Review: Gauntlet of Fools

Review: Gauntlet of Fools

Quinns: Have you heard of Munchkin? It might be the most popular standalone card game in our hobby. You all play Dungeons & Dragons-type heroes racing to reach level 10, alternately working together and wrenching one another backwards. It’s a grinning figurehead for table gaming. And I hate it.

I hate that in parodying D&D so focusedly it erects walls around gaming as a whole, its 20 year-old injokes acting like barbed wire. I hate that it goes on for 30 minutes longer than anyone wants. I hate how the game is entirely based around attacking the lead player, rendering the entire first 60 minutes almost pointless. But most of all, I hate how it gets everywhere.

I’ll be at the pub, explaining SU&SD to some friend or stranger or travelling pervert, and they’ll say “Oh! Yeah, I’ve played Munchkin. It was OK!” And with that, all the icecubes will disappear from my drink, a new wrinkle will appear on my body and all the babies within two miles of us will start crying.

So here it is. My counter-offer. If you want a light, mad card game with a Dungeons & Dragons theme, buy Gauntlet of Fools instead, a game from no less than the creator of Dominion. Also, a game of battling trolls with a hangover, and getting skewered by spear traps while hopping on one leg.

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Gauntlet of Fools

Gauntlet of Fools

Gauntlet of Fools is an adventure game of skill and fortune for 2-6 that plays in under 30 minutes. Choose your hero from hundreds of possible combinations. You’ll make ridiculous boasts to get the best hero – but every boast comes at a cost. How awesome is your knight with a flaming sword after you boast that he’ll fight blindfolded with a hangover?

You’ll find out in the gauntlet: fifty encounters that will kill you. That’s right. You will die, fool! But even a fool wants his gold, and the monsters have it. Roll a handful of dice, slay a monster, get its treasure. Die with the most gold to win the game.

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