Little Drop of Poison from Baksha Games combines classic principles of points-pursuit with the nail-biting suspense of elimination card games like Spoons. The daring activity of poisoning one another actually makes for a hysterical party game, engaging players who might not be into hardcore strategy while also providing plenty of material for clever players to exact their strategic plots.
The delightful art by Colton Balske is a perfect match to the innocent air of this play-deadly game, where Rats and Weasels are eternal enemies whose idyllic peasant lifestyles no longer encourage outright violence. Instead, they lash out quietly with just a “little drop of poison.”
In each round, each player receives a face-up “peasant” card that may be a Rat or a Weasel. With players constantly changing “teams,” there are quick alliances to be made. In the long run, however, everyone is out for him- or herself as a friend in one round can become a foe in the next. In addition to the peasants, one of the non-player “king” cards is randomly selected and set in the middle of the table. Killing one’s own king is worth twice what killing an enemy peasant is, and killing an opponent’s king is worth three times as much, making different rounds beneficial to one player or another.
After everyone has received a peasant card, each player receives two cards with poison icons on them numbered one through three drops, in different suits. Players take turns placing one card face-down on a victim. All cards are revealed at the end. Anyone with three or more drops of poison is killed and eliminated; anyone contributing to the poisoning gets points. If the king is assassinated, all the peasant cards are reshuffled for a new round of assassination to begin. Otherwise, players deal out more poison as they did before. The first player to reach 10 kill-points wins the game.
With so much change each round, A Little Drop of Poison keeps up its pace and will prompt a great deal of screaming from its players. Strategies will constantly change. It may seem to be the best strategy to go after the big points by taking out the king, but anyone who contributes to a killing suit gets the same points. A crafty player may get points knocking out opponents and then swoop in for the royal kill to maximize his or her own victory. Players may even try to keep from making enemies in particularly vindictive crowds.
Little Drop of Poison is a card game for three to eight players aged eight and up. Games can be moderately long, lasting from a speedy 10 or 15 minutes for a game with fewer, fast-acting players to an hour for one with more players who like to take their time to plan. Although its theme is fairly dark, Little Drop of Poison is quite a fun family game as younger players and older alike will delight in the social aspect of bumping off characters and throwing around poison in vengeance.[amazon template=iframe image&asin=B000EHQ80K]