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Captain Carcass – Review

Mayday Games / £20 – £25 / 2-4 Players / 15 mins / Age 8+

Dead Mans Draw App

I first heard of this game through the app Dead Man’s Draw. Boy do I love this app, I was addicted for a while! You can set up ‘pass and play’ however I enjoy the challenge of competing against the different character levels. Somehow I stumbled across the Kickstarter campaign to re-print a physical version of this game with limited edition artwork. Boy was it adorable artwork, I could not hit the ‘back this campaign’ button fast enough 😄  There were a lot of comments during the campaign, despite all the hard work involved in the new illustrations, Mayday Games eventually offered the artwork to match the app everyone loved. Not me, I wanted the tin with the diver looking through the porthole!

Limited Edition Captian Carcass

Captain Carcass is a push your luck card game. You draw cards from the main deck, applying the abilities, until you draw two the same. At that point you loose all the cards you drew to Davy Jones’ Locker and score no points that round. The person at the end with the highest score wins. Took a while for us to notice we were playing wrong. You do not add up the score from every card in your hand, just the highest scoring card. There is a handy reference card of all the abilities, but you will learn them soon enough, especially if you have played the app. The sea theme works really well with the gameplay. You are a diver seeking treasure under the sea. Do you continue to seek for more treasure and risk losing everything? Or do you play it safe and bring a few treasures aboard at a time?

Captain Carcass player aid

Captain Carcass Cards

This version does come with Diver and Variant cards to change the gameplay. We have never used them as we enjoy playing the basic game. When playing do not worry too much if your opponent has a big lead over your score early in the game. There are plenty of chances to take cards back off them and lower their score, lol.

Captain Carcass, cute artwork

Captain Carcass is for 2-4 players. Yet I have only ever played this game as two player. I feel it is ingrained in me that it is a two player game from the app. Mike says I just do not want to face teaching it to that many new people at one time!

The limited edition artwork drew me to this game, along with the chance to own a physical copy of a great app I enjoy playing. It is not often app versions and physical copies compliment each other so well. I enjoy playing the app on my own when I need a quick gaming fix. I then really enjoy sharing my love of this game, playing with actual cards and interacting with someone. It does get tense pulling the cards, do you go for more? My heart always sinks when I pull the Squid/Tentacles as you have to play two more cards – eek! Then again I get quite excited pulling the Cannon or the Harpoon. The Cannon lets you blast an opponents card to Davy Jones’ Locker, the Harpoon lets you pick a card for your own deck.

Captain Carcass mermaid card

captain Carcass map card

Winning this game can be really close to the wire, so it is always fun to count up scores at the end. You can have a really bad run of pulling matching cards after matching cards, then bam! secure the highest mermaid card and you are back in the game. The mermaid cards have higher scores than the others.

I have played Captain Carcass with a few people and in a few different places. I was pleasantly surprised with how well it works as a intro game for people new to the hobby. If you take it slowly and talk through every card as it is drawn the new gamer picks it up and gains confidence quickly. My friend Jane was very hesitant at first, but was requesting we played it again and again as she got her technique sorted! We also played it at a pub, got a few funny looks, but it was only because people wanted to know what we were enjoying! I did not sleeve the cards at first, as they do not fit in the tin if you do. Well, when the cards are getting sticky from pub tables and drink splashes, the tight squeeze in the box is the least of your worries!

Captain Carcass, sleeved cards

If you like push your luck games, if you like the thrill of a quick game where you have to re-think your strategy with every card, this game is for you. If you want a great card game for date night, grab Captain Carcass, especially for your girlfriend/wife, it is very cute. If you want more of a pirate theme and less cute artwork get the same game with Dead Man’s Draw!

Captain Carcass tin

For more information check out:

Publisher- Mayday Games

Captain Carcass aka Dead Man’s Draw – BGG


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Reference Pig Time!

As a thank you for reading our review of Captain Carcass, here is a picture of our Guinea Pigs #scampiandbudbuds I was truing to get a cute picture ‘through the porthole’ Buddy just looks terrified! I hid some treats behind to keep them happy, I think Scampi got there first and Buddy is just upset he was not quick enough to get the treat 😦

Captain Carcass nad guineapigs


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