The Day of the Dead is not entirely unlike a Mexican 3-day version of our Halloween. Instead of our very commercial tradition, Dia Die Los Muertos is a rather joyful period of remembering the dead. Elaborate altars of rememberance covered with photographs and food are built, and November 2 begins with a morning picnic in a cemetery filled with marigolds.
Folk tradition tells us that Animals must return to Heaven on October 31, Child ghosts must return on November 1, and the adults get to stay out late until November 2. And so each day of the event is used to remember a different group of the dead. In our game, the object is to provide food for the dead over the three days of the celebration.
Most people know the Day of the Dead through the very ornate folk art which surrounds the event. We use some of these images to illustrate our cards, but more on this topic on our Day of the Dead Art Page.
You've played trick taking games right? Deal out the cards, take turns playing cards with the highest one winning the trick, right? And you play with a partner, right? So what's so different about this game?
The big difference is that you do not follow suit. Instead, you can only play cards in colors that have not already been played. Combine this with a few special cards, using a small deck, and turning up discards so that EVERYONE knows exactly what has been played, and you have a game that requires very different tactics.
Even worse, as each hand progresses, you begin to learn a bit about both your partner's hand, and your opponents. Which turns the game into one requiring a bit of deduction.
The game is short, with only three hands (3 days of the celebration),
lasting about 30 minutes. And while the game is designed for 4 players,
a rather evil 3 player variant is included for advanced players.
This small run of about 1000 copies consists of 48 cards, printed in color on coated stock, and paper rules. Packaging is in a gorgeous...um...no color...functional...sigh....it is in a ziplock bag.
US: Boulder Games
US: RC Hobbies
US: Fair Play Games
US: Desert Isle Games
Germany: Adam Spielt
Rules, rule translations, and variants are archived on The Gaming Dumpster. Any questions should be sent to Frank Branham (firstname.lastname@example.org)
If, like us, you are completely enamored of Day of the Dead artwork, we are making some of the card artwork available on Tee and Sweatshirts through Cafepress. Click on the Tee to order a shirt.