Who’s the gutsiest Daredevil? Take on dangerous stunts for glory—but suffer the consequences if you fail!
What Is Daredevil?
Daredevil is a quick press-your-luck game for 2 to 7 players that takes about 20 minutes to play. It’s currently seeking funding on Kickstarter, with a pledge level of $15 for a copy of the game. There’s no age rating on the Kickstarter but it’s simple enough to learn that even young kids will be able to play—as long as you’re okay with the theme.
Note: My review is based on a prototype copy with laughably incomplete design. The prototype illustrations are stick figures and the graphic design is rudimentary. But on the Kickstarter page you can see what the actual game will look like, with illustrations by Colton Balske of a cartoon devil performing various stunts.
- 48 Stunt cards
- 7 Character cards
- 2 Dice
The components are very simple—just a deck of cards and two standard dice. Nothing too exciting, but the illustrations are cute. Each stunt card has a difficulty, point value, and a consequence at the bottom—these include things like amputation, burns, and even death.
How to Play Daredevil
The goal of the game is to score the most points (without dying).
Give each player a character card. Shuffle the stunt deck and deal three face-up in the center of the table.
Players take turns going clockwise. On your turn, you either attempt a stunt or retire.
To attempt a stunt, pick one of the three stunts available, roll the dice, and see if you meet or exceed the difficulty level. Some bonus abilities will allow you to re-roll depending on the category icons on the stunts. If you succeed, add the card to your scoring pile. If you fail, tuck the card at the bottom of your character card so the consequence is visible.
Consequences include things like being maimed, where you must reroll your higher die, or amputation, which causes you to subtract 1 from your total. The first time you get a death consequence, it just scares you, but if you get a second death consequence, you’re eliminated from the game.
Also, you may never have two of the same consequence (aside from death), so if you get a consequence you already have, you’ll have to draw cards off the top of the deck until you get a consequence you don’t have yet.
At the end of your turn, refill the stunt row so there are three cards available for the next player.
If you choose to retire, you just skip your turns until the end of the game.
The game ends when all players have either retired or died, or when the deck runs out. (Reshuffle discarded stunts as needed so that everyone gets the same number of turns.)
The surviving player with the highest score wins; in case of a tie, the player who retired last wins.
Why You Should Play Daredevil
Okay, so nobody is going to claim that Daredevil is a deep, strategic game: it’s mostly just silly fun pressing your luck to see how much you can score before you injure yourself beyond repair. Even though the prototype I got had illustrations that looked like rejects from Pictionary, just having the titles of the cards was enough to create the atmosphere of the game. There’s a wide variety of stunts: vehicular stunts, various types of jumping, animal tricks … and also things like running with scissors. The subsequent consequences for failure are often thematically linked to the stunts.
Deciding which stunt to take is a simple risk-reward choice at first: the higher the difficulty, the more points it’s worth. But which consequence would you prefer to risk? Is it better to take the easy stunt that puts death on the line, or attempt the difficult stunt that will merely maim you? And once you have a few failures under your belt, things start to get even trickier. If you attempt a stunt with a consequence that you already have, there’s always the chance that you may draw a death card—and the more consequences you have, the higher the chance.
As with most press-your-luck games, the most important decision you make may be when to quit. In this case, if you retire, you can’t score any more points, but you also won’t die. If you can get ahead of the other players and retire, they’ll be forced to keep attempting stunts until they exceed you (or die trying).
In short, Daredevil is a quick game that’s good for some laughs, and will be a fun warm-up game, even if I won’t use it as a centerpiece of a game night. I enjoyed playing the prototype even with the crude drawings, so that tells me the game delivers the promised experience. If you enjoy press-your-luck games and a touch of schadenfreude, you might give Daredevil a whirl.
For more information or to make a pledge, visit the Daredevil Kickstarter page!
To subscribe to GeekDad’s tabletop gaming coverage, please copy this link and add it to your RSS reader.
Disclosure: GeekDad received a copy of this game for review purposes.