Recommend
7 
 Thumb up
 Hide
7 Posts

The Pumpkin King» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Avoid Temptation! rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Joe J.
United States
Colorado Springs
Colorado
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Oh, the things you buy when you see a bargain or close-out table at a retailer. Books and games and movies you would probably sneer at any other day suddenly become possibilities when you see that bright red 75% OFF! sticker on the cover. You stand there and try to do the math in your head... "Okay, regular retail is $12.95, so I would pay... around three bucks. Why the hell not?" Let me tell you.

At $12.95, I would have berated myself horribly and even asked my lovely wife to administer a good solid kick to my backside for spending that much on such a terrible game. At $4.02 (with tax), I manage to avoid feeling like too much of an idiot.

The Pumpkin King can best be described as a roll & move game that never ends. Others have said it, and I can't disagree. I'll address this later, and move on to other things.

COMPONENTS: About the only thing they did right with the game was making the parts. You get 26 molded plastic tiles, the headless scarecrow figure, four pumpkins (possible heads for the scarecrow), a one-eyed cat figure (Baalzebub), and two dice. The instruction sheet is small, but not much is required because the game is so easy.

The pieces are great! They're well-made, sturdy, and only the pumpkins are small enough to swallow. Heck, the cat figure is cool enough to have perched on your monitor. The dice are big, and I mean, BIG. One is a standard die numbered 1-6, while the other is the cat die, and is numbered 1-4, with the two other spaces having an eye on them. I'll also get to that in a bit. All in all, together with the metal box it all comes in, you'd think you would have a winner, right? Read on!

GAMEPLAY: Set up your path through the pumpkin patch by laying out the tiles any way you'd like. The game gives you two possibilities, but you're free to create your own. Nine of the spaces have round "safe" spots where your pumpkin is safe from being 'bumped' off the path by another pumpkin or the cat. The scarecrow is set up as the destination. After this, it's a simple roll and move game. Players roll both dice. First they move their pumpkin along the path, then the cat. Roll the cat's eye and send him anywhere on the path, which is how most players get bumped. The first pumpkin to reach the scarecrow becomes the Pumpkin King and wins the game. Land on another player, and they get 'bumped' back to the beginning. Land on the cat, or have it land on you, and the same thing happens. Simple enough?

For what seems like such an easy game, it quickly becomes frustrating. Initially, bumping other players is fun and just part of the game. It rapidly becomes repetitive and boring. In both the games I played with my kids, I managed to reach the space just one away from the scarecrow. All I needed to do was roll a 1 to win, and hopefully that damn cat wouldn't land on me and send me back to the start. Wishful thinking. After that, anytime anyone got close, here came the cat. Both games I gave up playing because it was obvious that no one was ever going to win!

The box gives a playing time of 15-20 minutes. Dream on! Both of our games went past 45 before I bowed out and let the kids play without me. I was one tired gourd. Even with my quitting, they never managed to have someone win. I made them quit when it was time for bed. They put it away, swearing they'd play again until there was a winner. I hid the game, not wanting to see it again until Halloween.

End result? It's a truly lousy game. The rules state that you have to roll "exactly" the right number to win (hence my loss from never rolling a 1). Even changing that rule to just getting there first didn't take any time from the game. With four players, you're never going to get close before someone rolls the eye and sends Baalzebub after you. A two-player game might be shorter, but I'm not going to try and find out. I've had my fill.

PROS: Cute, well manufactured pieces, easy to learn. Currently very cheap at Barnes and Noble. DO NOT PAY FULL RETAIL. EVER!

CONS: Utterly boring game that never ends. Maybe your own house rules could fix this turkey.

My kids are young enough they'll probably want to play it until the novelty wears off or I get out Dragonland. Guess which of the two they'd rather play?

Take my advice and do not buy this game unless you have a good use for the parts. If you get it as a gift, be polite, but never speak to the giver again. They obviously hate you for some reason.

