I ain't afraid of no ghost...well, maybe a little scared of seven...
|7 Ghosts (2018)|
|Designer(s)||Keith A. Smith||Artist(s)||John Childress||Publisher||
Let's go stay at the creepy house on the hill they said; it will be fun they said. They clearly didn't realize the house was haunted by all manners of creepy creatures and ghosts. For some reason, you are led to believe the only way you can escape is by capturing 7 of the roaming spirits before the other guests do. Can you survive or will be become one of them? Ok, this game isn't that serious, but I felt it needed a little story. Essentially, this is a card and dice game where you will be rolling dice and collecting cards, some of which will contain ghost. Each card has a special trait that provide basic actions in many cases to aid your progress or hinder others. The first player to 7 Ghost cards win!
The game comes in a box that is a bit larger than the components need, but the box itself is nicely illustrated and sturdy. There is a divider that helps keep the components in place and certainly are aided by the card boxes that hold each deck of cards. The covers looks like a boarded up window or door with the creepy stuff peaking through.
The game includes:
- 3 Six-Sided Dice - There are 3 colored dots on the sides of the die; 2 sides of each color: Black, Purple, Teal. The dots are stickers that have been pre-applied to the dice.
- 25 Main Deck Cards - These cards include ghost cards and spooky creatures with special abilities when collected in sets of three. Some of these cards will even allow you to immediately draw a Spooky Action card when collected.
- 35 Spooky Action Cards - These cards include ghost cards and cards with unique actions that may be used once.
- Rules - A double sided sheet.
Amanda is a big fan of Halloween, and this screamed something she would enjoy. I like the artwork on the cards; each unique card has a nice illustration of a cartoony pumpkin, ghost, cat, or something spooky. The card stock isn't anything amazing, but it should be fine for this game since the cards aren't shuffled or tossed around much.
- Remove one Escape card and the Double Ghost from the Main Deck and shuffle the remaining cards. The Escape card will remain separate until needed.
- Split the Main Deck into two piles; there will be 12 cards in one pile and 11 in the other. Add the Double Ghost card to the 11 card pile. Shuffle the new deck with the double ghost card.
- Split the Double Ghost pile into four stacks face down, and place the remaining 12 ghosts on top of those stacks form four stacks of six cards.
- This sounds more complicated than it really is; you just want the double ghost card in the lower half of one of the decks.
- Flip up the top card on three of the four decks; the fourth deck will remain a mystery.
- Shuffle the Spooky action card deck and deal one card to each player. Place the rest of this deck within reach.
Decide on your favorite player by your preferred method and begin.
Players turns are fairly straight forward.
- Before rolling the dice, declare which card you are attempting to capture; this can include the face down card, which you would flip up once you declare it.
- Roll the Dice: You will have a total of two rolls to capture the card. You are trying to roll the necessary colors as shown on the right side of these cards. If you capture it, place it in front of you face up. The left side may provide an action when you turn in three matching cards (more on this in a bit). On the lower right, it may tell you to draw a Spooky Action card; if so, proceed to draw it keeping it secret from other players.
At any point during your turn, you may reveal and use a Spooky Action cards. The cards are fairly straight forward with the actions they provide, but they are fully described within the rules. Additionally, you can turn in sets of captured non-Ghost cards from the Main Deck to use their listed abilities.
Once a player's turn is over, play will continue to the player clockwise of the current player.
As you may expect based on the name of the game, the game ends once a player has collected their 7th ghost; that player will be the winner!
Double Ghost cards do count as two ghost.
Main Deck Card Abilities
Since the non-Ghost cards in the Main Deck are not necessary to win, collecting these cards will provide perks not only when initially collected but also when you have collected sets of 3 matching cards. In the lower left, they explain how sets of 3 can be used. I won't cover them all since they are pretty straight forward, but I will explain the zombie. By turning in three of the zombie cards, you effectively get the "Off Limits" ability that blocks a pile of cards from your opponents until your next turn. Similar to the Off Limits Spooky card, you will place the set of Zombies on top of the pile you want to block; at the beginning of your next turn, you will take the zombies and place them in the discard pile.
Each of the non-ghost cards from the Main Deck have a Spooky Action card they mimic.
Another Game with these Mechanics
If you are one of our regular followers and think this game sounds familiar, you are correct. Buddy Pal Games released another game with a different theme and some updates to these mechanics; this game was the Amazing Jungle Run. I really enjoyed the Amazing Jungle Run because it had amazing artwork, and they put a lot of time into the production including a nice playmat. 7 Ghosts certainly has the same overall feel minus a few of those upgrades that was possible in the later game. That said, this game is perfectly fine all on its own, and we enjoy the theme.
7 Ghosts is fun and easily a gateway level game that has a cute, spooky theme that those who are fans of Halloween will enjoy. The rules are overall fairly easy to understand; though, the rules are a little harder to follow initially when compared to their other game. Select a target card, roll dice, re-roll once if needed, collect card, and use spooky action cards when needed; that is over simplifying it, of course. I do feel children may enjoy this version a little more simply because of the cartoonish artwork, and I feel the overall game play is just as fun as well.
I know I am comparing this game to their other game that came out 2 years later, but I do enjoy both games. I feel the production quality of the Amazing Jungle Run is better simply because it has better dice, the rules have been improved, and there is a little more strategy included. I feel 7 Ghosts is the children's version of Amazing Jungle Run, which is certainly not a bad thing. What I would love to see is 7 Ghosts get an updated print run with the improved dice that are color blind friendly and include the improved rules; I feel I would have an easier time pushing people towards this game. As is now, the two games are only priced ~$6 apart; I would probably recommend the Amazing Jungle Run if your primary focus is the game play. However, if you are more interested in theme and want a light game or if you catch this on sale, I feel this game is still a lot of fun and will be enjoyed by children. I know Amanda will be excited to play this around Halloween when we do our Halloween special stream.
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