Mobile Menu

Doomlings Card Game Review

Fun and cutesy card games have been swinging for the fences for almost a decade now. I remember the first time I played Killer Bunnies, and while I wasn’t a huge fan of how long you played, and then it all came down to the luck of what carrots you had, I did enjoy most of the turn-to-turn moments the game offered.

Here to Slay is another cutesy card driven experience that threw a lot of wacky ideas onto the table and created mayhem that just worked. I’ve looked at Doomlings for a long time, but with so much stuff flowing through the office for preview and review, I knew that if I spent the money on the game, other work related things were going to keep pushing it further and further into the shelf of shame. Then a review copy of Doomlings arrived, and guess what? It’s a priority now!

Honestly, I’m just upset I waited this long. I’ve been fed Doomlings ads on Facebook for months and months now, and like I said – I was always intrigued but wondered when I would find the time. What a stupid thought that was. Doomlings, even with a bunch of players, is a pretty quick little card game with minimal setup and easy-to-learn turn structures. You will be playing cards from your hand to earn points, take points away from opponents, or to perform any number of wacky abilities, and when the third catastrophe strikes, the game ends.

Bad things abound in Doomlings, so it’s a game you cannot take too seriously, and that’s OK. Someone asked if there is a real strategy to this game, and really there isn’t. You have to play what cards you get into your hand, so don’t go in with a plan. If you don’t get the cards, you cannot execute the plan, and you’ll probably have a bad time. But go in with a mind ready for fun and laughs, knowing that anything could happen, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the experience.

This won’t be for some people – there are folks who love deep strategy and difficult decisions. That’s really not something Doomlings is going to give you – and honestly, I don’t even believe it’s what the creators want. This is a lighthearted game that is easy to teach, even to non-board game aficionados, which means it is insanely accessible. I’ve played with non-board game extended family members and with my younger kids. An ability to read is required, but even then there isn’t a ton of stuff on the cards for you to worry about.

This is what I like to call a roll-with-the-punches kind of game. You get smacked? Smack back! Lose half your cards, suck it up. But with games that last 20 minutes or less, you never really felt like you wasted time. I’ve had games where I’ve played for over an hour, only for the game to come down to a single dice roll to decide a winner. If you lose in that scenario, it kinda sucks. You spent so much of your evening playing and planning only for luck to decide the winner. There is a TON of luck in Doomlings, from which cards you have in your hand, to which card you have in your trait pile (table in front of you), to which catastrophes and Age cards come up. Sometimes they hit you hard, sometimes they don’t impact you at all.


For example, when playing with my 10 year old son Lochlan, we had three straight cards that impacted me and not him. Discard a colourless trait card. I had one, he didn’t. Next turn we couldn’t played red cards. I had 4 cards in my 4 card limit hand. He had none. The turn after that we each got to draw three cards and choose one to keep and two to discard. I picked up three +1 gene pool (card limit) cards, which are fine, but not game changing near the end of the game.

Sometimes things in Doomlings just sucks, but I always find myself laughing and having a good time. It’s so short, so just embrace the craziness and make it good for everyone at the table. This game pushes that philosophy, and I love it!


Article By

blank Adam Roffel has only been writing about video games for a short time, but has honed his skills completing a Master's Degree. He loves Nintendo, and almost anything they have released...even Tomodachi Life.

Follow on:
Twitter: @AdamRoffel