Review: Baron Voodoo – his name is Samedi

He is one of those characters that you do not want to meet in person, because it does not mean anything good. The reputation of Baron Samedi, also called ooodoo, precedes. It is he who will welcome you to the border between the world of the living and the dead and help you cross that border. A strange skeleton takes the soul to the underworld.

So he has a lot of power at his disposal, which he now wants to share exceptionally in the board game . He was convinced by the creator of the game, Baron Voodoo, named , and he even possessed the model of the illustrator, . The game was released by under the auspices of smaller publisher .

On the lid we see not only the baron himself, but also other spirits of Haitian water (used to distinguish it from classical voodoo), which are called Loa. These are the characters who would like to replace the Baron in his place, at least temporarily. He is the first in the box to catch a two-tier game plan with forty-nine squares. Players take all the dice, roll with them and fill in the game board according to the colors so that the only free space remains in the middle.

Each player chooses one of Lo’s characters, takes his board, and places the dice pointer at the top of the score scale. He also gains one protection token, turned upside down, and three sacrifice tokens. He places the rest of the chips in the common supply.

In the game, players take turns. The centerpiece of each round is a dice jump, whereby the player captures the dice to jump. In doing so, it can only jump with a cube of its color and you can jump in any direction, which can create towers of cubes up to a maximum of three. The player takes the obtained (skipped) dice and places the board of his character on the board. With these captured souls, players then create combos from icons and colors, earning interesting point rewards if they send them to the spirit world. Victory points can then be immediately noted on their scale.

After the mandatory jump with one dice, the player can choose whether he wants to make some of the bonus options. These allow them to gain (if the captured cube is the color of the player’s character) and spend sacrifices while turning the value on the cube. In the case of surrendering two sacrifices, he can even play a second time and thus gain a significant advantage.

Individual dice and their icons also offer special effects that can be used for free. The same goes for Loa herself. These ghosts are different from each other and each has its own specific power that can help the player in fulfilling his transport duties. Loa offers dice handling on the plan.

The game continues until one of the participants can achieve a winning score. This varies according to the number of participants. In exceptional cases, the game may end earlier if it is not possible to make a jump on the board because the dice are too fragmented on the board. All players then complete their dice moves, whether their combos are strong or weak. In addition, players will receive three more points for their dice advantage. The winner is the one who has the most points for the service of souls.

Baron Voodoo is another dice game in which you do not roll dice. The exception is the preparation of the game. As a result, the layout of the icons is always different, although the colors always have the same starting positions. And because the rotation of the dice does not change as long as it is on the board, the icons determine how attractive the dice is to players. Otherwise, player has to spend resources to turn it around.

The central mechanism is the skipping of cubes, which is based on a classic solitaire. He simply has to jump from one position over one place to the cube and land on a free square. The skipped stone is thus captured. So players have a lot of jumps to choose from on the first turn, but with each subsequent turn, the situation changes and vacancies appear. And that makes the whole game more and more exciting and finding the right place to move harder.

Players must always consider the color of the dice and the icons on their top. According to these two qualities, it is possible to group souls and create valuable combos from them. These are the main way to victory, because it can bring up to five points, which is quite a large amount with the length of the player scale (20 points).

Players have quite a few interactions with each other, because most activities take place on a common surface. And thanks to that, you will pay attention to others, because you can also harm them quite well. They all have their collections of souls public and the rules for combos are the same for all Loa. In a few turns, you will learn to read the colors and icons and it will be clear to you which position is advantageous for your opponent.

Fortunately, there are also opportunities in the game to change the whole situation. First in line are the abilities of the Loos themselves, which are really strong, and manipulating the dice on the plan can completely reshape tactics for everyone, for example by moving the dice in a row or column. In addition, dice on the plan can form columns and thus block jumping, because a solid column with three stones cannot be selected as a jump target.

Jumping has a second meaning in addition to captivity, and that is the blocking of some cubes that are not available for profit or jumping. And now the really wide selection of options available to players in their turn is clear. However, the combination of dice and icons is not so much that the game becomes confusing or that you cannot remember the six actions that are related to the pictures on the dice.

But in the end you will need quite a lot of time for the game and you will easily get closer to forty-five minutes. Fortunately, even in two, it’s fun, and the game is not beaten in any of the three numbers offered, because each time the target points for victory are a little different. With more players, the game is logically more chaotic, because no one has the development so well under control and it is necessary to make better use of the possibility to repeat your move.

Baron Voodoo is a huge success with regard to processing. Beautiful wooden blocks with sharp edges look great on the table. The graphics are absolutely famous and perfectly capture the theme of the whole game. The guide is full of examples and on the back you will find a well-organized overview that contains everything you need.

Baron Voodoo is a big surprise for us and the game, which we did not expect, easily became one of our favorite abstract hits of recent weeks. The theme of the conversion of souls here remains far behind, but survives thanks to beautiful illustrations. The main star here, however, is simple gameplay and the creation of combos from the dice. Baron Voodoo may have trouble having fun only in a group of players who tend to think too much about their moves.

DesignerYann Dentil
ArtistChristine Alcouffe
PublisherYoka by Tsume, Lucky Duck Games
Year Published
# of Players2 - 4
User Suggested # of Players Best with 3 players
Recommended with 2, 3, 4 players
(4 voters)
Playing Time45
Mfg Suggested Ages10 and up
User Suggested Ages12 and up
(1 voters)
Language DependenceNo necessary in-game text
(3 voters)
CategoryAbstract Strategy, Dice, Fantasy
MechanicAction Queue, Area Movement
Primary NameBaron Voodoo

Infos courtesy of More Infos.

Review: Baron Voodoo – his name is Samedi
Final word
Baron Voodoo is a dice game in which you won't enjoy rolling dice too much. Rather, players use dice to jump or build towers and combos. But these uses are exactly what the game needs to create a fun mix of thinking and conflict between players. They block and fight for cubes with a specific color or icon so that they can transfer these souls to the other side and get the best possible reward for them. The rules are easy. But huge number of options in each turn means that you can wait for the next action if you have unsuitable teammates. Apart from this shortcoming, however, Baron Voodoo is an excellent abstract game.
Reader Rating0 Votes
+ luxury workmanship
+ jumping for captivity
+ special abilities of characters and cubes
+ at the beginning you roll the dice for variability
+ original theme
+ accessible
+ competition between players on the same schedule
= susceptibility to long thinking in tension
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