Cake of Doom
Updated: Mar 13
In Cake of Doom, from Rainy Day Games, the 3-6 players are interstellar aliens competing to take over the regions of Earth by bribing its inhabitants with cake. It's a whacky theme but it gave members of the Board's Eye View team just enough hint of Damon Knight's classic science fiction story To Serve Man to hook our attention.
Don't worry overly about the theme, however. Cake of Doom is a card game where you have a hand of cards that are either cakes, played to a location to take control of it, or 'mischief' cards that are mostly used to sabotage another player's 'bribe' (ie: eliminate the cake cards they've played). The number of regions up for grabs varies with the number of players but there's always a central 'Doom' region, which apparently stands for 'Democratic Order of Mankind'. To win, you need to have control of two regions plus the Doom region, and you must already control two regions before you can make an attempt on the Doom region.
Cake of Doom may have a light jokey theme and artwork but the game designed by Amar Chandarana and Pearl Ho can be remarkably cutthroat. You'll need to stop opponents from snatching control of regions by playing sabotage cards, and you'll want to keep the relatively rare 'block sabotage' cards in hand to guard against rivals preventing you from a successful 'bribe'. Other 'mischief' cards can be used to take a card from the discard pile or steal a card from another player. And just because you've won control of a region doesn't mean you'll keep it: a player can always target a region under another's player's control just so long as they can 'outbribe' them.
What adds to the fun is the way Cake of Doom escalates. It's played over 10 rounds and each round increases the number of cards you can draw - aleit that you can't take your hand size above 10 cards. If your plays are like ours at Board's Eye View, you'll find that, after the first couple of turns, the hand-size inflation means that regions invariably change hands at bribe levels way above the minima shown on the region cards. We liked the fact that players can always choose the mix of cards to draw: do you concentrate on cake cards that add to the amount you can bribe or do you nab more mischief cards...?
The region cards are double-sided, with a 'control bonus' power on one side that's triggered when a player succeeds in taking control. The control bonus is suggested as an advanced rule option but you'll almost certainly want to throw it into the cake mix from the start - it doesn't really complicate the game.
If we've whetted your appetite, Rainy Day Games plan to take Cake of Doom out of the oven on 10 March to launch the game on Kickstarter. Click here to check out the campaign.
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