By Nicholas Leeman
Who among us has not gotten into a bad gambling situation with the devil himself? And who further among us has not leveraged our adorable good looks and charm into an adventure to save our own souls by claiming those of others? If you haven’t lived out this very relatable scenario yourself, then the 2017 video game Cuphead has the cure for what ails you. If you further never played that game, and still want in on this narrative action, then perhaps The Op could entice you into a 2021 board game of the same name?
Cuphead returns to your home, only this time at your table in Cuphead Fast Rolling Dice Game, for 1-4 players. This incredibly colorful and eyecatching box will have you and your friends taking on the roles of not only Cuphead and Mugman, but also playing as Ms. Chalice and Elder Kettle, cooperatively rolling dice in speedy fashion (it’s not just a clever name). Well-rolled and timed dice will be needed to eliminate familiar foes such as The Root Pack, Hilda Berg and more, in an attempt to leverage their souls against your own. Succeed, and you may earn yourself an audience with the dark lord himself. Fail, and… well… perhaps next time you’ll catch up on your Goethe before gambling with Satan.
The first thing you’ll notice inside the box is that special focus was given to the production quality. Not only keeping the classic Cuphead art style intact, but also the high-quality cards, dice, and envelopes- all these ensure this is a game that will stand the test of time.
Any good quest must involve daring and risks, and Cuphead has never been an exception. The hallmark of the video game was precision movement and timing along with pattern recognition and patience. Pat Marino’s tabletop variant trades the fearless jumping and movement for press your luck dice rolls alongside a punishingly cruel timer. If you opt into downloading the Cuphead app onto your smart device, it will track a 10, 15, or 20 second timer for you, along with easy scoring. Ultimately, you could forego the recommended timer altogether and opt for an easier window- say 30 seconds- for younger or more inexperienced players. After all, it’s your game.
Additionally, The Op has provided players with a pack of save sheets in the box, which let you “save” your game between sessions, noting boss progress, equipment, coins, and any other notes you wish to keep. The attention paid overall to making the board game experience mirror the digital version is really very clever, and ensures that fans of the original will have plenty to like about this more analog setup.
Repeat this process as necessary until either you or your chosen enemy is composted. If it’s you that ends up at zero health, your friends at the table can revive you by spending some of their hard-won parry tokens, but if there’s none to spare and even one of you falls, that’s the game, and you’ll give the devil his due. Much like the video game, expect this to happen early and often until you get the hang of the game, and how best to help each other across the line. Another outstanding analogue of the tabletop experience is the difficulty that you’d expect from something with the Cuphead name. Work together, stay patient, and your efforts will be rewarded not only with fancy equipment from Porkrind’s emporium, but by knowing that at the end of the day, friendship is the real weapon.
Cuphead Fast Rolling Dice Game is for 1-4 players, ages 8 and up, and available for $59.99 from your local game store or our online shop!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nicholas Leeman has been writing about and reviewing board games since 2017, and currently reviews games for the YouTube channel GLHF Boardgames. He makes his home in Minneapolis, MN
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