FTW Staff Picks - Cutthroat Caverns
For The Win Board Game Cafe's Staff Picks is a weekly series where we take a quick look at some of the staff's favourite games, old and new.
Genre: Adventure Card Game
Designer: Curt Covert
Player Size: 3 to 6 Players
Game Length: 90 minutes
For fans of: Munchkin, Smash Up
There's one game you won't find on our FTW Staff Picks, and that's Munchkin. I understand the appeal, and I'm not the kind of person to judge those that enjoy it (and there are many who do). But for everything Munchkin attempts to do, Cutthroat Caverns accomplishes in a more streamlined and enjoyable experience.
Cutthroat Caverns has players working together to fight up against devious mythical beasts. But don't mistake this for a cooperative experience. The title of the game has the word "cutthroat" in it, and it certainly earns that moniker as players constantly attempt to stab each other in the back. There is a delicate balance to maintain. If you kill off other players too soon you may find yourself struggling against foes who do not scale down as a result of the player count shrinking. You need each other, until you decide you don't.
For a small box game, there's a lot of content for players to play through. It's one of the meatiest, travel-sized games out there. But if you're looking to add even more to the experience, the Fresh Meat expansion adds an extensive level of depth. It comes with a larger box to store all the additional content, Reputation cards to customize and differentiate the characters, and a slew of new encounters.
There was a point in time when my weekly gaming group alternated weeks with Cosmic Encounter and Cutthroat Caverns. It received heavy play for months, and I still consider it one of my favourite games. Our group is quite the aggressive bunch, so we catered our game selection to our personalities. If you enjoy watching (and often contributing to) your friends perish and demise, you will definitely have a good time with Cutthroat Caverns.