World Championship Russian Roulette: A Delightfully Macabre Card Game

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Let’s just be clear up front: this is a simulation of Russian Roulette. Just as Clue enables players to pretend murder with a candlestick in the study, this card game simulates a game-of-chance so dangerous, there’d never be enough winners for a local championship, let alone an international one.

Anthony Burch designed it, and he’s flavored the game with the same macabre humor he brought to Borderlands 2 as lead writer. Heck, even its Kickstarter‘s pitch video feels like a sketch with Claptrap and the Vault Hunters.

As you see toward the end of the clip, World Championship Russian Roulette encourages lively camaraderie. Up to six players can assume the roles of colorful characters like Trinh Triumph, Victor Vengeance, and Sammy Sausagefingers, then bid on draws until they collect 15 Victory Points, or wind up “dead” with a Bullet Card in their hand.

A twisted twist: players still affect the game after they’ve “cleared their skulls.” Action Cards are awarded to survivors whenever one of their teammates draws a Bullet Card, and these cards add a whole host of complications which shift Russian Roulette from a game-of-chance to a game-of-skill. With Action Cards, players can point their gun at the air during a draw, fire at opponents, and or even reenact another facet of post-Soviet turmoil by bribing a judge.

The game simulates the cheat of palming a bullet, too, allowing players to bluff about whether or not a Bullet Card is in their hand. Getting called out for a bluff has penalties, of course, but so too does calling another player’s bluff incorrectly. The intricate system is explained quite entertainingly by the professional Russian narrating this tutorial for the game’s Beta.

Would you take World Championship Russian Roulette for a spin, now? Hit the talkback.

Featured Image Credit: Tuesday Knight Games

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