Skull King

Game: Skull King Grandpa BecksPlayers: 2-6
Time:30+Difficulty: medium
Age:8+Replay Value: higher

Skull King

Ahoy there mateys, today we’ll be going over skull king. A fantastic trick taking game that will have you plundering at sea. Get ready to wage your winnings and trick your opponents in 30 minutes or less with  2 to 6 players. The game is very simple to learn but takes a bit of time to develop on eye for, so bare in the mind the learning curve is slightly steeper than some others. Definitely great for families and friends who are looking for some strategic gameplay. To play the game, simply go through each turn correctly guessing how many tricks you’ll win. Every loss is negative points toward you. Do this for 10 turns, increasing the number of cards you have in your hand by the round you are in. Tally up your total score, and claim victory– looks like you’re the captain now. 

What I dont like

What I don’t like, Skull king has the small chance of your score falling way behind other players. It’s hard to come back after a couple high scoring rounds and you being incorrect about how many tricks you thought you’d win. And while I’m talking about the base game, the expansion does a great job catering to this little issue by offering more opportunities for strategic gameplay. 

What I like

What I do like is how all around fun this game is. The game shifts from luck of the draw to pure strategy with the increase of cards. Each turn you and your opponents are looking at your hand, assuming multiple tricks ahead, and hoping you can correctly guess how many tricks you can actually win. The concept behind trick taking has been growing on me a lot lately and I think skull king really builds on and enhances the experience of trick taking.

Bonus points for additional scoring, special cards that give us more gameplay opportunities, and plenty of options to sway the course of the ocean in your favor. Now, this game does come with an expansion as I mentioned earlier that really digs deeper into some of the gameplay components I enjoy. Pirates have abilities that can really alter the game. Krakens destroying the entirety of a trick, relying on other opponents to make help you score points. Each option in this game really strikes up a conversation of *actually gameplay “I can’t believe that just happened” or “I’m so mad I didn’t see that coming”

Final Thoughts

Final thoughts are the game is all around a perfect lighthearted strategy game that takes time to master. It’s easy to learn when the concept of trick taking is understood and the different play styles from early to late game keep this game fresh. I personally love pirate themes, and at first I was a little weary about this great theme being throwing into a trick taking mechanic. But honestly, it’s up there on my list, there is enough variety to make this more than leading cards and Trump cards, it’s a solid 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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