Cursed Court Board Game Review

Game: Cursed Court
Designer: Andrew Hanson
Artist: Lee Moyer
Publisher: Atlas Games

Players: 2-6
Duration: 30-45 minutes
Age recommended on box: 14+ 
Youngest age that we've observed: 8
Time to learn: 5-10 minutes

Cursed Court Board Game Review

Claim your spot by placing Influence Coins under your Wagering Crown. The Influence Coins won't give you more points, but they help you to keep claim of your spot. Another player must place double the amount of their own Influence Coins to bump you from the spot.

Claim your spot by placing Influence Coins under your Wagering Crown. The Influence Coins won't give you more points, but they help you to keep claim of your spot. Another player must place double the amount of their own Influence Coins to bump you from the spot.

Game Description/Game Play

Cursed Court features betting and deduction in a world where lesser nobles (the players) must sway the courts to gain the influence of greater nobles. In short, you want to claim your spot and claim it hard so that no one else can bump you from the board.

At setup, cards are dealt face-down to the space between players. Players have access to the cards on either side of them. So, everyone has some knowledge, and some information that is inaccessible. Throughout the game, cards featuring the nine nobles (shown on the board) are revealed to all players, who will then take turns placing crowns on either one of the nobles, or on one of the groups of nobles. (See photo above.) In addition to the crown, coins can be placed on the chosen region to make it more difficult for other players to take over the spot. After four rounds of revealing cards and placing crowns, the dealt cards are revealed and points are calculated. Repeat scenario two more times, and you have reached the end of the game.

As cards are revealed, they are placed next to the board in a grid matching the board. Example of scoring: the lower right red player would receive 3 points for claiming the Set Region that includes Duke, Assassin, and Sorceress. The lower right white piece receives 1 point for claiming the Assassin, which had 1 revealed card. The upper right orange piece (far right) receives 0 points for their claimed territory, as it includes the Merchant, who was not revealed in any of the cards.

As cards are revealed, they are placed next to the board in a grid matching the board. Example of scoring: the lower right red player would receive 3 points for claiming the Set Region that includes Duke, Assassin, and Sorceress. The lower right white piece receives 1 point for claiming the Assassin, which had 1 revealed card. The upper right orange piece (far right) receives 0 points for their claimed territory, as it includes the Merchant, who was not revealed in any of the cards.

 

Verdict

Cursed Court is a great light game for players who like a little deduction with their bets. Play this with friends who like to bluff and give each other a hard time, and you will have a blast! Marketed for players 14+, I found that younger players tended to enjoy this game more, as they were the ones who really tried to trick us elders. Our 8-year-old tester was all giggles and smiles during our 2-player game. Our more serious gamers enjoyed Cursed Court, but were content to play once and then move on to the next game. 

Pros

  • The bits. Who doesn't love stacking poker chips? And the Wagering Crowns are wicked. Seriously. Don't leave one on the floor. Those babies are sharp.
  • Quick filler game. Keep away the friends who suffer from Analysis Paralysis, and you can fly through a game.
  • Scales well with different player counts. The rules change a bit for 2 or 3 players. We found the sweet spots to be either 2 players, or 5-6 players. This created more hidden cards on the table, which led to more player deduction.
  • Alternate rules to add depth and variety to the game.

Cons

  • The MSRP may be a bit high for some, though the quality of the game and the bits and pieces definitely help justify the price. 

Gateway Game Score: 9/10
Overall Game Score: 7/10

This review of Cursed Court was written by May Begamer, who has Influence Coins, and knows how to use them.