Call of Duty: K/D Party Game from Wilder Games brings the strategy and daring of Call of Duty to tabletop play. Activision’s classic first-person shooter came to gaming two decades ago, and yet it is still going strong with new titles and hundreds of millions of copies sold. It has been a mainstay for many gamers’ entire lives, yet it is difficult to get the same spirit of challenge and camaraderie from the screen to the table. Using new mechanics and an innovative dare system to add real threat to play, Call of Duty: K/D Party Game is a beast all its own that shares the same delight as downing operatives online.
The main component of Call of Duty: K/D Party Game is the large board filled with spaces of different kinds. Each player places three operative tokens onto “drop zone” spaces, which serve as respawn points as the game goes on.
Players take turns navigating the map, moving along corridors of spaces hoping for a good landing on a Helipad to move anywhere on the map or a Buy Box to draw Loadout cards for bonus actions.
Just as in the digital Call of Duty, the game is about positioning, moving quickly, and taking out opponents either through hopping over an enemy pawn, checkers-style, or a Loadout card like Sniper Rifle to down any operative anywhere on the board. Players receive a K/D token for each operative they eliminate, but the real way to win is assigning dares.
Since players can have their operatives downed and respawned any time, just as in the Call of Duty first-person shooter, the extra level of threat comes from the skillful balance of risk and reward. The main strategy situates around movement and taking out opponents’ operatives, but the teeth-gritting, laugh-out-loud fun comes from K/D Party Game’s dares. Whenever a player lands on a Dare space, they are able to assign a dare. In addition to gaining double K/D tokens, the dares can be psychological warfare.
Many of the dares are already built into the game, such as, answering “Who is the most likely to make everyone wait to get in the lobby?” or showing everyone a time when they were rejected in someone’s DMs. In addition, each game starts with players adding their own dares, which must be carefully planned since the one who wrote it could become its target.
Call of Duty: K/D Party Game is a party game for three to five players aged 17 and up. Players frequently have their pawns taken out, but they respawn with the next round, meaning there is no elimination to make someone sit out bored while the others go on. It is as fast-paced as the players would like, slowing only for strategic thinking and witnessing a dare taking place. These dares give the game an extra level, showing what opponents will be willing to put themselves through or to cash out points to avoid.
A how-to video shows the game in action: