Our next game review is another multiple player game that pits friends against each other, In order to prevail at Skull you need to be good at bluffing!
- Players: 2 – 4
- Age: 15+
- Game Length: 10 – 15 Minutes
- Price: £14.99
- Available from Amazon and other online retailers
First off the box alone is incredibly eye catching right? And there’s plenty more inside. The playing cards for the game are illustrated with beautiful flowers and skull patterns ranging from the traditional day of the dead skull that graces the box to Viking skulls and Samurai skulls.
I’m getting ahead of myself. Skull is an updated version of a previous game called Skulls and Roses. Rounds of Skull are over pretty quickly as the whole aspect of the game is about bluffing. Each player is given one square coaster and 4 circular coasters or discs. The 4 discs are your hand and will me made up of 3 flower cards and one skull card. The square coaster is the players score card essentially as the game is won when one player wins 2 rounds. You start with the square coaster colour side up to indicate you’re all on the same score. If a player wins a round they flip their square coaster over to reveal a darker coloured square. This is to let players know that they’re one good bluff away from winning the game. You can see why rounds can be over quickly.
Each player puts one of their discs down onto the square mat face down. You can choose skull or flower, up to you entirely. Players continue to put a disc down face down each round, But the object of the game is when a player feels confident enough to take a guess at how many flowers are played in the round between all players, on their turn they can call it out rather than adding a card down. Each other player gets to challenge this guess. Say player one calls 2 flowers out of 6 discs that may have been played, A) The player calling 2 is either telling the truth and has put 2 flowers down or B) Put 1 skull and 1 flower and is hoping another player calls their bluff, cause if they do challenge they’ve got to guess 1 number higher than the original call and turn the cards over. If players choose not to challenge the call they slide their cards forward indicating they’re folding.
Players that make the challenge have to turn over their pile of discs first, then move onto other players discs but can choose one from either or all from either player if they wish. Say for example ‘A’ the player that challenged 2 flowers did put 2 flower cards down their self and no one challenged them. That player would turn over his 2 cards confidently and successfully win one round and be one away from winning the game. Say that the example ‘B’ was the case where the player that called 2 flowers had put down 1 skull and 1 flower. If none of the other players bought the bluff and didn’t challenge, the player would reveal their 2 discs with one skull and one flower meaning… they lost the flower count challenge. Of course rounds don’t tend to be decided on 2 flowers from 6 discs. You often get higher challenges which make people back out straight away or the brave person who knows they may have only put 3 flowers down and accepted the challenge.
Should a player lose a challenge they put their 4 discs face down onto the table and shuffle them around. An opposing player then takes one disc away without revealing it to other players. The challenger that lost is now down to 3 discs for the remainder of the game. It adds a twist if the losing challenger ends up losing their skull card as the bluffs become that more difficult for that player.
Well since we’ve had this game it’s featured quite a lot already at our gatherings and shindigs. Everyone that’s been introduced to it so far have enjoyed it. It’s created plenty of laughs and tense moments with slow mo disc flipping to see If a player has foiled the challenge of the flower count. It’ll definitely be featuring in plenty more social gatherings too going forward along with Dobble and Jungle Speed. Of course Skull can be enjoyed by a wide audience of people and not just weekend booze ups. It’s easy to teach to anyone and fast enough to play a few rounds on evenings with family members. Just perhaps keep the language toned down if playing with the family and flipping a skull disc, something we’ve not quite managed yet on our various play through’s.