[EDITORS NOTE: Scream or Die is back on Kickstarter from October 2 – November 1, 2017. The game has new features and great additions for this campaign. Visit the campaign today.]
Belinda the Witch has put a curse on you and you’re now a pint-sized version of your former monstrous self. The curse will only be lifted if you can gather enough candy to appease her sweet tooth.
I’m a big fan of Halloween and classic movie monster themed games. In Scream or Die, you play the role of Harry (wolfman), Vlad (vampire), Seth (mummy) or Griff (invisible man). Players earn candy each time their character icon shows up during any players turn. The first player to 13 pieces of candy wins the game.
A Monstrous Cast
The first thing that stands out in Scream or Die is the cute illustrated monsters that give the game a unique style. Each monster is both cute and full of character. Players will receive boards with their character and the dice that are best for that monster. Across the top is your scoring track from 1 to 13 points.
All the players start with a specified number of “scream tokens”. These tokens are used to modify the number of dice being rolled or actually modify the dice after they’re rolled. On a players turn, they remove 5 dice from the bag. Since the dice are color coded, everyone knows the odds of their character icon being rolled that turn.
Before the active player rolls the dice, everyone gets a chance to spend scream tokens and add more dice from the bag. Dice are pulled from the bag blindly so it’s always a risk to do this. After the active player rolls the dice, players can again spend scream tokens to target dice and have them rerolled.
These decisions get tough because you’re weighing out the value of spending each of your scream tokens. Players only get more tokens on their turn IF the dice show the scream symbol. Spending too many screams early on can leave you helpless in later rounds when the dice aren’t going your way.
Trick or Treat
I really enjoy the risk/reward aspect that scream tokens give players. Players can spend screams to reroll dice to hurt other players or benefit themselves. Since the dice are color coded and the odds are listed on the player boards, everyone knows what they’re looking for.
The game is simple to teach and a very accessible filler game for families. The prototype components were really solid and I’m excited about seeing how the final production copy comes together.
Our kids had a lot of fun with the game and really enjoyed the illustrations. The game has almost no downtime and only takes about 20 minutes to play. It was an easy decision to play another round immediately after getting crushed by one of our children.
Scream or Die is a simple dice game at its core that forces you to spend scream tokens strategically. The only time we didn’t enjoy this game was when a player accumulated a crazy amount of scream tokens and had control of every round. This was rare, but sometimes that happens when dice are involved.
For families looking for a great little filler game that has a Halloween theme, Scream or Die is a great buy.
Amber Palace Games provided us with a prototype copy of Scream or Die ahead of their Kickstarter launch. This in no way influenced our opinion on the game. Previews are a glimpse into an upcoming game with the pros and cons that we experienced prior to production of the game.