Death Wish: Board Game You are Dying To Try Review

 Game: Death Wish Age: 15+
 Publisher: Self-published Time: 30 minutes
 Players: 2- 8 Replayability: 8.5/10

death wishDeath Wish

As one of the biggest board game losers in my own personal history, I was very pleased to hear that Death Wish has you lose to win. Obviously, I had to hop on this, I’d win every time–because I’d lose. How would I lose? Well, in Death Wish you are to contract diseases through an affliction and a couple of symptoms. You lose (but actually win) when you have caught enough diseases to satisfy the end goal. It is stated that players between 2- 5 catch up to 10- 14 disease points while 6+ catch up to 10 diseas points. How does this work? Set up in front of all the players will be a row of four diseases and a row of four symptoms face up. Each player begins with four symptom cards and two afflictors. On your turn you will do one of the following actions. Either draw two random symptoms from the deck or one face up symptom (your limit is six, you’ll begin discarding after that), draw an affliction card (limit is three) and discard any extras you may have, draw a new disease card in order to place it slightly offset of an older one (blocking the older one from being contracted), or contract a disease. How does this all work out? You will collect your choices in symptom and affliction colors in order to satisfy the diseases laid out in front of everyone (in case it isn’t clear, Each card is color oriented. So, A red disease card with a big three on it needs three symptoms to satisfy it–plus one affliction to “activate” the disease). Once you have finished your turn, draw a new disease and place it over one of the empty disease spots (but what if there are no open spots left?!?!) then you do not pick up a disease.

death wish card gameMy Experience

This is one of those party card games that carries the weight of crude humor and dirty jokes. So I obviously went straight to my mother for my first go at this (I didn’t read the fine print before I made this decision). She understood the gameplay right away (good news), and we began our journey toward death. My goal was to save up for the heavier diseases (that offered four points rather than one point), but my mother was ruthless, she made sure to collect all the single point diseases (white cards) available (typically they only cost two symptoms versus four). I discarded the white cards because I knew I wasn’t going to use them (white= one point diseases), and saved my red symptoms (red diseas was most of the time 4 points). My mother was quick to begin her sickness, she caught herself everything from toephoid to thunder colon. She was activating outbreaks (action cards activated through some diseases), which gave her extra turns or an option to remove all afflictions of a certain color.

“It’s okay” I thought to myself, I caught myself a enough wild symptoms  to activate a red disease scoring me a nice four points. The game was hilarious all the way to the end. My mother could not get enough of some of the symptom and disease names stalling our game a few minutes while she laughed (She has a good sense of humor). Unfortunately, my mother was really good at dying. She won both rounds of his game (because she insisted we play again) with a two point lead. I was always so close, but she would always cover the diseases I would be going for with newer diseases, I guess I should be happy I was able to win at something, right? (because I didn’t die..)

deathwish kickstarterFinal Thoughts

Death Wish is a forsure a hot new party game that at the same time can satisfy the prerequisites to a fantastic filler card game. It is fun, accessible, and great for anyone above the age of 15. I was able to try this game with just me and another player, and had a chance to get four players in on this and both were just as entertaining. The interaction between players is mild, as you are more or less waiting on your opponents to take their turn with the once and awhile outbreak card affecting more than one player. I would say their is replay value within Death Wish because of how quick the game plays and how easy it is to learn. The few times I took it out to show other players we always were insisted on “one more game?” So that must mean something. My only concern about this game is it’s luck component could make this game favor other players. I went almost half the game not collecting any afflictions I needed to activate diseases. But it was fine, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and had fun listening to everyone describe their disease and the symptoms that came along with it. Bottom line? Don’t ever drink a blended raw fish, you’re eyes with become bloodshot and you’re get dizziness.

This game has been produced by Jason Hibbert, the developer and designer of Death Wish, over a 15 month process, I do remember when I began Indietabletop watching this game trend on reddit. Users were suggesting names for diseases and symptoms and I may have thrown in a few suggestions here and there. It was such an awesome concept and I was dying (heh.. heh I’m funny) to try it out when it was ready. Their kickstarter looks fantastic and I am really excited for it to be live. (it may be live by the time you read this, I don’t know).

You will like this game if you like party games that are quick to play. This has a bit of a crude humor so I hope you like to have fun. It’s about losing, so I like that bit. Each card is unique and the verbal interaction that comes with describing diseases makes for a good time,

You will not like this game if you’re a more of a serious player. This is no pandemic so you won’t be curing the problem (unless you want to, play with me, I want to lose this game).





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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