Quick Look: Turducken
Designer: Adrian Hoffman
Publisher: Cockblock studios
Year Published: 2021
No. of Players: 2-6
Playing Time: 30-60 minutes.
From the Publisher:
A dastardly game of deception all in the name of a great dinner! Watch out for your fellow hunters and drive them into the rails as fast as you can so you can be the one feeding the family!
Turducken is a game for 2-6 people, ages 10 and up, and takes about 30 minutes after learning the rules and 45 to an hour the first time around. The goal of the game is to kill and keep one of each type of bird: chicken, duck, and turkey; to create a turducken. If you have all three birds at the end of your turn and you are out of the reload action, you win!
The rules are pretty simple, you can shoot at a bird (but make sure to name it first!), reload, draw /play action cards. You have a likelihood to hit that is different for each hunter that you have to roll above and each hunter has a special ability. Each hunter has a number of hits each bird must take from their weapon before they are dead. The action cards can be bonuses, minuses, or ways to mess with your opponents.
If you are not familiar with what a turducken is, let me explain. It is a turkey that has been stuffed with a duck that has been stuffed with a chicken that has probably been stuffed with stuffing itself. I know, it sounds made up, but it is totally a real thing. In Turducken, you are out hunting for one of each of these birds to make this fantastic meal for your family. Your choice of character and decision of when to shoot, what to shoot, and who to sabotage makes for a very enjoyable game!
Rules & Setup:
The rules and set up are quick and accessible. Each player rolls a D6, then the highest person chooses a character card of their choice and takes a die. Each character has a unique special ability and stats. The person who chooses last is the first player. Shuffle the deck of cards and set aside. Then place the player count minus one of each bird token in the middle. Set the hit tokens off to the side, and, you are now ready to play.
Theme and Mechanics:
Dice rolling is a large part of this game, as is card drawing and playing. There is a high amount of luck, but the decisions that are made can augment your chances. The more cards you have, the more chances you have of winning. But, any time you draw a card, you cannot shoot at a bird, slowing your chance at winning. It is a balance that you must find in order to become the best hunter and the winner!
On a player’s turn, they have two options. First option, take a shot at a bird. Second option, lower the reload die down one and draw a card. If shooting is the plan, the reload die must be down to one, then simply give that die a good roll. When rolling to hit a bird, it is accuracy equal to or greater than the number on the character cards lower right, it is a successful shot! Place a hit token under the target fowl. Every character has a certain count of hits it takes to successfully kill each type of bird. If the successful hit causes that bird to meet or exceed that number, the player takes that bird token and places it on the associated spot on the card, dead side up. Now, the fun can really start. The action cards that each player has can be played at anytime on any player. These cards are either blue or brown bordered. Blue ones are played, and they have an immediate effect, and then are discarded. Brown ones, when played, are left in play with their effect permanent. These cards can keep your birds safe from being stolen, can cause you to increase the reload value of die, becoming a +4 to your roll almost ensuring a hit, or even skip the next player. At any time, a player can discard three action cards from their hand to discard any brown card in play.
If the active player cannot take a shot for any reason or chooses not to (the right bird is not left), they can lower the reload die one number and draw an action card. Also, do not forget to use your character’s special ability whenever it applies. They are not one and done. Some of these actions can help you, and other ones can hinder your opponents.
The first player to have all three required birds for a turducken and have their reload die at 1 at the start of their turn, wins!
Artwork and Components:
The artwork really elevates the theme of Turducken. The game is lighthearted and fun, and this is enhanced by the cartoony artwork. The components are well thought out. The player cards are a great size that allows for all the pertinent information to be read easily. The dead bird tokens fit nicely on the card. The reload die sits nicely in the upper corner. All in all, great graphic design!
The game comes with six D6, six player cards, 5 of each bird token, 15 hit tokens, and 50 action cards.
The player interaction shines in Turducken. Your ability to mess with your opponents is probably my favorite aspect of the game. You can cause them to miss, steal their birds, slow their reload, or skip them all together. This can lead to a “lively” conversation at the table.
Turducken works better with the more players you have. If you only have two, you are limited to one of each bird, and every card you have MUST be played against that one person. All your choices are gone. You can even set it up to where your opponent must hand you the game. Once that third player enters the game, however, all bets are off. You have decisions to make. With four players, it gets even better. I am sure with 5 or even 6, Turducken would be a hoot! Wrong bird, whoops! I do fear though that higher player counts can make this game go on for too long. With so many ways to interact and hinder other players, reaching the winning conditions can seem like an impossibility.
I wish Adrian Hoffman and Cockblock Studios good luck on their campaign! The video on their site talks about additional characters that will be unlocked during the campaign. The replayability is high with this game, as you can vary the player count, choose different characters, and have a different experience each time. Turducken is a lighthearted lightweight game that provides plenty of laughs!
Players Who Like: Take that. Shooting birds. Cooking odd dinners.
Disclaimer: The publisher provided a prototype of Turducken. Note: The final copy may vary compared to what I got. The opinions expressed in the review are completely my own.
Turducken launches to Kickstarter on 23 March 2021 and will be there until 22 April!
Don’t tell anyone but word on the street is there will be a giveaway of Turducken here after the campaign starts so check back!
Check out Turducken and Cockblock studios on:
Adam Collins – Reviewer
Adam Collins plays many games. Too many games if you ask his wife. Not enough games if you ask his kids. Adam also designs games for his publishing company Bearded Board Games
. He also runs a podcast, Eat Lunch and Board Game
, where he reviews games on their merits include their ability to be played over a lunch hour. He also interviews other people involved in various facets of the board gaming community: designers, podcasters, authors, cross stitch designers. He grew up playing games, revived the passion ten years ago, and hasn’t turned back.