Folks, I have to tell you, sometimes I get these off-the-wall requests for previews, likely because I don’t charge for them, and a lot of times I have to wonder who the fuck thought it was a good idea to make the game in question. Luckily, Dracula’s Feast from Jellybean Games isn’t one of those that make me want to drown myself, despite its similarities to Werewolf, a game that I wish I could go back in time and un-invent. Dracula’s Feast is a pure deduction game that features a bunch of playable characters, and players must determine the identities of all other players in order to win. I think that’s the big difference between it and Werewolf, and it makes all the difference in the world.
Basically, you get a character, and you’re bound by certain rules, such as not being able to lie when asked a question, or always having to exchange cards with a player when asked. The responses to all questions are in the form of cards which read “Yes” and “No”, which is a slick way to be able to keep the secret. On each player’s turn, they get to take one of several actions, with the most important being to accuse someone. Once you’ve worked out who is whom, you can make the “Grand Reveal”, which is the end-game mechanic. If you’re right, you win the game.
The rules say a game lasts 15-30 minutes, and that’s about right, so it never overstays its welcome. Even better, it scales extremely well, so it’s good for a small or large group, but with three, it falls flat as a board. I wouldn’t recommend this for any less than five players since the bluffing and trickery only works in larger groups. Surprisingly, it lasts about the same amount of time with any amount of players. What I really like about this game is that it’s wholly appropriate for kids of almost any age; my eight year old played this with us and WON once. There’s nothing remotely scary about this, and you can tell they built the game with families in mind.
Now, there’s going to be some hemming and hawing about the art. I’m not one to piss in people’s Cheerios when it comes to taste, but I look at the artwork and see “kid with crayon”, despite knowing that it’s a very capable homage to Edward Gorey. But that’s because I’m not a fan of his art, which I’m sure a lot of art aficionados would appreciate more than I. I suspect it won’t be a deal-breaker for most, because it’s largely irrelevant. The irony is that I adore the art of Psycho Raiders, which is more similar to Gorey than dissimilar, to my untrained eye. That said, it’s certainly funny and absurd, which I think was the goal. In addition to the player cards and whatnot, the player aids come in the set, and they are incredibly well done. You can literally drop them in front of the players and they can learn and play the game right from there.
Now, you’re wondering what the Circus has to say about it, and I was surprised at how much they enjoyed the game. I think it’s light and fast enough that you can bring it to a McDonalds and play it over Big Macs, and because it’s so portable, I can see it becoming something that you bring with you to game night as a warm-up game. All in all, it’s light, really fun, and definitely an improvement over its spiritual predecessors. It’s definitely on par with Love Letter or The Resistance, both of which I dig quite a bit.
Why Dracula’s Feast Is A Worthy Meal:
Why Ol’ Drac Can Eat Me:
Dracula’s Feast is a light, simple game where the fun is found in the interaction far more than the mechanics themselves. If you like deduction/social games, this is one of the best we’ve tried out so far. It’s not Say Anything, but it’s good.
You can help fund this game, if you wish, on Kickstarter in October, but until then, keep an eye on their page, which you can find here: http://www.jellybean-games.com/draculas-feast/
Superfly Circus Disclaimer:
This is a PREVIEW of a game, and therefore no score will be listed, and the final product may vary greatly from what I just wrote. We did our level best, in good faith, to tell you all what we RECEIVED, and if the game changes during the production or development cycle, take it up with the publisher if you bought it based on this preview. I can only write about what was received, and as far as I’m concerned, Kickstarter projects are vaporware until they are actually produced and delivered. Caveat muh-vuggin Emp-tity-tor. I, as of this writing, have backed only a very small handful of products, so let this be my two cents of advice: Be very careful with Kickstarter “backing” because you can be fucked stupid just as easily as you can get delivered the game of your dreams. Whatever you do, don’t use the above preview as anything other than a review of a game BEING DEVELOPED AT THE TIME OF WRITING, and the game is just as likely to be completely different than was described as it is to be exactly as described.