless if it was a good experience or not they may experience some disappointment when they play other deck builders and this feature is absent.

I feel like this is more of a “second step” game than a gateway game. If you have a passing familiarity with deck building then you will appreciate the pun. But i’m afraid it might confuse new comers.

Overall, I would say it is a decent, inexpensive, two player deck building game. It would make a perfectly fine gift for a boardgaming friend or if you’re looking for a game to put next to your Munchkin collection. But it doesn’t offer much beyond the “punny” theme.


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