Parties are made to have fun with friends and we are always on the lookout for exciting games that can spice things up. Since the creation of Cards Against Humanity, party gaming geared toward adults has taken off and the game we bring to you today is no different – actually, it takes a lot from its predecessors.
Bucket of Doom: Death Dodging Party Game is a game made by Big Potato that mixes a Cards Against Humanity style card game with smelly consequences for those who are not able to survive. The objective of the game is to answer creatively to each story prompt in order for your answer to get voted as the best, funniest one. There is a catch, though! If you lose, there is a chance that you may be forced to smell the bucket, that is filled with a horrible stench.
Each player gets a set of eight cards that depict different, very random and sometimes also very specific, elements – like stilts, a fishnet body stocking, a Cliff Richard calendar or a duck whistle. Afterward, one of them draws a Doom Card. These cards first define who the protagonist is – a snowman, a Siamese twin, or just a regular Joe. Then, they describe bad scenarios that each player will have to solve using the cards they have on hand. The most creative, funny story, gets to win the Doom Card at play. The player that gets three Doom Cards first, wins!
The game does not have many components, but the ones it does have are good quality. The thinner cards we found are a bit flimsy, so handle them with care. We did find useful, though, how this cards are two sided, so it is a two for one deal. The thicker cards (Doom cards and Danger cards) are higher quality. The packaging is a durable bucket, similar to one you would take to the beach, and it would make for interesting decoration, but it is not the ACTUAL bucket of doom. The real one is inside it and it is much smaller. Do not let the size of the container fool you though. It may be small, but it holds the greatest stench of all. Once a winner is determined, the rest of the players are dealt Danger Cards. One of those has the big smelly doom sign on it, and the player who gets it has to open the container. Be sure that the smell is horrendous and sniffing it is an awful experience. You will want to stretch your creative muscles to the very end just so that there is no chance of you being the one who opens it. The last person to smell the bucket is the one charged with drawing a new Doom Card, so that the round can continue. Everyone gets to draw cards to fill their hand to the original eight cards and the game goes on.
The situations offered are always dire and humorous in some way, shape or form. The elements you have at hand are also so random that the stories created are very funny and unique. This is basically a storytelling game and although you are not working cooperatively with the other players such as in Once Upon a Time, you are still interacting because at the end of the day, the stories you create need to be funny to everyone else so that you may win and escape the bucket.
If you are a creative person, someone who is always telling stories or a writer of some sort you will definitely be into this game. It could also be amazing to use in a creative writing class as it would give the students the ability to develop different creative writing techniques and spark their imagination. It requires a lot of quick thinking, trying to put puzzle pieces together in a way that is engaging to the other players to get them to vote for you when the judging comes.
Overall, it is a solid game. The smelly container is gimmicky, but adds an element of fun to it that is enjoyable, at least for the first couple of games. We prefer this storytelling party game to others, as we found that it encouraged a lot more creative thinking and it has limitless re-play potential. There is a total of 70 “seriously bad scenario cards” and 200 “seriously useless object cards”. This amount makes this game varied enough for it to be almost endless as there are no pre-made answers. Each person brings their own imagination to the mix, making each session unique.
Also, it is not as provocative or riské as other games of its kind. It is labeled 16 or older and it is playable with teenagers if you take out a few cards that may be a little over the top. There is no swearing too, if that is important to you. From the name and packaging we thought that it would be a lot more targeted to mature audiences, as it’s description says it is an adult game. We would not recommend it for younger audiences though, as some of the scenarios are sexual in nature.
We absolutely recommend it for groups of at least 4, but as with any game of the type make sure they are not offended easily as the situation can get dicey sometimes. It is very fun as a drinking game as well, of course, and we think it is great to hear how the stories get crazier and crazier as the night progresses. It does not have many rules, but, for casuals or people that have never played something like this before, there is an official animated video that explains how to play and it is only two and a half minutes long. As a last note, Big Potato is a British company, so a few cards have British flavor to them. It is a funny game and it is worth checking out if you are planning your next get-together.