Help a pirate captain thin his crew of the stupidest pirates to ever walk a plank–er, the seven seas. Good fun for 3-5 players that even the youngest gamers at your table will enjoy.
|Walk The Plank||Mayday Games||Card Game|
In The Box
We loved Mayday Games’ other nautical game, Get Bit, so we were predisposed to like this one. There’s a shared aesthetic between the two that puts a focus on a few simple but well made components. Keeping things simple is especially nice for little hands around the table. The most prominent and unusual pieces make up the plank, three pieces of heavy cardboard decorated to look like a ship’s deck, plus a larger base that represents the ship itself. A round piece depicts the hungry sea creature (looking much like a Kraken of some stripe) that stands ready to devour any pirates who enter the water.
A set of wooden meeples is split into groups of three pirate figures, across five colors. The included deck of cards is also divided into the same five colors so each player starts with three pirates and a small hand of cards. Cards show a rather bedraggled parrot on one side and on the other side illustrations of pirates acting out each card’s action. We like how special instructions related to a card are included right on the card, making for less back-and-forth with the instructions. The final pieces you’ll need for play are a clear and well-designed manual, along with a “Captain’s Favor” token that moves around during the game as a reminder of who leads each round.
Mayday offers several add-ons to Walk The Plank, including a playmat and stickers for spicing up those meeples. The basic game is perfectly playable as described above, but if your group really takes to the game it’s nice to know there are expansion options.
How It Plays
Imagine a bunch of pirates crowded on a ship’s deck, pushing and pulling as they teeter on an outstretched plank hanging over predator-infested waters. If a noisy and rowdy cluster comes to mind, you’ve pretty much captured the essence of a game of Walk The Plank! This is an experience that becomes more fun as you add on players since there are more ways that things can work for or against you. Rounds move quickly and the suggested play time of 20 minutes is dead on. The only time we felt the game slow down was when players chose cards to play at the beginning of a round, so we’d suggest adding a 2-minute sand timer to keep things moving along.
At the beginning of each round, players pick three cards from a total of 10, although this changes during the game as some cards can only be played on alternate rounds. No color has any advantage, and none of the players know what others have played, or in what order. Picking good cards and a good sequence is the key to strategy in Walk The Plank. You’ll have to play your cards in order even if playing them means you end up on the plank or push one of your own pirates into the drink. A few simple actions combine to keep things unpredictable, but if you can manage through the chaos and survive long enough to be one of the last two pirates standing, you’ll win. Fast paced and fun, this makes a great staple game for the family or a filler for groups with older players.
Walk The Plank is even more accessible to young players than Get Bit, since little kids can quickly understand how the actions work and don’t have to hold cards. Our resident little brother (6) was instantly hooked, but made us promise the pirates weren’t going to die… If you have some sensitive little ones we recommend pretending the pirates are just going to live out their days in the Kraken’s belly, Pinocchio style.
This is a really zany game that requires you to literally “put yourself out there,” since many cards require you to be on the same space as an opponent to push them off the plank, or to drag them into the sea. You never know what’s going to happen, since your opponent can play any card and you can mess up, which keeps things exciting.