16 December 2015
Push your luck to find the most roses but avoid those terrible skulls
Lui-Meme | Bluffing | £14.99 | 2-4 players | 30 minutes | www.asmodee.com
Purchasing Skull is a bit of a weird feeling, particularly if you’ve never seen it before but have heard countless other people yapping about it. You pop along to your local game shop, spend around £15 and then take it home to reveal what’s basically a box full of beer coasters. Has someone been having a laugh, you think… no, quite the opposite because Skull is a ruthless game of psychological warfare. Or bluffing, mainly it’s about bluffing.
If you’ve ever played the drinking game Liar Dice then you’ll be familiar with the basic concept of Skull (also known as Skull & Roses). At the start of the game everyone is dealt the same hand of four cards – three show roses and the remaining one has a skull on. Then you decide how many cards you’re going to put into play and place them face down on the table. You could be nice and go for a couple of roses or be nasty and put a skull into the mix.
Next you go around the table and make bets on how many roses you’ll be able to find. Of course, you should be able to remember how many roses you’ve put in there (say three) so surely someone else has put at least one more in. As such you make a bid of four roses… a pretty safe bet. The next player then has to decide whether they can find more than four. ‘Five roses,” they declare with a flourish and everyone lets out a gasp of horror.
What follows is a dramatic exchange as you casually flip your own cards over but then have to work out who else was lying. Had the first player really played three roses or were they lying? Find the five roses and you’ll be a God. Find a skull and you lose one of your cards. Lose all your cards and it’s game over. Yes, Skull can be played with dice or even bits of paper but there’s something so tense about flipping the card coasters in this version. Do you feel lucky punk?
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