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Regicide Review


Regicide is a challenging cooperative card game for 1-4 players. To win, players must work together by playing cards to defeat 12 tough enemies. In essence you are running the gauntlet to defeat the final King and commit Regicide! It’s a limited communication game, much like The Crew: Mission Deep Sea and The Quest for Planet Nine. Regicide comes in a tiny package that fits right into your pocket – it’s the size of a deck of cards so it’s perfect for travel!

How To Play Regicide

The setup is very fast, making this an easy game to get to the table. Simply shuffle the 12 enemies to create the Castle deck, and the rest to create the Tavern deck. Then deal cards according to player count. Gameplay begins by flipping the first enemy Juggernaut (Jack).

First you must defeat the Juggernauts, then the Queens, then the Kings. The Juggernauts have 10 attack power and 20 health, so you must play cards that add up to 20 total to defeat each one. The enemies get tougher and meaner as you go. The Queens have 15 attack and 30 health, whereas the Kings have 20 attack and a whopping 40 health! Once you have played a card, you must discard card value equal to the enemy attack value. For example, if the enemy attack value is 10, you could discard a 3 and a 7, or a 10 etc. If you’re not careful, this can diminish your hand so that you cannot play a card and discard next turn.

If you ever get into this sticky situation, you can yield. This means you don’t play an attack, and only take a hit (discard according to enemy attack value). But this is not an ideal move, as it puts more pressure on your teammates. If you ever run out of cards or cannot discard enough at the end of your turn, the game ends in defeat. Gameplay consists of players taking it in turns to play and discard cards, all without communicating which cards are in their hands. This continues until players defeat the final King and are victorious, or more likely, sent home with their tails between their legs!

The true cleverness of this game is in the suit powers. Each one has its own special ability. But to add a further layer of difficulty, each enemy is immune to the power of its own suit. Spades act as shields, so playing an 8 of Spades would reduce the enemy health by 8 but also its attack power (unless it’s a Spade enemy!). This means you discard fewer cards at the end of your turn, making Spades a crucial suit for managing your hand. Clubs deal double damage, and Hearts allow you to put cards back into your Tavern from the discard pile. Finally, Diamonds enable you and your teammates to draw from the Tavern. Playing a Diamond is the only way to replenish your hand, so it can be devastating to allow your hand to get too low only for a Diamond enemy to appear!

There are some other small rules to bear in mind, which add to the strategy of Regicide. For example, you can combo some suit powers by using Animal Companions (Aces). You can also do this by playing multiples of cards, such as three 3s, up to a value of no higher than 10. If you defeat an enemy by playing a card that matches its remaining health exactly, that enemy goes on top of the Tavern deck instead of in the discard pile. This means you will draw it next turn, which can be very powerful for wiping out mean enemies! Finally, when you defeat an enemy, it will be your turn again when you draw the next enemy. This means you need to be careful with managing your hand. Don’t defeat an enemy if you won’t be able to discard enough cards next turn!

Aesthetics And Components

You can play Regicide with a regular 52 card deck but buying the game itself is worth it for the gorgeous artwork by Sketchgoblin. It’s very stylish, and a lot of thought has gone into the theming of the suits and numbers. For example, each number is a different creature – 8s are all kinds of cat, 5s are birds and so on. Whereas the artwork for each suit reflects its power. For example, Club cards feature characters who looks very menacing and hold large weapons to represent double damage.

The game has an optional app, but it’s purely for scoring and to add some atmospheric music. The scoring is not complicated, but it can be easy to forget some of the suit powers which affect the attack or defence value. I prefer to use the app, as anything that facilitates scoring gets a thumbs up from me. Plus, the music is delightfully jaunty!

Final Thoughts

Regicide is an excellent cooperative card game. It offers lots of tough decisions and plays in only 20 -30 minutes. The ruleset is simple, but it’s a difficult game to beat. But when you do finally win, victory feels extra sweet! As with any game that has card draw, there is some luck involved in Regicide. But with careful planning and hand management most obstacles can be overcome. The game arc is fun - it’s exciting and tense when you face the final King! I am always on the lookout for games I can travel with, and Regicide is perfect for this. I keep a copy in my rucksack along with my other favourite tiny box games such as SCOUT and Cockroach Poker. Regicide comes highly recommended if you want a fun cooperative challenge!