Designer: Vincent Baker
Artist: Abbey Edwards
Publisher: Vindicated Entertainment
No. of Players: 2-10
Playing Time: 5-30 min
Drew loves Halloween like he really loves it. He loves the family-friendly, candy-filled spooks and the nightmarish terrors that are both reflected in the night. Ghoullotine finds itself in the first category. Ghoullotine is a card game filled with monsters and ghouls. It is a simple blackjack-esque game that is themed, after Halloween’s most iconic characters, including some you might not have met, yet. Gameplay involves each player trying to avoid going over the number 13 while trying to force their opponents closer to it.
The Kickstarter for the game launches on September 8th. According to the designer, Vincent Baker, the inspiration for the game came from the anime Kakegurui which means gamble crazy. The show is currently viewable on Netflix and is one Drew also enjoys. The show follows characters as they play games in school with very high stakes. Baker was inspired to create a similar style game while also adding unique components through special effects. Additionally, Baker, along with his fiance, Abbey Edwards, wanted to combine her skills as an artist with his desire to design a game along with their mutual love of Halloween to create a themed spin on the classic blackjack.
Setup and Initial Impressions:
The card deck is shuffled, and three cards are dealt, to all players. The number counter starts at 0, and the ghoulish fun is ready to begin.
We played a few rounds of the game both in a small group setting (2-4) and a large group setting (6-8). We found that the game played equally well in both formats. We want to note that we only received a print and play version of the game that was still in development at the time so we can not speak much to the final product.
Ghoullotine is a game played over multiple rounds and perfect for large gatherings. It’s a safe way to play blackjack without losing any money. On each player’s turn, they play a card. Some cards have effects that impact the game. With each player only being able to play one card a turn, your fate lies in the hands of other players and luck. The game continues with players taking turns playing cards until everyone busts, leaving one last player standing as winner.
The blackjack-style gameplay is fun. Many of the cards have powers which lead to twists and turns during the game. It’s important to remember that the number is added first to the counter before any card effect takes place. The effects vary from helpful to devastating for players. Some of our favorites include a card which has it’s number become the next one drawn from the deck, a card that forces your opponent to draw, and a card that allows you to choose what your opponent plays next.
Theme and Mechanics:
We love the theme of this game (as mentioned above). The game felt very fair, and the card slash number distribution was even. The hardest part of playing the game was simple math, so if you can handle adding and subtracting numbers, you will be fine (not Kay’s strength).
Artwork and Components:
The artwork is very reminiscent of Halloween specials on TV and really hits the nostalgic bone. The artwork is beautifully crafted and fits the theme to a T. Kay finds many of the cards adorable.
A quick, entertaining card game that is fun for a group, with competition elements that feel similar to spoons. It is easy to pick up and play and is for all ages, and the only things needed are the cards and a number counter. A game like this will be fun when missing Halloween vibes during the spooky season.
Things To Consider:
Elimination – As with any elimination-style game, eliminated players don’t get to engage in the game.
Luck-Based – The best-laid strategies don’t necessarily work when playing this game. They only help. If that’s fine with you, then it’s ok.
This adorable game has great mechanics that provide for a competitive, entertaining game and is one that we can’t wait to Kickstart! The Kickstarter for Ghoullotine launches on Tuesday, September the 8th, and we recommend you go check it out as well. Make sure you follow us on social media, and we will keep you up to date with their Kickstarter progress. We will also add a link to the Kickstarter HERE when available.
A Game Perfect For Players Who Like:
Meanwhile, you can check out some of our other reviews here: