I had the dubious pleasure of playing Chupacabra: Survive the Night for the first time recently. I was initially looking forward to playing, as I thought the theme was fun, and I enjoy Zombie Dice, which I thought was supposed to be similar, but with a different skin. I like a little press your luck filler, and this is supposed to be that, only with glow in the dark dice and chupacabras, right? Beware the assumption that glows in the dark!
The rules are simple enough to understand. You roll your dice and you get either chupacabras or animals, and the animals are worth differing amounts in terms of how many chupacabras you need to take them. You have to take each type of animal as a group, so having enough chupacabras to snatch one goat will do you no good if there are two. I would say this makes it challenging, except that there’s no skill, there’s no strategy, there’s no actual press your luck aspect. You don’t decide which to keep and which to re-roll. You roll ’em, somebody weeps. I honestly don’t know how the game is classified as press your luck. They forgot to check with me first, I guess.
We played a three-player game and then a four-player game, and both shook down pretty much the same. One player would get lucky early on, one or two players would get unlucky early on, and by round 3, one person was eliminated and another may as well have been. It wasn’t necessary for any one player to pick on a particular player more than the others for this to happen. The attacks were always pretty well distributed. It was frustrating and unentertaining, and really just a chore to get through.
The only positive thing I can say is that the dice themselves are really cool. Really very cool. They glow in the dark, for one thing, and they’re also high quality and engraved, rather than painted. This is what one expects from Steve Jackson Games, of course. I’m not always a fan of their games, but their components seem to be consistently solid. But alas, that’s it for the positive side.
Please, for your own sake, if you haven’t already done so, don’t play this game. Play something else. Or write a haiku about vending machines.* Or sit and think. Or go for a walk. Anything. Really.
* Molten chocolate-
vending machine in warm room –
Ah, sticky fingers.