For months, I’ve been stuck in the High Sierras, snowed in and also trapped. Provides were gone weeks ago. Critical month, we made decision to eat Ned’s dog. 2 weeks ago, his horse. We’re starving currently and, if I’m perfectly honest, Ned is beginning to look pretty tasty…

What Is It?

Donner Dinner Party is a bluffing and also deduction game for 4 to 10 players, aged 12 and also up the plays in about 20-30 minutes. Pioneers hunt for food to feed the starving team for one more week if Cannibals hope to eat one of their party instead.

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Wait, What?

As i was cultivation up, the story of the Donner party was one often discussed, us were amazed at the problems that could drive a human to will to cannibalism. However, once I sat under to beat this game with eight kids, every under the age of 18, no one of them had actually heard that the Donner Party before. So, briefly, the Donner Party was a group of 87 pioneers from around a dozen different families that were headed to California in 1846. A number of mishaps befell them; castle left late in the season, lock tried one untested route, and they to be stranded by a hefty snowfall. That November, they became trapped in the Sierra Nevadas that note the border of Nevada and California. 4 months later, they were rescued and only 48 survived, many due to the fact that they had slaughtered and eaten your oxen, horses, dogs, and also a number who had eaten their other travelers to remain alive. There’s a lot much more to it and you have to read an ext if you are interested, but this year clues the 150th anniversary that a very morbid event in our nationwide history.


What’s in the Box?

Back with me? I recognize that’s a lot to, erm, digest. But let’s dig in! In the box, you’ll find:

1 Campfire Board1 Frying Pan (Round Marker)1 Camp Leader Tile10 personality Tokens10 function Cards40 hunting Cards12 supply Cards

The artwork is off-the-charts great. All of the illustrations space wonderful and also I’m really impressed through the all at once game. The game board is a neat, top-down watch of a campfire, with spots for each of the game’s players. No an customs of the rulebook, box, board, or cards is ignored once it involved art and design. The frying pan is a, uh, tasteful touch and a clever means to counting off the ring (six rounds for 4-6 players, 7 for 7-10), with the pan rotating around the campfire. Also the rulebook shows a wood and also leather-laced binding.

All the tokens are double-sided and thick, juicy, *cough* quite cardboard. There’s a high degree of detail to whatever from the back of the plank to the box and also it every is really nice. The cards i am less impressed with. The art is great on them; the caricatures space all really well done and the expression on their deals with are quite funny. However, the cards room so flimsy the shuffling presents a actual challenge. The quality isn’t bad—I don’t worry about the paper tearing or anything favor that—the stock simply isn’t stiff enough. I’m not really sure what happened here, even if it is the wrong document was mentioned or what, but it’s rather noticeable and, because that a game that involves a fair amount the shuffling, it absolutely leaves a negative taste in her mouth, errr, is a little bit disappointing. Luckily, girlfriend only need to shuffle a grasp of times in the game. There’s not a lot come Donner Dinner Party. It’s a little box game, yet what’s there mirrors a lot of thought in its design and artwork.


How execute You Play?

I think the easiest means is to start play is to pick the Camp Leader because that the an initial round. This is a little out of order from the rulebook, which says this occur later, but by an initial choosing the Camp Leader, that human being can set up the game. The Camp Leader assembles a duty Deck based upon the number of players. For four players, a single Cannibal duty is added, 2 anthropophaginians for 5 to 7 players, and three the them for 8 to 10 players. The Camp Leader fills the rest of the deck, according to the full players, through Pioneer role cards and chooses the equivalent tokens, arranging them around the campfire ~ above the board. They location the frying pan on ring one and also shuffles the function Deck prior to dealing a single card to each player. You might look in ~ it, yet no one else can.

Next, the Camp Leader shuffles the searching Deck and the supply Deck. Every player it s okay a single card from the supply Deck, which provides them v a special capacity during the round. These are likewise kept face-down so nobody else deserve to see them. Before dealing the hunting Card, anyone closes their eyes and also the Camp Leader renders an announcement allowing the Cannibals to open up their eyes and recognize each other.


