What people are saying about
I had the pleasure of playing this game with the game makers at Pax. My buddies and I all enjoyed it and we each bought a copy. I've been playing with my family, and so far, so good. My 7-year old gets the rules, but the bidding is a little challenging, and I found out quickly that it is much different for a 2-3 person game than it is for a 6-player game.
The action ramps up as the rounds wear on, and leads change frequently. No matter the score, you are almost never out of the game because the scoring potential grows each round. I also love the fact that you can score BIG if you get dealt bad cards. But at the end of the day, the person that consistently hits their bid will most likely be the one that wins, regardless of who gets the best cards.
One note on the scoring. It is complicated, but not too complicated. You either get 20 points x your bid if you won the same number of hands that you bid, or you lose 10 points for each trick you were off of your bid by. So, if you bid 3 and win 3, you score 60. If you bid 3, and win 2, you score -10. If you bid 3, and win 4, you also score -10. 0 bids are different as you get +- 10 x the round number.
I also love that the dynamic of your hand changes dramatically based on the other players bids!
Tycho, Online Review
We love a night of good, fun competition, but with work schedules and extracurricular activities, sometimes we don't have a lot of time to play lengthy board games. What I love about each Grandpa Beck's Game is they are fast paced, designed for quick game play.....Here’s our favorite of the three, and also an award winner (2013 Creative Child Magazine Game of the Year)! Skull King has everything you want in a card game: trick-taking, betting and high-quality cards that will last for 100’s of plays...Expect each game to take around 30 minutes total, and is best with the full compliment of players. If you’re a fan of traditional trick-taking card games, Skull King should be your next purchase......Something we love about the hobby game industry is finding companies that know what they’re good at. Thrift shops are full of games by companies that tried to expand into areas they knew nothing about. Of course there are big-name exceptions that can afford to experiment in different genres because a failure is but an aberration on their financial statements. But we’ve found that a company that focuses on what they know consistently puts out better-than-average products. Genius Games proves our point with their line of science-related titles. And for challenging single-player puzzles, you can’t go wrong with issues by ThinkFun. This past fall at the Chicago Toy & Game Fair we discovered another company that is excelling with inexpensive and engaging card games –Grandpa Beck’s Games.We met with Grandpa Beck himself and he reiterated one of their taglines, “We will only sell games that we have enjoyed as a family with many friends.” We enjoy hearing that they’re not there to just sell a game to us, but to offer an experience they themselves believe in. This fits right in with what we preach at SahmReviews – that family game play is an amazing bonding and learning experience for everyone. Even better than sitting down and having a meal together in our opinion (although we do this as well)...
Scott, Online Review
Best new game we have found in years
I am part of a card game loving family. We have spent hundreds of hours playing games like set, wizard, phase 10, quiddler, bang, and a dozen others. My family has had many favorite card games over the years, but this game has unseated our previous favorites as our new go to game.
The game is based off classic trump taking games like whist or wizard. We have played these games for years and enjoyed them. However, these games have two serious flaws. 1) When someone gets a big lead in early rounds it is normally insurmountable. 2) If you get bad cards, tough luck you are going to lose. The brilliant thing about this card game is that it fixes those two problems. Scheming and Skulking employs a dual strategy system, you can get a lot of points by taking a large number of sets (as long as your bid is correct). That's all and good if you have lots of good cards, however, if you don't you can also score big points by bidding zero and then sluffing off all your cards. The strategy can be very risky as the punishment for not getting zero is also severe.
This added element makes this game far more compelling than any other we have played as a family. You are never out of it! Come from behind victories and catastrophic losses in final round are common events and keep emotions energy high every round. If you don't like competitive card games, than this one isn't for you (these guys also make a game called golf that is much more casual and relaxed). But if you like a rousing family card game mixed with a little drama, then you have to try this game!
As an added bonus the cards are beautifully designed with gorgeous artwork and a high quality box and cardstock. The rules left us with a couple questions, but the link to the video on the website explained it all.
Try it, you'll love it, and post your strategies here in your reviews! I'm dying to find a new way to get a leg up on my family members!
Lori, Online Review
Skull King is a pirate-themed, strategy-based game. If you are highly competitive, then this is the game for you! Scheme and Skulk to gain points to win the game. This card game does last a little longer than the others, about 30 minutes per round.........All of the games are fairly easy to understand, but if you don't understand the game play, Grandpa Beck's Games has an instructional video of each game on their website. Each card game is beautifully designed, with fun and engaging graphics. The cards are printed on sturdy card stock, and packaged in a nice, thick game box. They will surely provide your family a lot of fun and laughs on family game night! If you are looking for a last minute stocking stuffer, I highly recommend any of Grandpa Beck's Games!
Great Stocking Stuffers
We all enjoyed saying “yo ho ho” for our bid to predict how many tricks you think you can win for each round. This one, like Cover Your Assets, can take all kinds of twists and turns. You can rarely predict what will happen.
Meg Kusi, Online Review