LITTLE GHOST REVIEW
Check out Board Game Happy’s YouTube Video Review of Little Ghost toooooooooooooo!
BOARD GAME HAPPY SCORE : 75/100
Look into those eyes, those lost little eyes, you will wonder what has this ghost seen? Why are they all alone in this world? How can you help them find a friend?
These and many more questions will spring to mind thanks to the power of the amazing art in Little Ghost, from Betonmond, designed by Viviane Schwarz and Kevan Davis with art by Chris Riddell.
Little Ghost is a card shedding game for two to four players which plays in 15 minutes. If you are unfamiliar with card shedding games, you start with a hand of cards which you play to the table as tricks. The winner is the first player to play all of their cards. The game Scout is probably one of the most famous examples of this.
Little Ghost is not only a card shedding game but also includes bluffing as a mechanism which makes for an interesting twist on one of my favourite genres of card games.
Before I get into the how to play and my opinion on the game itself, I wanted to say what an amazing art direction the game has taken.
Every single card has a unique drawing of the little ghost looking around five different environments. Whether the ghost is in the attic rummaging through boxes or on the beach following footprints in the sand you get the impression they are all alone and desperately looking for a friend.
Functionally the cards work really well as the numbers are clear and the suits (locations) are easy to differentiate between each other.
The card backs are a wonderful drawing (which appears to be Little Ghost’s final resting place) and really helps the game to stand out on the table.
How to play
Little Ghost is a card shedding game which allows you to bluff your way to victory by winning a certain number of rounds (depending on the number of players). A round is a series of summonings until a player plays their final card. A summoning is ended when a player plays a face up 10 card, all players pass or a player calls out another player as bluffing (whether they did bluff or not). A summoning starts with the starting player declaring a suit (location) and playing a trick.
This trick could be one card face up or face down of the chosen suit. Or it could be one face up card (chosen suit) with one or more cards played beneath it as shadows. When you play shadows these numbers must be the same as the card that is face up but the suits will be different.
The next player must then play a trick from the same suit but with a higher number. However, bluffing is allowed and you could play a facedown card but of a different suit or even a lower number from the same suit. Or will you be brave and play a number of shadows which are not the same number
The player after you can call you out if they think you are bluffing but there are consequences to this which I will discuss in a little while.
When a single card is placed face down this resets the numbers for cards played afterwards.
Players continue to play cards (or pass) around the table clockwise. When you pass you are not out of the summoning if other players continue to play tricks and if the turn order comes back to you feel free to jump back in.
If all players pass, one after the other, the first player who passed draws a new card from the deck, clears all cards played so far, and they start a new summoning (declaring a different suit to the one just played).
The summoning also ends if a player is accused of bluffing. When this occurs cards are checked to see who is correct (the accuser or the challenged player). If the accuser is correct the challenged player must pick up their played face down cards from that trick and the accuser will start the next summoning. Otherwise the accuser must pick up the same number of cards as was played face down that trick, from the deck, and the challenged player will start the next summoning.
Finally whenever a 10 card is played face up this also ends the summoning.
When a player plays their final card from their hand successfully to the table they win the round. The number of rounds required to win the game depends on the number of players. For a two player game the winner needs to achieve three round wins, three players it is two and for four players it is one.
I found there is very little point in bluffing on your final card as the next player will always call you out. So to combat this we added a house rule that if they call you out and you were telling the truth this will result in a penalty that they are dealt an extra card in the next round. The only other option is to say you cannot bluff on your final card.
Who is this game for
Little Ghost is perfectly suited for fans of shedding games or families who want to play a clever card game but one that is relatively easy to understand. My preferred player count is three but I also enjoyed the push and pull of a two player game and the increased chaos of a four player game.
Review copy / would I buy this game for myself
Betonmond very kindly provided me with a review copy, but I am not paid for this review and all opinions are my own. Whenever I am sent a review copy of a game I like to consider whether I would buy it for myself. The answer is a resounding yes.
Little Ghost does so many things I like in games with amazing art and a unique take on one of my favourite genres.
From the easy to understand rules, fun gameplay and amazing art I have really enjoyed learning, teaching and playing Little Ghost. The hand management required to win a round is a fun puzzle to work out as you play cards, whilst the bluffing and deducing adds an interesting layer of player interaction.
I have tried various methods to win the game, from shorting a suit, to bluffing almost every turn, and in reality you are playing the other players as much as the hand you are dealt with at the beginning.
Don’t get me wrong this is a card shedding / trick taking game and it has the usual problem of the person who is dealt the best starting hand will often do quite well, however due to the various different ways the game deals with the next start player together with the quick game time, this is somewhat nullified.
Little Ghost will take pride of place amongst some of my other favourite shedding games as it is a quirky small card game combined with lots of player interaction and some of the best art work I have seen.
I just hope the Little Ghost finds his friends soon.
Rating 75 out of 100
Art Work 5 stars
Complexity 1.5 stars
Re-playability 3 stars
Player Interaction 5 stars
Component quality 5 stars
- The little ghost is adorable
- All of the art work is amazing but also sad because the ghost is alone
- Card shedding game that works well for 2 to 4 players
- Bluffing your way to victory
- When you get to your last card you really can’t bluff
Just before I finish my first review as a guest writer for Favouritefoe, I wanted to say a massive THANK YOU to her. In addition to becoming a great gaming rival Favouritefoe is also an amazing friend who has helped me on so many of my projects. Always positive, encouraging, and friendly her reviews are where I go to see if I will like the feel of a game. She hasn’t steered me wrong once so my bank account takes a hit every time she recommends a game to me! 🙂