Guest Review: Curses! It’s a Party Game

Guest Writer: Christopher Bishop

I must admit, until I started reviewing board games for Multiverse, I generally steered away from party games.  It is not that I am a particularly boring guy, It is just that I have two kids and a wife and lead a very simple life.  We are fairly quiet as families go, and rip roaring parties are not a very common occurrence.  However, part of being a reviewer is trying out things that may or may not fit into your wheel house normally, and doing so with a completely open mind as to what to expect.  This was definitely one of those times, and I am happy to say the experience was well worth it.

Whats in the box?

Curses! box and sample cards

Curses! box and sample cards

Inside the box you will find two different sets of cards.  60 Challenge Cards and 60 Curse Cards.  There is also a bell similar to what you would expect at a concierge desk at a fancy hotel.  Setup is pretty simple consisting of spending 35 seconds to 1 minute struggling with getting the box open (the box is very glossy and forms an air seal making it kind of a pain to open the first few times) and 5 seconds to lay out the two stacks of cards and place the bell within easy reach of all players.   The rules are on a piece of 4” x 6” glossy cardstock.

What makes it so much fun?

The premise of the game is pretty simple.  On the first turn, the person with the next upcoming birthday draws a challenge card.  They have to complete the cards instructions, which could be anything from “You are a psychologist.  Give another player a mental diagnosis” to “You are a phone psychic.  Tell another players fortune.”  Some of these challenge cards are wacky enough themselves to evoke a snicker or two but that is not where the real fun begins.  After completing their challenge card the first player now grabs a curse card and lays it face up in front of a player of their choice.  That player now reads their new curse to everyone. The turn then moves in clockwise order to the next player.  What’s that?  Oh! I didn’t mention what happened with the curse card?  Well let us say for our purposes that the person that got the curse card was the next player to go.  So their curse card, which they now have to do, for any interaction might I add, comes up “Speak as though you have an invisible golf ball in your mouth”  So anytime they speak, they have to talk like they have something in their mouth.  Now that player draws a challenge card that says “You have been pulled over by the highway patrol.  Explain why you were speeding.”

As the game progresses people get laden down with different curses.  This provides several challenges, in that some curses are triggered by events or actions, that may happen even if it is not your turn.  For instance, I had a curse where every time someone dinged the bell I had to scream in fear and faint on the floor.  You MUST complete all your curses or risk breaking a curse.  When ever other players suspect you of breaking a curse they ding the bell.  If the group agrees that you did indeed break one of your curses by not completing it, you have to flip that curse card face down.  If you break three curses you are out of the game as a player and take more of an audience role.  Of course, in a final act of revenge, the ousted player lays all of their curses down as they choose among all the players still in play.   They also remain at the table to help catch others breaking curses and to help participate for challenges.

In our first play through game, my son had to talk into an invisible CB, while looking through binoculars and talking like an Irish surfer and shouting like a Marine Drill Sergeant.  My poor wife had 1 inch arms which she had to keep pinned to her chest and her neck was limp so she could not lift her head up either, while talking like a french maitre D and trying to pick up cards with her 1 inch arms.  I was so busy laughing, (tears coming down my face) I broke three curses just because I could not focus with so much frivolity going on.

The goal is to be the last player standing at the end of the game.  An average game might take about 30 minutes, which makes it a great game for a break in the middle of a long roleplay session, or just for something fun to do on a Friday night.

Is it worth the price?

The average price for this game is around $20.00.  For that price you get a ton of laughs and hours of fun.  The replay value is pretty high considering all the various combinations you can get, and there is also an expansion called More Curses that nets you 50 more each challenge and curse cards.  There are also ding cards that were made for those who might be sensitive to loud noises that can be used in place of the bell.  I feel pretty comfortable in saying for a small party, or for a family, Curses is a great way to spend 30 minutes or so laughing your rear end off.

Until next time,
Keep Rolling them Bones

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