Deadly Doodles by Steve Jackson Games is a fun white board draw and draw game for ages ~8 and up. It was recommended to me by an industry friend and I’m so glad I grabbed a copy for myself. It’s light, quick, fun, and travels pretty well in its slim box — we took it on our last camping trip and I’m so glad we did!
How to Play
Each player is given a white board and dry erase marker. Your dungeon and scoresheet are on your whiteboard, which makes it easy to remember what you’ll be scored on at the end of the seventh round. There’s a deck of path cards that are shuffled and then 4 cards are placed face-up on the table each round. (Note: there are 2 cards that have you draw additional cards per round, so really you could end up with 5 or 6 cards in a round) EVERYONE is going to use all 4 cards on the table to draw paths in their dungeon. Your dungeon is broken up into a grid, and each box is a little room. There are some walls you can’t walk through, but otherwise you can place your path wherever as long as there’s only one path per room and your path must somehow link to one of the entrances to the dungeon. Once everyone has drawn all 4 paths on their board, the round is over and a new 4 cards are drawn.
As you create your path you’ll walk through weapons, monsters, loot, and maybe the dragon. These will all help you earn or force you to lose points at the end of the game. Example: you’ll get +1 for each room you draw a path through that contains a weapon. If you also walk through the monster that has the same letter on it as a weapon you walked through, you’ll earn +4. Conversely, if you walk through a monster but you don’t get to the weapon that matches it, you’l lose 2 points. Loot will get you +2 but if you also walk through the room with the dragon, loot becomes +4. There are also traps that you secretly place on your board that will impact other players at the end of the game. If you walk through someone else’s trap – you lose 3 points. While it might sound complex, it’s right there on your board so you can remember. At the end of the seventh round everyone will share where their traps are and then tally up their score to find a winner.
I enjoyed Deadly Doodles. Like I said in my intro, Deadly Doodles is quick and fun, but also super easy to learn. (The instructions are 1 sheet both sides with pictures.) It’s not straightforward regarding what’s the best path to take to win, which I like. You’ll always have leftover cards at the end of the seventh round, so you’re not even playing with the same cards each time. Secretly, I wished the boards were-sided so you had more than one dungeon to choose from — and THEY HEARD ME! Now Deadly Doodles 2 is coming out and it comes with all new double sided boards! (I haven’t played it, but it IS an expansion only so you’ll need Deadly Doodles to play it.)
I should also mention that you can remove the trap cards and play Deadly Doodles solo. You’ll just be seeing what your best score is at the end of the seven rounds, and since it does have a puzzle-y feel to it I can see how this works. This also means that the game plays great with 2 players as well as 4 players.
Deadly Doodles Stats:
~$18 at Amazon also check your local toy and game store
~20 minutes (box says 20-30 but it will depend on decision time)
Ages 8 and up