Game Overview: An upcoming Kickstarter game scheduled for relasease in October 2016, Dracula has invited all the townsfolk for dinner, but some well known uninvited guests are being a pain in the neck and have crashed the party. In this quick playing logical deduction game, you will attempt to learn what guests the other players are playing as by questioning them, asking them to dance with you, or accusing them. Once you think you know which guest each player has, you will do the grand reveal. Will you win the game or be banished?
Box Contents: A prototype version was provided to us, which may or may not change when the game is published. At this time, the game consists solely of playing cards. The card art is similar to the popular card game Gloom in that it is mostly black and white. However, a single color is mixed into the picture for each character. The art is very detailed and is actually inspired from well known artist Edward Gorey.
Clarity of Rules: The rules that were provided to us are very thorough. In addition, each player has a reference card that is very helpful which outlines each action that you can take as well as an overview of each guest and any special requirements that they may have.
Game Play: Initially, you will randomly draw guest cards equal to the number of players. You then shuffle them together, along with the Dracula card. For each guest that is in play, you will put out the accusation card in the middle of the table that matches that character. Each person is given one of the guest cards and the final card is left face down in the center of the table and is the mystery guest. You also provide a yes and no card to each player, which they will use when they are being questioned or when there is a grand reveal.
On your turn, you can choose one of the following actions:
Question- Choose another player and ask them if they are a specific guest. They will provide to you either the Yes or No card. Keep in mind that some quests are required to answer incorrectly.
Dance- Choose another player and ask them to dance with you. If you accept the dance request, you show each other your guest card. If the dance is refused, nothing happens. When two guests have danced, they cannot accuse each other for the rest of the game but can name them during the grand reveal.
Accuse- Choose another player and place an accusation card face up in front of them. If it is correct, they must reveal their guest card and they are banished. If you are wrong, you must reveal your guest card and you are banished.
Grand Reveal- Reveal your guest card and announce that you are attempting this. You place an accusation card in front of every player. Each player must put a Yes or No card into the center of the table, based on the accusation. You then shuffle all of the played yes/no cards and then begin revealing them. If they are all Yes, you have won the game. If any of them are no, you are banished but provides some clues to the rest of the group. All Yes/No cards are gathered up and provided again to each player.
There are nine guest characters that you will find in the game:
Alucard (Dracula spelled backwards)- Accepts all dances. Answers yes to being Dracula when questioned. Win by being given Dracula's accusation card.
Boogie Monster- Accepts all dances. May immediately attempt a Grand Reveal after two guests are banished.
Doctor Jekyll- You cannot question other players. Plays as the Mystery Guest after being banished.
Dracula- When banished, can take one more turn to do a Grand Reveal.
Magic Mirror- Look at the Mystery Guest before attempting a Grand Reveal.
Trickster- Accepts all dance requests and answers Yes to all questions.
Van Helsing- Wins by correctly accusing Dracula or dancing with him.
Warewolf- Wins by correctly accusing two guests.
Zombie- Wins by dancing three times.
Replay Ability: As with any logical deduction game, I think the replay ability comes from being able to play with different groups. If you play with the same gaming group, you will start to pick up on different nuances from the players.
Appropriate Audience: The suggested age is 10+, which we think is fine. Someone a little younger should be able to play it. Reading is required to play the game, so keep this in mind if you try to get younger kids involved.
What We Liked/Didn't Like: Prior to reviewing this game, we haven't had a lot of experience with similar logical deduction games because of the number of players that are required that don't support a four person family. Because this can be played at a four player level, it really appealed to us. After playing it, the kids immediately said that it was really fun and wanted to play again. It is a great game that you can sit down and play multiple times because it does not take very much time. The unique capabilities of each character that offset other characters to throw you down the wrong path was fun to experience. One thing about the game play that has tripped us up a few times was when being asked if you were a character, instead of playing the yes/no card, out of habit we just answer yes or not out loud which gives everyone a clue. The rules stipulate that you only put out only the accusation cards for the cards in play. We felt it was a little better for our family to randomly choose characters to play with (plus Dracula) and leave all accusation cards on the table. Doing this, with having just four players, it was harder to figure out which guest each player has. You only know that Dracula is in play for sure.