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We’re All Gonna Die Review

WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE

Differentiating yourself from the competition has always been paramount in any industry. The table-gaming market is a crowded field, and with somewhere in the region of 3000 games released every single year, finding a niche and telegraphing the Je suis là to the masses has always been more art than science. At the ultra-premium end, companies such as Cephalofair Games go all-in on best-in-class experiences such as Gloomhaven and its even more luxurious sequel, Frosthaven. Elsewhere, devs focus instead on novelty, affordability, and, ease of play. We’re All Gonna Die — the game of dicing with death — falls squarely into that latter category. Retailing at just a shade over the £ 10-mark, Ginger Fox’s collaborative dice-rolling match is easy to set up, easy to master and –sadly — easy to beat. The premise is simple enough. Each player draws a card from the titular ‘Death Deck’ rolls six dice, then tries to match the symbols on any ‘Death Card’ on the board. Players can re-roll some or all of their dice – twice – and a winning combination allows them to remove the card they matched with. Failure means the card stays put and everyone at the table edges one step closer to death. There are also five ‘speech bubble’ cards included just for laughs; drawing one of these results in it immediately finding its way to the discard pile.

And that’s pretty much it. The setup takes less than a minute, and explaining the rules potentially takes even less than that. The board is a simple fold-up affair, reasonably durable considering the price point, and the probability that this is something of an occasional party game means it’s unlikely to suffer too much wear and tear. The dice are of high quality, though, and the symbols etched upon them are bright, lively, and kind of fun.

As is the game. To an extent.

The term you get what you pay for is often overused, but the ubiquity of the idiom is extant for a reason. We’re All Gonna Die is a distraction and little else. Whilst there are some tactical elements to tickle the imagination at play, here it is, for the most part, a dice game relying as much on good fortune as it does on careful husbanding of resources. The board has space for five cards and the standard ‘Death Deck’ comprises just 20 cards. A few games in, and players might begin to expect that, in fact, nobody is going to die after all. Rule variations allow for a more challenging game, and setting a timer can somewhat increase the pressure, but by the time you notice the lack of challenge, you’ll probably be ready to move on to something else.

Still, the game is not entirely without merit. Most players are adept at managing expectations when it comes to low-cost ‘stocking-filler’ games, and as far as such novelty games go, We’re All Gonna Die does what it says on the tin, or rather, on the box. It’s a game of dicing with death and a half-decent one at that.