Deadfall: Gambling and Bluffing

 Game: Deadfall  Time: 10 minutes
 Publisher: Cheapass Games  Players:2- 6
 Age: 12+  Replayability: 7/10

deadfallDeadfall: Gambling and Bluffing

Deadfall brings to a whole new level the concept of Liar’s dice in this brand new card game. Deadfall comes designed in a magical fantasy world full of beasts, knights, and dragons. Before I get into the game, Deadfall is absolutely versatile. Like a lot of games developed by Hip Pocket Games, Deadfall is a title that can be played with thirty different game variants. The 55 cards they come with are numbered one through ten and these same cards can be found within many different themes and games. What’s great is once you have your own Hip Pocket Game, the only reason you’d need to buy a new deck of cards from them, is in case you’d like to change the theme. Deadfall specifically is a Liar’s dice style card game of playing out cards hoping they are still in play. It’s simple, players have seven cards in their hands, like poker, and take turns playing cards from their hand (cards one through ten) claiming someone still has that card in their hand somewhere. Other players have to decide whether this person is lying (as in no one in the game has that chosen card in their hands) or to continue play. While it’s not original, it’s a fun take on the classic gambling dice game. The rules were a bit tough to follow being familiar with Liar’s Dice; I’m curious if I found it difficult because I was trying to compare it to Liar’s Dice rules, or they were clear on instruction. Once you learn how to play, it’s a functional design.

My Experience

Deadfall had two experiences, one with an opponent and me and one with three players. Beginning with the former, we both began play with a card from our hand (lowest card is the first player). I played a four while my opponent played a six. He let me go first, apparently. I needed to play this smart, my hand consisted of two sevens, a six, an eight, a nine, and a ten–I didn’t have much leeway for bluffing. I might have to hold the sevens for an end game win (hoping my opponent calls my “bluff”). My opponent played a two; since there are only two of them in the game ( their value equals their quantity in the game). So I called his bluff, there was no way he had a two in his hand (statistically I guess it’s possible). I was right, I won the first round. Finding a two player experience not very surprising (because it’s a lot easier to call bluffs), we brought along a friend to join us.

My next hand for this three-player experience was three sixes, an eight, a three, a seven, and a nine. I put down my three, my original opponent played a seven, and the new player played a five. I put down my seven which was quickly followed by my opponent playing a ten. The new player put down a seven. No one called out any players that round. I followed the next round with an eight, the player to the left played a ten, and the player after he played eight. Toward the end of the game the player two won. He had four tens in his hand which was the cards that both myself and the third player called him on. Three players was a lot more exciting of a match.

Final Thoughts

I love the concept of having a deck of cards that can not only play the game that it came with (Deadfall with the Liar’s dice mechanics) but be able to support all the other card games available at Hip Pocket Games site. This card game has a subtle direct interaction. You can call people on their bluff if you want, but you don’t have to. The learning curve is only steep if the rules aren’t clear, however, it’s a very simple card game. I find replay value within the purchase of a deck. Sure, maybe you’re not a fan of the Lair’s Dice; You literally have the freedom to try any game they have come up with that works with the 55 cards.

You will like this game if you enjoy a lot of value for the price, the versatility makes it’s a must have.

You will not like this game if you’re worried about the theme not suiting you or if you’d like a base deck with a better game concept.

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Joseph Nicholas

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Indietabletop. Communication major. Favorite mechanics include: Bluffing and Deduction, modular boards, and action point allowance. Favorite video game genres are Rpgs, Puzzles games, and Sim/Tycoons.

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