Tagged: card games

Designing Dominion – Timer

I like Dominion. Probably more than I should, really, given that I don’t play it very often. I think the thing I like about it is more its fundamental expression of a really robust platform to build games from. You can do a lot with Dominion that Dominion doesn’t do.

Here’s one simple thing that Dominion does that I like: Dominion has a minimum turn structure built into it. Now there are other ways to do it, but in Dominion, the game ends when three piles of cards are emptied. Which is to say, if players want to end the game as quickly as possible, you have an automatic dial you can put in your game for that. Let’s say you want a game to only have one buy a turn, and you want the game to last at least twelve turns or so, with four players. Right there, you can make the game end when there are three emptied piles, and have piles start at 4 each.

Simple little design component, but you can build on it.

What Is: Skulk!?

Do you find at times, when the burdens of a normal day-to-day job have got you down, when you’re after a change of pace, that what you really need in your life is to go to a Dragon’s den, and plunder the dragon’s gold coins? And don’t you know, like, isn’t it just such a thing that when you do it, there’s other thieves who are here to get your haul out of your dragon that you did all the hard work of not actually earning?

Sucks, right?

Well, now you can share that experience with those friends of yours too frightened to actually go spelunking in a dragon’s domain! Skulk is a board game of moving fast and dying rich as, you know, as the box cover indicates!

Each turn, you’ll play a card that indicates three things – how much you’re doing, how quickly you do it, and when the dragon stirs from its slumber and starts acting! You can act carefully, a little at a time, and try to make sure you and the dragon are always away from one another – or you can dive for a big handful of gold and what are the odds the dragon comes after you?

Oh wait, it’s pretty good because when it’s not your turn, the dragon is controlled by the other players!

With art and visuals by Talen Lee and Alex Zandra, Skulk handles 2-6 players of age 8+, for roughly 30 minutes of play time, it’s fast to set up, easy to learn, and incredibly portable, shipping in an itty bitty box that’s the size of two playing cards side to side (and like, deeper than that) so you can just huck it into your bag and go go go, a good shelf-filler, a great small gift for, I dunno, Thanksgiving or Halloween, and as far as I know is one of the few games where a granny can gleefully trip over a whippersnapper so that they’re eaten by a dragon that leaves behind gigantic swampy gas clouds when it moves!

You can buy Skulk at TheGameCrafter for $28.99, which is less than you’d pay for an actual dragon, and it’s much easier to home!