Dread Curse Party Game Review: Steal, cheat, and bluff your way to victory!

Intro

I love games that are quick to learn, relatively short in length, and can play with a lot of players. Dread Curse is every one of those. At 30-45 minutes and up to 8 players, this can be pulled out at the end of a party or family dinner night for a lot of laughs, some frustrated fist-pounding, and a ton of fun. Rotate through a selection of ranked pirate characters, each with its own special cheat abilities, to accumulate as much wealth as you can in your treasure stash. Draw from the pile, steal from your neighbor, your friend, your spouse, your kids…all is fair game as long as you amass the largest fortune! However, get caught with one of the two cursed Black Spots in your stash, and you’re done for.

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Skull King Party Game Review: A simple, tense, interactive game of mind-manipulating trick-taking; think Art of War – pirate style!

Preface: this review comes after playing several evenings with a group of highly competitive adults. Skull King can be played on a much lighter scale with younger players on a “play to have fun” instead of “play to kill” basis. =-)

Intro

Skull King is so simple in construct: bid on how many tricks you plan to take each round; the closer you are, the more points you receive. Yet the nuances are many. In a nutshell, players have a number of cards in their hand that correspond to the round number (5 cards in round 5, 8 in round 8, etc.). Over 10 rounds, players bid on how many tricks they will take on each round. The starting card is the lead color and must be played by following players. If a player doesn’t have a lead color, she may “sluff off” with a different color or trump it with a black flag card. At any point, a player may play an escape card to get the heck out of there, a pirate card to trump all trumps, or the Skull King card to trump everything. There’s even a pirate who can play as a pirate or as an escape (a very valuable card to have!).

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Jamaica Board Game Review: Loot, plunder, and barrage your way to victory!

This is a race game on the surface, but there is a whole lot bubbling underneath that makes it a fun, dynamic, competitive strategy game. You need to manage several different aspects at once: resource management of food, gunpowder, and doubloons in your limited hull; movement to the optimal board spaces for your current situation; stockpiling enough resources to get by but not so many that you waste them; using up precious gunpowder attacking or defending; and much more. Race as your favorite plundering pirate to discover invaluable treasures, steal from your competitors, feed your crew, pay for port services, attack other ships, and curse your competition!

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