Reviews

Skulls of Sedlec

 

The Game
 
Skulls of Sedlec is from Button Shy Games, and they specialise in card games consisting of just 18 cards. These are called pocket games. They come in a wallet which is easy to carry around. Skulls of Sedlec is for 2 or 3 players. On every card there are two skulls. You collect skulls and stack them into pyramids. With two players, you make a pyramid with 9 cards. With three, you use 6 cards. There are 5 different types of skulls and they score points in different ways. Whoever scores the most points wins. 
 
 
At game setup you lay out 6 face-down stacks in the middle and flip over one card. On your turn you have only 3 options. You may flip over two cards and draw one of them, you may draw a face-up card, or you may play a card from your hand. Your hand limit is 2 cards. When you hold 2 cards, you must play one of them because you no longer have the option of drawing another card.  
 
 
Lovers (red) when paired score 6pts per pair. Nobles (purple) score 1pt for every noble and peasant (yellow) at levels lower than them. The noble in this photo scores 4pts for the four peasants. Criminals (grey) placed next to priests (blue) score 2pts each, because it means they get pardoned. Skulls are considered adjacent when their sides touch, but not when only the corners touch. The criminal in the second level (from the top) is not considered adjacent to the priest in the first level, because they are only touching at the corners. The first criminal on the fifth level is considered adjacent to the priest in the fourth level because their sides touch.  
 
The Play
 
This is a 5-minute game, light and breezy. There are some tactics to consider, but it is not taxing. Your hand limit is two, so you can’t hoard cards and plan far ahead to play them in a perfect manner. You have to make decisions based on limited information. You adapt as you go. You try to avoid being the one revealing cards, because that helps your opponent. Sometimes you count turns to try to avoid this. You might take a card your opponent wants for the sake of denying him, even though it may not help you much. 
 

The Thoughts

Skulls of Sedlec is novel. Relaxing but not brainless. Being portable means this is a convenient travel game. You can play a game or two while waiting for your food at a restaurant. This is the kind of target audience I’m aiming at for my design Dancing Queen too. 

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