Asmodee – Skull (Review)September 27, 2016
|Number of Players||3-6|
|Play Time||45 minutes|
|Initial Review Date||9/26/16|
In this abstract game each player bids in an attempt to bluff their opponents.
Each player is given a set of four round cards that look like highly stylized drink coasters. Each set of cards have unique artwork both on the front and back. Three of the cards show a picture of a rose, the fourth card shows a day of the dead style skull. Each player also recieves a matching play mat, which is slightly larger than the cards and is square.
Each player starts by placing a single card of their choice face down in front of them in order to “ante-in”.
Then the starting player may either “raise” or “bid”. If a player no longer has any additonal cards to raise with, then they must bid.
- Raise – a player takes another one of their cards and places it on top of their stack.
- Start Bidding – a player must announce how many cards they can flip over without revealing a skull.
Once bidding starts a player may either bid or pass.
- Bid – a player must announce how many cards they can flip over without revealing a skull and this number must be higher than the last player to bid. A player may not bid more cards than the number of cards on the table.
- Pass – a player takes no acton and sits out the remainder of this round.
Once a player wins the bid, they must start flipping over cards. It should be noted that they must start with their own stack first and may not flip over any cards of another stack until they have flipped all their own cards.
If a player successfully flips a number of cards equal to their bid they score 1 point (this is represented by turning over their play mat.
If a player flips over a skull, then they have lost the bet. When this happens the player who’s skull they flipped over, selects one of the player’s cards at random and it is discarded without revealing it. Only the owner of the cards may examine them afterward and knows for sure if they still have their skull card or not. If a player flips over their own skull card then they still lose the bet as normal and they must discard one of their own cards randomly. Once the card has been discarded they may examine their remaining cards as normal.
If a player loses all of their cards then they are eliminated from the game.
There are two ways to win in this game.
- Be the first player to score 2 points.
- Be the only player to not be eliminated
This game is a pure bluffing game. The short goal of scoring only 2 points means that riskier players will either win quickly or quickly be eliminated. As such, you can’t play it safe the whole time. Sometimes it can be worth failing a bet just to keep players guessing if you still have your skull card or not. Since now there is a chance that you don’t.
If you enjoy bluffing games this one is defintely worth a shot. It’s short enough that if you find you don’t enjoy it you haven’t wasted a lot of time on it. The only real downside to the game is that there isn’t any play outside of the bluff. There aren’t really any odds to fall back on or calculate. You have to judge what other players have, based on their bets.