SNAP Review – Cuphead: Fast Rolling Dice Game
Well… Cuphead and his pal Mugman / They like to roll the dice…
And they’ll be doing a lot of dice-rolling in this game!
Take on the role of Cuphead, Mugman, Ms. Chalice, or Elder Kettle. Roll your dice to fight Bosses such as the Root Pack, Hilda Berg, and Djimmi the Great.
1-4 players can play a session in about 20 minutes and it’s best for ages 12 and up.
The art is drawn almost line-for-line from the Cuphead video game. It borrows heavily from the “rubber hose” animation style of 100 years ago – strong lines, exaggerated poses, and limited use of colors and shading.
Other than the save sheets, everything is intentionally sepia-toned in the game – even the tokens and the dice!
It looks so good – I love this art style! But I love a lot of art styles. Let’s talk about how to play Cuphead: Fast Dice Rolling Game.
There are 8 boss deck boxes. Each one contains a set of cards allowing you to battle that boss over at least 3 phases. (That guy we played last night – 5 phases? Really?)
Start with choosing a character and grabbing their player board, dice, and health.
Set up the boss character card (note their starting health, depending on player count), then shuffle the attack cards just for the current phase and set them next to the board.
Reveal the first 3 attack cards and place them on the board – reveal an extra if you get a WALLOP card.
Then you set your timer – 20 seconds is the maximum. You can set it to 15 or even 10 for more of a challenge, and start rolling!
After a roll, you can assign dice to your player board – from left to right, corresponding to the symbols needed to block the attack cards. Matching symbols means you’ll dodge attacks – you need to assign extra “shoot” symbols to actually do damage to the boss. (But the black EX die can do extra damage!)
If you’re satisfied with your assignments so far? Then re-roll all the dice you haven’t assigned yet, and keep going! You’ve only got a couple of seconds!
You can never go back – you have to go from left to right.
Once your time is up, resolve the Boss attack cards in order from left to right and discard them. If the Boss still has health remaining, reveal 3 more attack cards and do it again – it’s time for another run!
If you brought the Boss’s health down to zero, the phase is done. Ignore any further attack cards and set up the next phase of the boss. Once you’ve defeated all the phases for the Boss, you reach the KNOCKOUT card. It’s time to gain some rewards!
You’ll gain coins from a KNOCKOUT that you can spend at Porkrind’s Emporium to buy upgrade cards – which is a very good idea to help you with further bosses.
You’ll also determine a letter grade for your performance – either using the app or a handy table that’s in the rulebook.
Save Sheets let you record your letter grade, coins, and your progress through the 8 Boss decks.
[Andrew] I loved this video game so much; it hit every note for me. So of course, my first question was whether or not they could somehow figure out how to capture that crazy feel in the box. This is a game that my kids loved watching me play because it was insane! How do you go from that frantic boss-rush feel to a board game? Even a real-time game might not be frantic enough.
You need huge bosses. You need super-fast action. It should be hard, but not so hard that it feels impossible (like the video game). As soon as I opened the box and saw the boss decks, I was excited, because I knew they were going in the right direction. With the game knowledge in my back pocket, I was expecting frantic, dice rolling mayhem. And we got that!
[Anitra] I love the style of Cuphead, but I would never play the video game. It’s just too hard! This dice game preserves the feel but makes it something where I can work out a strategy beforehand, before we start rolling.
Once the timer starts, you’re rolling and matching dice as quickly as possible, so it definitely keeps that frantic feel.
We also realized pretty quickly that you need to have discipline in your die rolling – you do not have time to let the dice bounce around. You absolutely need a dice tray or something like that for this game, in order to control these dice; or be very very careful with it, which is hard for small hands!
We weren’t expecting a campaign feel with buying upgrades and leveling up and working through harder and harder bosses. But it definitely keeps me interested in trying different approaches and even possibly re-running a few boss decks to get a few more coins to buy more upgrades before trying the harder bosses again.
Would we recommend the Cuphead: Fast Rolling Dice Game?
It really depends on the player type.
This fast game captures the feel of the video game really well. If you love Cuphead (or your kids do), this might be a little more approachable than the video game to play.
It’s still not a great choice for younger kids because they won’t have the speed required in rolling & matching and it’s a hard game even at the “easy” setting of 20 seconds.
You could push this to a higher amount of seconds for your youngest players and have fun playing and matching the symbols, making it a little bit easier. Then worry about bringing it back within “scoring range” when they’re a little older, a little faster, and more ready.
The recommended age of 12+ is about right.
If you love the Cuphead game like we do, or if you really like speed-rolling (which I didn’t know I liked until I played this game!) then the game is an easy “yes”. But many families are going to be turned off by the discipline required and relatively repetitive nature of play.
Since we love Cuphead so much and this game preserves the feel so well, we rate Cuphead: Fast Rolling Dice Game 4 out of 5 Wallops!
Find it on Amazon or at your friendly local game store.
The Family Gamers received Cuphead: Fast Rolling Dice Game from The Op for this review.
This post contains affiliate links, which do not change your price, but help support The Family Gamers.
Cuphead: Fast Rolling Dice Game
Number of Players: 1-4
Playtime: 20 minutes (per boss)
Age Range: 12 and up