Make this Deal – A Little Devils Guest Review

Today on Dice Hate Me, we are lucky to have another guest review from the multi-tasking master, Marc Specter. On the last State of Games podcast, we talked to Stephen Buonocore from Stronghold Games about his plethora of fall releases, and Little Devils was mentioned. Since we love trick-taking card games, we were definitely interested in knowing more. Thankfully, Marc read our minds and now provides a sneak peek for all you little devils out there who love card games as much as we do. Enjoy!

I am not really a card gamer.  There is nothing that sounds less interesting to me than a night with friends + a deck of cards.  And I live in Michigan, home to that Midwest stalwart Euchre.  I could just groan whenever a fellow Michigander whips out his deck and says, “I know this great trick-taking game!”  So you can see why, given the nature of Little Devils, it was with significant reservation that I made my approach.

BUT BOY WAS I WRONG!  Little Devils has proved to me just how much fun a card game can be.

All things considered, this is a pretty difficult review.  Most games have lavish and varied artwork, intricate rules, and oodles of components just begging for analysis and critique.  Not so here.  Components: tin, deck of cards, rules.  Little Devils is just so little and so much all at the same time.  The tin is attractive, and as I am not anti-tin, there’s not much else to say here.  The cards themselves are good quality that will stand up to repeated shuffling.  The artwork is repeated from card to card—grinning devil heads and flaming numbers—and sets the tone nicely in a game with simple rules yet a good bit of strategy.  This game can be taught in <5 minutes.

So what am I left with?  How much gushing do you, gentle gamer, care to read?  Every time I take out this game, whether it is with an avid card gamer or someone who is not a gamer at all, Little Devils is a hit.

When I took it to our monthly game night, after we finished an 8-player Lost Temple (also by Stronghold, recommended), we broke out Little Devils.  It was already late, and we had played our “big game” of the night.  People were ready to call it and go home.  But I got them to stay and play; “Just 1 round,” I said.  “Give it a shot.”  And we played and we played and we played.  People did not want to give up.  There was real anticipation as each successive player laid out their card and real tension in seeing if you would win or lose a trick, followed by groans and/or exclamations.

Little Devils is probably not going to be the main event of your game night.  But it is a great starter, great in-betweener, and a great finisher.  It is easy to fit in anywhere, plays well with 3, and gets even better as you add players (up to 6).

Little Devils has become my tuck-and-go game, brought everywhere, ready and waiting to be pulled out and introduced to gamers and non-gamers alike.

Gameplay/ReplayComponents & ThemeFun
Stronghold’s Little Devils is easy to teach and quickly grasped.  Its ability to scale from 3-6 will surely make it your go-to game at some point during game night. The only criticism I have is that it can be difficult to distinguish between 1s and 7s on the cards.  Otherwise the imagery is impish and fun, and adds to the game’s feel.It’s this simple: you will want to play, over and over again.
Overall score: 17 out of 18Quick summation: Highly Recommended.

– Marc Specter

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3 Responses to “Make this Deal – A Little Devils Guest Review”
  1. So, um, how do you play? It’s a trick-taking game and…

  2. Marc says:

    So no, I didn’t go into rules, but here goes: player plays a lead card. Next player plays a card, determining the direction of the trick, higher or lower. Other players must then continue play in the same direction, trying to be closest in value to the lead card. Player furthest from the lead card takes the trick, which is bad. That player then leads the next trick. You must play in the direction of the trick if you can. If you cannot, you play a card in the other direction, breaking the trick. You will take the trick (bad) unless someone breaks it worse than you.

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  1. […] game to hit the table – Little Devils. Marc Specter did a guest review on Dice Hate Me a few weeks back, and I wanted to see if it was as good as he said. Spoiler: It is. […]

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