This game is rated 7
Our review includes potentially triggering words:
Poker and Spider.
Ignore All Content Warnings
Posted: 11 weeks ago, last updated 9 weeks ago.
Play begins with all the cards being dealt to the players. You take turns to pass one card from your hand, face down on the table, to any other player. You make a claim about what the card is, cockroach, rat, stink bug and so on. The other player guesses if this is true or false. If they are wrong they have to keep it. If they are right the original player gets it. Either way it ends up face up in front of someone and takes them one step closer to losing.
As you progress you start to accrue a collection of face-up animal cards by getting these guesses wrong. If you end up with four matching animals you are out and everyone else wins. This leads to all sorts of bluffing and card tracking tactics because you know which cards other players don't want and how many of each have been revealed.
The game leans into this with a final rule. You can decide not to guess if a player is lying and instead look at the card and pass it on to someone else, making a lie (or truth) of your own. This not only de-risks the choice, but adds a layer of tactics around who ends up as the final player to be presented the card and can't pass it on and must challenge or accept the potential lie.
The Royal version of the game also provides extra cards to add more complexity, although you don't have to use them. There's a new Royals set of cards make you also take a card from a penalty deck. There are also some Joker cards that always represent a lie and a Multi Animal card that's never a lie.
The result, particularly with the basic set of cards, is a super simple bluffing game that has really deep tactics and strategy development. The fun rests as much on the deviousness of the players (and how well they know each other) rather than complicated rules.
The first time you play the following can help:
- Play a round with open hands, to understand the motivations for bluffing.
- Practice the rule where the last person to be presented a card can't pass it on again and must choose true or false.
- Plat without the Royal and Joker cards as they add complexity.
Play Time: This game will take between 15 minutes and 25 minutes to complete.
7-16 year-olds usually have the required skill to enjoy this game. The basic game is enjoyable for young children as long as they don't mind being tricked. They are often actually really good at it. However, it's often best to play without the royal cards as they mean you can end up losing unexpectedly.
Content RatingWe rate this suitable for 7+ years-olds.
On the standard Cockroach Poker deck, the back of the cards indicates the full set of different creatures in the game which can help you keep track of things.
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