Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Psycho Killer Is A Fast Paced Game That Makes Murder Fun

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Welcome back everyone. Today we’re going to be returning to the world of card based tabletop gaming, for a look at Escape Tabletop Games’ Psycho Killer, a party game about screwing your friends over to escape a Slasher villain. 

What’s In The Box?

Psycho Killer box and rules
  • 78 x Psycho Killer Game Cards
  • 9 x Blank “Play By Your Own Rules” Cards
  • Rule Page and Card List

Psycho Killer is a comedic game, a send up of the beloved horror subgenre, but also a strategic one, in which your goal is to end the game with as few injuries as possible. This is achieved by playing your cards right, either to get ahead or to trip up your fellow players, depending on the situation. 

There are a few ways to accomplish this, so let’s dive into the rules and how to play the game!

How To Play

Despite being a card game, you don’t start with a hand when playing Psycho Killer. Simply shuffle the deck and split the cards between two decks, while making sure that there’s enough space between the two decks to have a discard pile, and all players have enough space to display their own cards. 

Psycho Killer cards
Psycho Killer cards

There are five Psycho Killer cards in the deck, and a variety of weapon cards on top of that, each with different points totals. We’re on golf rules here, so the lower your points at the end of the game the better. If you draw a Psycho Killer card from the deck, everyone with a weapon card takes damage equal to the total number of points on their weapons and the Psycho Killer. Game play continues until all five Psycho Killers have been played. 

In addition, there are predicament cards, which won’t immediately damage whoever draws them, but that will hinder them. There are also cards that can be used to return a Psycho Killer or a predicament card to the deck, either shuffling or making it the very next player’s problem. 

Further complicating matters, once you’ve taken ten points of damage you become Left For Dead. In this state you can not only hold onto predicament cards instead of playing them immediately, but you can inflict them on your opponents as well, forcing them to take the negative effects of the card instead of you. 

Psycho Killer card examples

As a tribute to Psycho Killer’s retro horror inspirations, cards also have symbols on them, derived from the classic VCR symbols for play, fast forward, rewind, stop, and eject. These determine how you can play certain cards, when you can play them, and what specific effects playing them will have beyond the card text (playing a card with the fast forward symbol, for instance, will automatically end your turn). 

You can play as many cards as you wish per turn, though you can only draw one per turn. This overall results in a very fast paced game, one that goes by quickly despite the number of cards you must draw to end the game. 

Final Thoughts 

Psycho Killer cards

Ultimately Psycho Killer is a solid choice for those looking for a fast paced card game that relies not on deck building but on ditching as many cards as you can. If you’re looking for a game about backstabbing your friends and trolling each other mercilessly, this is a rather excellent choice. 

Horror fans will find Psycho Killer to be somewhat generic and simplistic in its pastiche of the genre however. Certainly not bad, but shallow and not really at the peak of horror themed tabletop gaming. 

All in all, I would recommend it for those looking for a fast paced and competitive party game, but consider the horror theming a garnish rather than the main draw.

You can grab Psycho Killer from the Escape Tabletop Games shop, Amazon, or your FLGS at an MSRP of $37.99

Images via Escape Tabletop Games

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