2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jay Little
United States
Eden Prairie
Minnesota
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Karate Chop!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
You beat me to it! This is a deplorable, mind-numbing game. It's games like this that drive people away from the hobby! It may actually be the game to rival Time Control as the worst game ever published.

There are no decisions. There is no strategy. There is no interaction. There is die rolling, arbitrary results, and more die rolling. Without end.

The production quality alone shows they put some effort and thought into this game. Unfortunately, all that effort was focused solely on the bits. I cannot believe the game was actually played during development, for if it had been played EVEN ONCE someone surely would have posed the question to the group "Are we sure we want to sink money producing a game that sucks?"

I find it oddly comforting, however, to see I'm not the only person who was suckered in by 75% off... But I picked up 2 copies... gulp
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Frank Branham
United States
Duluth
Georgia
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
New Dia die Los Muertos. Lighter, sillier, and Stickers.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I bought two copies as well. I wasn't expecting it to be a very good game when I picked it up. Admittedly, 30 seconds of staring at the rules told me it was a hideously awful game.

You know...we could launch a competition to see who can come up with the best game using the pieces.

Moo,
Frank
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Fitch
United States
Garner
North Carolina
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmb
fbranham wrote:
I bought two copies as well. I wasn't expecting it to be a very good game when I picked it up. Admittedly, 30 seconds of staring at the rules told me it was a hideously awful game.

You know...we could launch a competition to see who can come up with the best game using the pieces.

Moo,
Frank


I saw this at 50% off and thought "it has cool bits but it looks like Tic-Tac-Toe with dice". Maybe you can just play tic-tac-toe with it, at least the game will end then. laugh
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sean Prescott
United States
Eugene
Oregon
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I got this game from my wife....don’t worry, she got it for real cheap from the Amazon store (My sister-in-law works there)...I brought it to my local monthly game day (I hadn't opened it yet, a mistake I will not make twice) and suckered...er...I mean convinced a couple of friends to play it with me. If you have read the earlier posts then I won’t go into detail. I will just say that after 30 minutes we all decided to make it stop! Worst thing about it...The rules stated that the "Cat's Eye" die only had one side with a Cat's eye on it (This would have at least dropped the odds of rolling the cat's eye) when in fact two sides of the die had cat's eyes on it. Even after deciding to mark one of them as a number, the game was still intolerable. If I was creating a game, I'd want the sculptors to work on it, but I wouldn't let the game designers anywhere near it.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
robert kalin
United States
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Alternative Rules
The pumpkin King 2005 as a small childs game is so so. I agree with the reviews. However my local closeout store had them for a few bucks. I got one and imediately saw potential for advanced rules. Not really complex rules just a tottaly differnt means of gameplay.

Basicly... a 'deathmatch' game..

The primary difference in gameplay is the placement of tiles. Instead of placeing the tiles as a path or a ring its instead laid out as a kind of board that you build. In this means of gameplay a second set of this game gives you an additional set of tiles. Possibly the potential for a 'capture the flag' style of gameplay with two home bases.

In this varriation each player Gains points for 'bumping' other players back to their starting pits. Since there are four Distinctly differnt pumpkins, plus the cat this means that Each pumpking could have a special power or movement method.

This little game not played as a 'path' game but instead as a 'tiled layout deathmatch' seems to beg for a new ruleset.

I'm thinking that each pumpking would have a special movement ability. Instead of having new movement rules that apply to all their moves this gives it a special power unique to each pumpkin/cat. To limit the use of this new ability the player/pumpkin would only be able to use it once each time it is respawned. So each time it is bumped it gets the ability to use it once again.

So if you think this new ruleset is nice. Add on!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ally Steven Severi
Belgium
Brussels
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
I played this game during Halloween with the kids.snore

To speed up the game a little:
Every time a pumpkin gets “bumped”: remove a tile from the beginning of the track.
The “bumped” player can use the removed tile to bribe the cat.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.