Home > board game design, game night, Horsefeathers, playtesting, print-and-play > El Chupacabra released as work in progress

El Chupacabra released as work in progress

Okay. It’s been a while, but I think I’m finally ready to post at least an initial draft (work in progress) of El Chupacabra.

What’s El Chupacabra? It’s a push-your-luck dice game for 3-8 players requiring only 8 cards from a standard deck of cards, 8 tokens, 12 6-sided dice, a box of poker chips, and a pad and pencil for keeping score. The goal is to have the most chips when the game is over (when one player runs out of chips). A game takes roughly an hour.

Inspiration for the game came from both Zombie Dice and Incan Gold, two games I love. I wanted to create a game that was less fussy than Incan Gold and had less down time than Zombie Dice. I wanted there to be bluffing. I wanted it to be possible for at least one player to be able to “shoot the moon” like in Hearts. And I also wanted it to be a gambling game, as it’s always nice to have an opportunity for a flutter.

The one part of the game I like best (and also am least sure of) is the role of El Chupacabra, the goat-sucker. Players are dealt one card at the beginning of each round, and if you get the Queen of Spades, this means you’re El Chupacabra. If that’s the case, then you can either play normally and try to get a high score, or you can try to lowball it and get low score. The trick is, you have to do this in such a way that no one else suspects you of being the goat-sucker. If you’re able both (a) to get low score for the round and (b) avoid being accused, then each player has to pay you 20 chips. In an 8-player game, that’s 140 chips!

A game of El Chupacabra takes place over a number of rounds, and those rounds are further divided into hands. Players keep track of points earned during each hand, but at the end of the round these points are used to determine who pays chips and who gets chips. Chips also change hands (a) when players pick up the pot (created by an ante at the beginning of each hand) and (b) when players accuse (or fail to accuse) El Chupacabra.

It’s certainly not a finished product at this point (I’m still working on the money and points ratios), but if you’d like to give it a go, I’d love any feedback you might have to offer. Good, bad, or indifferent, I’d love to hear what you think. I’m going to be giving it a try again tonight at game night, so hopefully I’ll get some good feedback there, too.

If you’d like to read a bit more about the history and development of the game before trying it, you can also take a look at some earlier posts about the game. Thanks for reading. :-)

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