Card Game Review: Death Wish

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“Oh… I’m sorry, I can’t come into work today. I’ve come down with… um… Platypus Pox. I got it from… hmm… eating raw sewage. What are my symptoms? I’ve got muscle spasms… excessive earwax, slurred speech and… I can’t feel my face?”

15All of this can be yours, and more! Death Wish is a clever card game for 2-8 players. Your goal is to get as sick as possible and then die! You do this by collecting symptoms, racing to collect the correct colored symptoms to match the afflicter cards out in the center of the table.  Each disease gives you a certain number of skulls, which are used for scoring purposes.

This game is a knockout. Back this thing now. It needs to be on store shelves. When I first received it from the designers for review, I expected to see yet another Cards Against Humanity clone, like Superfight, Billionaire Banshee, Red Flags, and tons of other party games that have come out in recent years. It isn’t that at all.

The rules are very simple and straightforward. Everything I told you above completes the rules you need to tell your players. Oh, and sometimes disease cards will say “Outbreak”, which means you draw an Outbreak card. But that’s it! You’ll be sitting down trying to get yourself infected with Collywobbles, Diabooties and ROFL-itis in no time.

The art is fantastic, simple, and consistent. Everything looks like it fits right together, with a great, angular style. The card layouts are simple and clean, and leave no room for misinterpretation.

“Cough! Cough! Yeah, I can’t join you tonight, guys. I got cursed by a witch. She gave me Tuburpulosis. I keep passing out, I’ve gone blind, my toes have fallen off. I think I’m going to call it a night, get to bed early. See if the curse wears off in the morning.” 

In playing it with my group of friends, we found it has a really high replay value. There’s no concern over stumbling upon the same cards, because the combinations are always changing. Some diseases make no sense (why is Multifartosis giving me chest pains and double vision?), while others are a match made in heaven (I got Wangthrax by sleeping with a mermaid!) Some of the most entertaining jokes came from our twisting logic in an attempt to explain our diseases to one another.

Like most jokingly offensive party games out today, you’ll want to make sure to play this with a group of friends who appreciate crude humor and don’t get upset over disease jokes getting tossed around.

This game is a solo project by Jason Hibbert, who’s been hammering at this thing for 15 months now. Be sure to check out the phenomenal Kickstarter which goes live on June 1st! I’ll be eagerly awaiting its launch. (I’ll be adding a link when it’s live here!) Below, you can watch a how-to-play video for the game. Have fun! I hope you die faster than your friends!

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