Spookre is a quick little trick-taking game where you play the owner of a 17th century haunted mansion. Desiring more ghosts to populate your mansion, you send ghostly representatives to the graveyard in the hopes of recruiting more, competing against others vying for the ghost’s attention.
The game is quick and simple, making it a good choice to have on hand for impromptu games while out and about, or to play while socializing.
Designer & Artist: David Sheppard
Publisher: Twitch Factory
Type: trick-taking, family
3-5 players, 8 minutes per player, ages 10+
3-5 players, 20-40 minutes, ages 8+
Neat twist on Euchre, fun theme, good social game, perfect for those who enjoy traditional card games.
On Kickstarter now until August 4, 2017
In the Box
- 52 cards
The ghost cards are all done in a very distinctive art style. Some people found the art refreshing and charming, but others did not appreciate it as much. Those who were not fans of the art did not feel it detracted from the game itself, however.
Each card has a number ranging from 1-50 signifying that card’s strength, a symbol showing its Aura, the ghost’s profession, and its ability. There are also two Grim Reaper cards which are played differently.
The number of players determine how many cards you use. Each player starts a round with a hand of five cards. Five cards are then placed face up in the middle of the table to make up the graveyard.
The goal is to get ghosts to move into your mansion. The person with the most ghosts at the end of the game wins.
On your turn you choose a target ghost in the graveyard. This will be ghost everyone will be trying to recruit for this trick. To win a trick you must play a ghost whose strength is the closest to the target ghost’s strength without going over. Unless everyone goes over, in which case the person who played the highest strength wins. The person who wins the trick gets the target ghost card to put in their mansion and gets to choose the next target ghost. Play continues until the five cards in the players’ hands are depleted. Cards are then shuffled and dealt for the next round, keeping the ghosts won in their respective mansions.
If the aura on the ghost you played matches the aura of the target ghost, it immediately triggers your ability. These abilities consist of things like looking at an opponent’s hand, adding a new ghost to the graveyard, or sending an opponent’s ghost away. These abilities switch things up a bit from traditional card games, adding a bit of new strategy to it.
This is a very casual game. You can easily play this over coffee while catching up with friends, by the pool while the kids swim, or in a restaurant while waiting for your food. Like most traditional card games, it is great for social play. Although there is a “take-that” element to it, the game was relaxed enough that it didn’t feel overly offensive. Spookre does an excellent job of capturing the energy of traditional games like Rummy, Hearts, Pinochle, and I assume Euchre (I’ve never played) and reminded me of the countless hours I spent playing cards with my family growing up. It has an ease of play that allows you to focus on the people you are playing with, rather than simply winning the game.
I did wish there were more variety in the ghosts, but I see there is a stretch goal for more unique artwork. After many plays I also found myself wanting more variety in the ghostly abilities. This would normally effect replayability for me, but because of how I see myself playing this game (with non-gamers, with those who enjoy traditional card games, as a social game) I don’t think it is a big deal. It is more variety than you’d find playing with a standard deck of cards, and I will be more focused on spending time with friends that I may not care.
The official age on it is ages ten and up, but I played with my two youngest children who are eight and (nearly) ten with no problems. Any child who can read and has basic number sense up to 50 should be fine with this game.
This is a game I can keep in my car for times we need something quick to play or to pull out when with friends who are not hobby gamers. I can see taking Spookre to the home of a relative who usually enjoys traditional card games, in the hopes of switching things up a bit. This is not for someone who enjoys heavier strategy or more thinky games, but it will work well as a light filler or family game. At only $12, it is a good value.
Disclaimer: I received a free prototype copy of the game for review. Opinions expressed are my own.