Bluffaneer from Big G Creative offers high-seas hijinks on the tabletop as players bluff one another to collect the most gold. Bluffing has been a part of gaming for millennia, and Bluffaneer makes it an effective component without having the entire gameplay be guessing. Instead, players should keep an eye on who says what about their cards to see who cannot be trusted.
The aesthetics to Bluffaneer are an instant draw. The bone dice effectively only turn up a single image while offering an unconventional design. Symbols are recognizable and delightfully pirate-themed with cutlasses and treasure chests. Best of all are the thick coins that shimmer in bronze and gold with a skull and crossbones on one side and a ship on the other.
For each round of Bluffaneer, players take turn rolling the bones. If the roller gets doubles, they collect coins; they lose them for double crossbones. Otherwise, the game takes a quick turn depending on what is on the roller’s card. If an image matches, they lose the card and everyone loses coins. If the image does not match, any player may challenge with “Gimme yer booty!” saying they have a matching image without revealing it. The roller may challenge back, “Bluffaneer!” After the reveal, the roller pays double if the challenger were being honest or earns a coin if the rascal was, in fact, bluffing. Otherwise, the roller gives up one coin and the card remains a mystery.
The endgame mechanic in Bluffaneer sets it apart from other bluffing-to-collect games. Rounds continue with the players taking turns rolling until one player runs out of coins. The game then freezes, and everyone tallies up their treasure. The player with the most coins wins, and ties are settled in sudden death with a single flip of the coin. This system prompts players to target those in the lead unless they themselves can seize the lead by rapidly bumping someone out.
Bluffaneer is a dice bluffing game for three to six players aged 10 and up. Games are quick, usually lasting only 10 to 20 minutes. The bluffs can be harder to track with more players, making it fun to have a crowd for those who like plenty of chance thrown into their gaming mix. Since bluffing is optional, Bluffaneer serves as a great balance for those who want to jump in every round and those who like to wait patiently for the exact time to strike.
And, perfect for those having a hideaway, Bluffaneer offers its own sea shanty. Just to take a peek at one verse:
“O’ hide yer gold and Booty!
Hold what you value dear.
That old seadog is coming,
That crafty Bluffaneer…”