The Camp Leader transaction a single card indigenous the searching Deck to himself before dealing three cards to every of the other players. Hunting Cards have one that five faces on them. There space eight fish cards, which feeding a single player; 6 squirrel cards, which feeding two; fourteen empty hands, which feed no one; and also seven toxicity cards, which makes all the food inedible, unless one of the 5 medicine cards is present. Football player look at their cards before choosing one to add to the camp’s dinner. Pioneers want to feeding the others, cannibals, less so. Cannibals might donate empty hands or, worse yet, poison. Pioneers might add a fish or squirrel, if they have actually one, or medicine–just in instance a poison card mirrors up at dinner. Before turning their cards in, the Camp Leader can choose a player and look at their searching Card. He can’t present it come anyone, however he can discuss it.

Next, the Camp Leader collects the hunting Cards, shuffles them, and also turns them over. If there’s poison, every the food is inedible unless someone played medicine. (A solitary medicine will counteract multiple poison cards.) The amount of food is tallied and it’s figured out if over there is enough food to feeding the variety of players quiet in the game. If there is enough food and also it’s edible, the ring advances, a new Camp Leader is chosen, and the procedure begins again. If there’s not sufficient food, the life players get involved in a team Vote to decision who, among the living, will certainly be consumed so that the team can survive one more week.


Supply Cards carry out players with a unique power that deserve to be play at various time throughout the game. A player could get extra hunting Cards throughout that distribution or be able to take the Camp Leader to the afterlife with her if she is voted to it is in eaten. Discussion commences and, after two minutes, the Camp Leader calls for a vote. Players can’t vote for themselves and also ties are damaged by the Camp Leader. The player that is consumed is the end of the game and also removes his token native the campfire. If he still has actually a it is provided Card, that is placed confront up near the campfire board. Play then moves come the following round. At the finish of a round, if all the Cannibals have been eaten, the Pioneers win. If the Cannibals equal or outnumber the Pioneers, the Cannibals win.

Why must I add Donner Dinner Party to my Collection?

There are most likely some the will find the video game to be an unusual an option of theme and also probably some that will it is in offended, since that’s the age we live in. That is a game based upon a tragedy, yet it’s also one that has actually a most time ~ above its side. That awful winter once the Donner party made choices no one should need to happened earlier in 1846. Time heals every wounds.

But when you acquire past the idea of chomping down on your other travelers’ choicer cuts, Donner Dinner Party is really a pretty funny game. Top top a recent beach vacation, i brought around a dozen games, representing a variety of mechanics. Donner Dinner Party was, by far, one of the most played games. Us all had actually a blast trying to work-related out who the Cannibals to be in our midst. We would certainly play over and over and also over, night after ~ night.

My just complaint is that, if girlfriend get consumed in the very first round, girlfriend will invest a lot of time sitting around, waiting for the next game. Fortunately, the game additionally comes with a couple of variants. In Ghosts, the player token that the consumed player gets flipped come its the opposite side, which presents a caricature in negative, appearing apparition-like. A player playing as a ghost retains her original role and connect with lively players, but can no longer use words, just sounds. Further, the Ghost have the right to trade in she token once. Once she does, she deserve to place the in front of any player and shout “BOO!” By act this, that alive player is not consisted of in the round’s voting.


There’s a 2nd variant that’s fun too: the Ol’ Tasty it is provided Card. If someone is dealt this card together their it is provided Card, they are Ol’ Tasty in enhancement to their Pioneer or Cannibal role. They room so tasty that, if they are voted to be eaten, that the whole party converts come cannibalism and also the Cannibals instantly win. Plus, due to the fact that there is a maximum of 10 players and 12 it is provided Cards, you’ll never understand if Ol’ Tasty is in the game or not. That adds a really funny twist.

Most bluffing and deduction gamings just offer you a duty and revolve you loosened against each other. Since Donner Dinner Party work you with making a selection in your hunting Cards, permits the Camp Leader come look at one, and provides you with game-changing supply Cards, that is a very unique and really fun game. Like any type of game in this category, over there is a most tension. Accusations, deceit, and alliances make because that a an extremely animated game. The Camp Leader may administer truthful information around the player’s searching Card that’s check or may tell a lie around it. During the conversation that leader to the team Vote, players may insurance claim Hunting Cards that are theirs or who else’s. And also because Cannibals understand who else has that role, they might employ various strategies to try to manipulate the Pioneers right into eating among their own.

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With Donner Dinner Party‘s an excellent artwork, game-changing supply Cards, searching Cards, and also a couple of succinct variants, it’s certainly a game worth check out. Donner Dinner Party is native Chronicle Books and is accessible now.