Review: Bucket King 3D – how to become ruler of buckets

Bucket King 3D - packaging

When I saw the towering building, something moved inside me. The desire for destruction was even stronger than usual, and I knew, that I simply would not resist. Such opportunity does not come every day. A pyramid of buckets is seemingly unprotected, all I have to do is reach out and start tearing it down. Do I do it one at a time or all at once? Feeling of destruction is the best!

You can see clearly, that our title is a bit misleading this time. In the words of Gandalf, there is only one King of buckets and he does not share power. But it does not matter, because offers us a completely different chance. Opportunity to play game and demolish all the bucket buildings, that come your way. All this is only possible thanks to company , which published the game, and who is also responsible for popular series of games Pick-a-(Animal), like Pick-a-Polar Bear (review).

Buckets and tools to break them down are located in smaller box, which has a purple color stripes shining from the center, where stands a figure of one piggy. Under the lid, there will be buckets, no doubt about that. This is the King of Buckets. Inside, there is a thin guide with three pages of rules, but above all sixty plastic buckets in five different colors.

Bucket King 3D - game is ready

These plastical components occupy most of the space, of course. Specifically, stored in stacked groups of five in their twofloor elongated compartments, ten of each color. Deck of cards is adjacent to them and there is even more of them inside – eighty. They are also divided according to color, but on each of these change numbers from one to eight, always two species from each value.

At the beginning of the game, players shuffle deck of cards and deal ten to each participant. The rest creates a drawing pile in the middle of the table. Individual bucket towers must first be built. They are made of buckets based on players number. But first, you really should see your cards and then tactically build a pyramid of four (or three) floors of colored containers upside down. Upper floor has only one last bucket in it.

When everything is built and ready, you can start demolishing. Players take turns, when everyone will be trying to play a card one by one. Starting player determines color and value, which all the others who should stick to, if possible, while the higher value, the better. Properly played cards (maximum of three, whose numbers are added) mean end of turn and no destruction on the horizon.

Bucket King 3D - game in progress

Before we move forward to other opponent´s, the player has to announce sum of played cards, so following players knew, which value has to be surpassed. Player then draws one card from a common deck in the middle of the table. All thus alternate, playing (and adding cards to their previous sums) until someone gets into a situation, that he can not play higher number anymore.

At that moment, unpleasant duty is his own. He must remove a bucket from his pyramid. But this one has to correspond to color he failed to comply. On top of all that, he has to do this only using one finger, so he must therefore stick it out or flick it out. It often happens, that more buckets irrevocably fall flat. All these building pieces are irretrievably lost and player continues only with remainder of his pyramid.

Such moments also means end of actual round and start of a new one. Players will be entering it with cards, that remained in their hands from the past. Player, who has just lost bucket(s) starts the round and has the advantage of selecting color and starting value. Game continues until one player loses last bucket of his construction. Winner is the one, who has greatest number of buckets still standing.

Bucket King 3D - game in progress

Bucket King 3D is hidden trick-taking game. Such findings will surely surprise you, after you have seen the game on the surrounding pictures. Its centerpiece is really playing cards round after round. Players have to trump each other, but must also stay aware of color. Anyone can play straight away several cards with the same pet from his hand in one turn, and thus increase the resulting value. Luck is therefore lowered, because you do not need high numbers only, but those low can be useful too.

Trick-taking games are very popular and it is a pleasant bonus, that this game adds pile of buckets to the mix. Each battle and each round must always has exactly one loser. A player, who has run out of cards high enough to comply with standards set. And in that moment, loser must use their skill and best judgement to remove bucket of the same color from his pyramid.

It is clear now, how important is start of the game. Players must build a pyramid, depending on what cards they got at start. Now those colors, which they do not have enough species of, should come highest as they are more likely to be the first flicked out of the construction. But the rounds continue, cards in hand change and dexterity starts to play important role. Rules express it clearly about what is permitted and which fallen bucket still counts.

Bucket King 3D - game in progress

In the description of the rules, we have not yet mentioned one important specialty, which has power to influence outcome of the game. Starting player has in each round the opportunity to freely choose direction, in which players will take turns – clockwise or counterclockwise. And it can be an important element of tactics. Indeed, initial card dealing generally has great power to determine the outcome, when trying to see through other´s chances. But even tactical gameplay is valued as is the ability to quickly give up and rather sacrifice a bucket in apropriate position. This can have a major share in determining the winner.

You can measure your bucketing skills since two players, when both opponents have more buckets and therefore a larger pyramid to demolish. Length of the game is quite comparable with that in the four players, where various tricks make it seemingly last longer, but it´s not such a big difference. In two disappears only advantage of direction selection, but otherwise the game is still functional and fun.

Game contains similar illustrations, as we know from the series Pick-a-(Animal). These rascals persuaded other two animals – a fox and a lion – to join their shenanigans. The graphics are funny and appealing to children. But they are only part of the target group, because Bucket King 3D can be enjoyed by adults as well.

Bucket King 3D - cards

Bucket King 3D is definitely a fun game, and despite the fact, that in the middle breathes classic mechanism of trick-taking and trumping cards within the specified color. But the fun lies just in dropping of your own buckets, when you are unlucky. For some, it may be disappointing, that you can not break down opponent´s pyramid and the game is has no conflict, but even like this, its great fun. And you are responsible for your own outcome. Bucket King 3D is a really interesting game.

DesignerStefan Dorra
ArtistAri Wong
Publisher999 Games, Atalia, AURUM, Inc., Jolly Thinkers, KOSMOS, Lautapelit.fi, Zhiyanjia
Year Published
# of Players2 - 6
User Suggested # of Players Best with 6+ players
Recommended with 3, 5, 6 players
(11 voters)
Playing Time20
Mfg Suggested Ages8 and up
User Suggested Ages8 and up
(5 voters)
Language DependenceNo necessary in-game text
(5 voters)
CategoryAction / Dexterity, Animals, Card Game
MechanicHand Management, Take That
FamilyCard Games: Climbing, Components: 3-Dimensional (3D), Series: Jolly Pets
Primary NameBucket King 3D
Alternate NamesAlles im Eimer, Cup King, Le Roi des Seaux, Sankokunkku, 撞桶王 3D, 버킷킹 3D

Infos courtesy of boardgamegeek.com. More Infos.

Review: Bucket King 3D – how to become ruler of buckets
Final word
Bucket King 3D will make a real destroyer out of you. You will build your own pyramid and gradually tear it down again. All it takes is not being able to follow the color once or having value lower, that other players have played and you have to become a destroyer of your own work. The exciting task follows - one finger is used to flick a bucket out from the pyramid, trying to damage your building as little as possible. Tensions works in all the number of players and you will not mind, that there is really no chance to destroy pyramid of opponent. The main thing is, that they all have a real chance to influence, how it all turns out. Bucket King 3D is a nice and funny game for families and demanding players, who appreciate playing tricks.
Reader Rating0 Votes
Pros
interesting mix of card game and game of skill
players can apply tactics
playing multiple cards in one turn
choice of direction
funny illustrations
good in all numbers
Cons
direct conflict is absent
4
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