Coyote

RRP: £14.99
Now £12.19(SAVE 18%)
RRP £14.99
Expected Restock Date 30/04/2024
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Coyote is a simple bluffing game in a western setting. Every player gets a card (bound on his forehead by a fabric tape) showing a number of “hidden” Indians or a special value. You don’t know the value of your card, but you can see all the others. The object of the game is to guess how many Indians are shown on the cards, declaring an increasing number every turn…
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Awards

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You Might Like

  • Quick rounds
  • Tricking and bluffing your friends
  • Fancy looking cards
  • Extra rules to help the last player

Might Not Like

  • Randomness
  • Player elimination
  • Lying with hidden information
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Description

Coyote is a simple bluffing game in a western setting. Every player gets a card (bound on his forehead by a fabric tape) showing a number of "hidden" Indians or a special value. You don't know the value of your card, but you can see all the others. The object of the game is to guess how many Indians are shown on the cards, declaring an increasing number every turn. If you are caught over declaring, you lose.

Many special cards make every game turn a surprise, and don't forget you never know the card you are showing on your forehead.

A wild coyote howls in the desert night, unnerving the few travellers sat around the campfire. They pause briefly before they carry on playing cards around the fire, shadows dancing between them joining the blackness behind. A few minutes pass, the game continues, slowly and silently a coyote slowly enters the ring of fire. It eyes up the huddled figures before moving right up to the fire. A slight pause follows before it sits back on it’s hind legs. The dealer sees the animal as he begins to shuffle the cards he just collected. “Well boys, looks like time to start bluffing” he says, dealing the cards out to each of his fellows, and giving a hand to the coyote too. No what about the board game, Coyote?

Taking A Look

If that makes sense to you then good. If not then it’s OK, the theme for the game is loosely based on North American history and stories and native Americans believing the Coyote to be an infamous trickster. But this is a bluffing game at heart and so is the theme really that important? Probably not.
If you managed to get hold of a copy of the previous game in the ‘series’, Spicy, then you’ll see a couple of similarities. You pick up the shiny box, open it and and gaze upon the wonderful gold foil backed cards inside before embarking on a game of bluffs. It’s wonderful to look at, although I do wonder how well these can hold up to over time, so far over a half dozen games they still look as good as ever, but the back of my mind considers ordering sleeves for them. The original forms of this game would have used cards stuck to the player’s foreheads, but Coyote comes with some plastic stands that can be used to hold the cards in front of each player around the table.

Trickster Time

So now, what is this game trying to bluff, and how is it different to what came before? The bluffing aspect of Coyote involves players bidding using hidden information, similar to Skull or Perudo if you’ve played these titles before, and as you go around the table each player is increasing the bid and trying to not go over the total value of cards on the table, or you can stop and challenge the current bid if you think a player has gone too high. So looking at the cards, this is how Coyote makes itself different from the rest. Each player has a card, and each player can see everyone else’s cards, but not their own. Add in an extra face down card in the middle and this gives all the hidden information that everyone needs to play around with.

There are only a small selection of numbers in the deck, but there are still enough to really swing the games either way and add to the player’s bluffing aspects. The main heart of the deck contains the cards 0 to 10, throws in a couple of larger ones also at 15 and 20, mixes in some red negative cards too, and then finishes off with a couple of blue special cards to mess with the total, adding random cards into the final number or negating the highest value. Everyone also has 3 Peek cards in front of them which double up, giving a player the option to flip one on their turn to peek at the face down card in the middle of the table, and then also being their lives tracker, losing one each time a round is lost. The peeking adds a bit more to the strategy of the game, and gives a bit more incentive for the risk of calling someone out, as the winner of a challenge gets to flip a used peek card back face up ready for the next round, a powerful tool when used at the right time.

Laughing And Howling

Coyote can provide moments with all the players chuckling around the table after the latest play, the last game in the final round I led the bidding at negative 20, staring at my opponent’s red card, and could only challenge as he increased the count to 1, revealing my 0 card and the secret face-down 1, costing him the game with the lowest bid of the night! There is a trickster variant included in the box, and whilst the pointing and guess aspect of it seemed confusing, it did have a nicer mechanic providing the previous round loser with an extra card allowing them to add and peak at a second mystery card no one else can see, making it less likely for a player to lose twice in a row, and with players being eliminated after losing all their lives it was nice to make it slightly less likely for players to lose twice in a row. The game round can play fairly quickly though, whenever the count doesn’t increase 1 number at a time, so early eliminations shouldn’t be sat out doing nothing for too long. But on the bright side eliminated players can gaze at the shiny cards as they peek at them and chuckle to themselves about how far away from the actual totals all the players are currently guessing.

