17 March 2021
Playing the trickster
Coyote is a bluffing game, where you’re a trickster. The premise of the game follows a coyote who nearly drowned, losing his belongings and becoming jealous and bitter of the other animals, where he subsequently challenges them to a bluffing game to try to win their possessions for himself. In it, no one can tell the truth, because no one knows quite what the truth is, and in fact It’s the second in a series of card games, following Spicy, and preceding Anansi.
It’s a quick game to learn and play. Every player has a card on their card stand, but it faces away from you, meaning you can see everyone else’s but yours. These cards have numbers on them, and you’ll need to state on your turn how much you think the total value of all the cards is, remembering your own could be anything from -5 to 15. The next player will either raise or challenge the bid, and if you lose the challenge you lose the round. There are also special cards, and peeking cards that you keep in your own hand, making it more tactical.
It’s a fast game where everyone can be wrong, and it’s enjoyable enough. Where this game sticks its head above the parapet though, is in the design. It’s as if it saw a beautifully made collection of cards, and took it as a personal challenge to make them even better, because the cards in Coyote are beautiful. Decorated with metallic copper print, the coyote itself was designed by Zona Evon Shroyer, containing traditional artwork of other animals, and its these intricacies that make it something you just want to keep looking at. It’s a strong argument for component vs game play, but I’d certainly say if you’re in the mood for a card game, the attention to detail in the design of this game elevates it from a good choice to a solid choice.
PLAY IT? YES
Designer: Spartaco Albertarelli
Publisher: HeidelBÄR Games
This feature originally appeared in Issue 53 of Tabletop Gaming. Pick up the latest issue of the UK's fastest-growing gaming magazine in print or digital here or subscribe to make sure you never miss another issue.
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