Psycho Killer caught my eye initially as it is a locally designed game from right here in Canberra. It was initially Kickstarted in 2020, and after a successful campaign, it is now available through the publisher’s website and in stores. Inspired by retro slasher movies, this is a quick, take-that style hand management game where you must avoid injury and attacks from your ‘friends’.
2 – 6 Players | 15 – 30 Minutes | Designed by Michael Wilkinson | Published by Escape Tabletop Games
The box for Psycho Killer looks really eye-catching and unique. It is themed as an old-school VHS Tape – hopefully knowing what these are doesn’t expose my age!
The colours used throughout are super vibrant and look as if they are stickered across the VHS.
The cover is succinct and tells me everything I need to know right away. The graphic design throughout is really consistent and I can’t fault the cover at all.
The back cover reflects the VHS tape theme as well, with ‘stickers’ across the back to give you the player info and a short description of the game. I wonder if more could have been said about the gameplay, or even what components come in the box, as there is a lot of spare space on the back. The barcode has been very well designed and placed to blend in with the older style theme, and doesn’t come across as distracting at all – which can be the issue with most barcode designs.
Each of the box edges has more ‘stickers’ to continue the theme, as well as some cleverly placed QR codes for the company’s socials. I don’t think I have seen any other box with this info on it externally, so it could be handy if you wanted more info while you were browsing in store. Overall, the theming across the box, lid and edging is all really consistent and looks really appealing.
When I first look at the rulebook, it comes across as vastly different to the colouring and theme of the box. I might be missing an old-school reference, but I would have thought the colours used would be similar to what we have seen in the box art. The only connection I notice is that the title on the cover is yellow, but it is a different font as well. The design isn’t bad at all, I just don’t feel it is as consistent as it could have been. A very minor complaint though.
The rules are a weird shape compared to other rulebooks, but due to the shape of the box, it checks out. Each page is super clear and includes plenty of images and examples to make learning the game easy. There is also a full spread to outline all of the card types and detail what certain cards do.
The colours here are consistent with the box art, and includes the same type of ‘stickers’ and iconography throughout.
There is also a QR code which can be scanned to show you a quick video version of the rules, to make learning the game even easier. This is a great feature, and I look forward to more games using this in the future.
The components in the game are just cards – that is all that’s required!
Each of the cards has a slight linen finish, but also with a slight gloss to them. Overall, they are pretty nice. My only comment would be that they could be slightly thicker, but definitely are fine as is.
The insert within the box is created from a thick cardboard which is cut / folded to create spaces for the cards. It definitely does it’s job, as no insert is really required. It is also printed with various weapons and spattered with ‘blood’ which is a nice touch. The cards all fit very easily into the spots, with room for the expansions in there are well. I do not sleeve cards, so I am unsure whether it is sleeve friendly.
I am a huge fan of the overall graphic design of this game! It is carried throughout all of their branding really well, including across the website. The quality is better than I pictured when thinking of a locally designed game – maybe I should be more open minded!
As far as gameplay goes, it was super easy to learn this game, by watching the quick 2 minute video via the QR code. The rules made it easy to understand the various card types, but each card also outlines exactly what it does as well. It was a quick filler that you could play either once, or multiple times in a row. I think I struggled a bit to understand a strategy, or how to do well, but I am sure once I play more, it will come to me.
There are also a few expansions of this game, with each one adding something different, or changing how weapons are used. One is even a drinking game! I will admit I am most intrigued by the drinking one!
If you would like more information about Psycho Killer or the expansions available, check out the Escape Tabletop Games website, where you can also purchase the game!
The copy of Psycho Killer used for this post was provided to The Boardgame Detective by Escape Tabletop Games.