Fans of bluffing games will easily find room on the shelves to fit the small box the game comes in, minimalists might even keep all the components in a small travel bag. And for those not really into it, well its not going to eat into too much gaming time and whether or not you win it’s still fun just to gather around the table and bluff like the Coyote.

 

Coyote is a bluffing game where everyone has to lie, because nobody knows the truth. Based on the native North American stories of the Trickster Coyote: He lost all his possessions and challenged all the other animals to a game in order to win theirs, and the rumours say it played out a little bit like this. So let’s figure out how to play!

Setting Up

Each player takes 3 Peek cards and lays them out in front of them, 2 of them face up with the open eye and the third face down with a closed eye. These cards are representative of a player’s lives, lose all 3 and you’re out of the game, and the last player remaining wins.

Take the deck of playing cards, shuffle it and deal one to each player face down, and an extra face down card in the middle of the table. Every player gets a card stand and places their card into the stand facing away from them, without looking at it, but making sure all the other players can see the card. Now the round is set up and you’re ready to start playing Coyote

Bluffing The Game

First up before going through the rules let’s have a look at the three types of card in the playing card deck. There’s the basic green cards which add their value to the round total, there’s red negative cards that subtract from the round value, and then two special blue cards. The first is the ? card, which will be replaced by a random card from the top of the deck at the end of the round, adding the card revealed to the total. The second is Max 0, not only does this card not add any value to the round total but it will also set the highest card value in the round to 0.

So each round begins with the start player placing a bid on what they guess the total card value on the table is. The very first round of the game this will be the youngest player, and then in future rounds the player who lost the previous round will go first, or the player to their left if they have been eliminated. The goal of a round is to guess the total value of cards present, although being under is also fine, but going over is not. Following the first player in clockwise order each player has three options, you can raise the bid, you can peek or you can challenge the bid.

If a player raises the bid then they must choose a number that is higher than the previous bid.
In order to peek a player must have at least one face up peek card which they flip face-down, they are then allowed to secretly look at the face-down card in the middle of the table, but after this they must increase the bid.
Finally a challenge will stop the round and all cards on the table are revealed. If the previous bid was equal to or lower than the total then the challenger loses, but if the bid is over the total value then the challenged previous player loses.
The winner of a challenge may flip one of their peek cards face-up if able. The loser of a challenge must discard one of their peek cards to the box, regardless of facing. They will then deal out a new round of cards and begin the next round as the start player.

No More Lives

Once a player has lost all three of their peek cards they are eliminated from the game and the rounds continue with the remaining players, when there is only one player left in the game they are declared the winner.

Tricksters

Coyote already comes with some strategic options to master, like knowing when to challenge a bid that you think is lower than the total, or bluffing a high bid against the next player when you know they cannot see their card, but once you are familiar and practiced with the basic rules then it is suggested to play the Trickster variant. This comes with 3 main changes.1) All players begin with only one face-up Peek card, and two face-down.2) Before the cards are revealed when there is a challenge, there will be a count of 3, at which point all players not participating in the challenge must simultaneously point to who they think will be the winner. If you point to the correct winner then you may flip a Peek card faceup, if you point at the loser though then you must flip a Peek card facedown, if able. Players in the challenge resolve their Peek cards as normal.3) The Coyote card is included in the middle of the table and will be given to the loser of a challenge. You may use the card at the start of your turn before doing anything else, draw another card from the deck, secretly look at it, then place it face down next to the card in the middle and lay the Coyote card ontop of it. No one else may look at this card and at the end of the round this card will also add it’s value to the round total. After using the Coyote card you must raise the bid. The Coyote card will always move to the loser at the end of the round, whether it has been played by it’s previous owner or not.

Zatu Score

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You might like

  • Quick rounds
  • Tricking and bluffing your friends
  • Fancy looking cards
  • Extra rules to help the last player

Might not like

  • Randomness
  • Player elimination
  • Lying with hidden information