Friday , June 14 2024

Card Game Review: ‘Dumb Ways to Die’

Dumb Ways to Die, published by Spin Master, is the card game version of the hilarious Metro Rail public service announcement that reminded people that there are so many dumb ways to die. Among ridiculous actions like selling both kidneys on the Internet or dressing as a moose during hunting season are also good reminders for train safety about the dangers of crossing tracks or standing on the edge of a platform. The silliness makes learning fun, and now players have the chance to try to keep their Bean characters alive as long as possible despite them being so dumb.

Graphic Graphics

The rich theme and art of Dumb Ways to Die stand out first and foremost. The cartoon violence makes the game a must-have for fans of other violent games like Exploding Kittens or cartoons such as the old Happy Tree Friends. Many of the dumb ways to die come directly from the original public service announcement, captured in high production quality with animated Bean Death cards. The living side shows the Bean’s foolishness, such as poking a bear with a stick. The dead side has two images seen by rotating the card: first a bear looming over the stick-holder, followed by the stick-holder’s head missing above a neck spurting blood and below a bloody-lipped bear.

Gameplay Smooth as a Rattlesnake’s Back

Each player receives three Bean characters in the “live” position and a hand of five playing cards. Each player rolls the die to see how many actions they must take that round. More actions might seem like a good thing, but not so in a world with so many lethal things. Players might draw a “You Died!” card for an instant death—unless they have the proper Accident card type to save one of their Beans. Players might also draw a “Psycho Attack!” card where all players must roll the die with a one-in-six chance of not losing one of their Beans.

While much of the play is luck, making Dumb Ways to Die a fast-paced game, the strategy comes in deciding how to play other cards. Players can play Accident cards on opponents, attempting to knock out their Beans. There are also plenty of wild cards forcing opponents to draw or even swap hands. Play continues until only one player has surviving Beans, becoming the winner, or perhaps the least loser.

Dumb Ways to Die is a card game for two to five players aged 12 and up. Needless to say, the cartoon violence keeps the game from being one for sensitive players. The complexity of the rules, too, makes Dumb Ways to Die more suitable for older players who can think quickly on their feet to respond to attacks or strategize on weakening opponents by taking out their Beans systematically. Players who love a strong stroke of luck through their games will especially enjoy the random draws and rolls that make each round a new challenge.

About Jeff Provine

Jeff Provine is a Composition professor, novelist, cartoonist, and traveler of three continents. His latest book is a collection of local ghost legends, Campus Ghosts of Norman, Oklahoma.

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