They all gathered on one stage. Brave tamers, silent tightrope walkers, mad dancers and sad clowns. Within one scene, there will be determined, whoever will be king’s new toy. You have no doubt, that you shoudl sit in the chair for the winner and grab a fat reward. It is the goal of each person, who eagerly came here. I can only hope, that all those stories about this job are true.
The main role of this rivalry will eventually end in playing Sukkube. It was created by René Capuzzo and it was transformed to reality with illustrations by Francesca Pacitti. Game was released in Italy under the auspices of the Apocalypse Inc. And all in there is wrapped in really big cube. It is made of cardboard, and each of six sides shows one of the characters of circus life.
And it seems, that inside this cardboard tent, we find a flood of components. There is a set of six tokens, one folded rulebook, six characters cards (which should be folded to stand) and a set of thirty cards – ten from each of the three colors. But as we get to know rules, we also find out, that is does not end there. Box itself will serve players as a large dice!
At the beginning of the game, each player receives one character card and a scoring token. With it, all individual opponents get a set of five cards from a randomly shuffled deck and spread them ahead, picture side up. In a situation, where number of players is lower, than six, bots enter the match. They also get role of one character and set of cards. When players are instructed to place their scoring marker on the zero position, they find, that even rulesheet will be playing with them, showing scale from zero to five.
Each round begins with starting player taking large box and placing it in front of himself to see picture of his character on top. Its portrait must be properly turned with blue arrow pointing upwards. Player then plays one card from his hand. Icon in the upper left corner tells him, which direction he has to rotate the cube over the edge. Character, whose picture apperas on top of the cube after rotation is now on turn.
In case it is a bot, he plays another from line of his cards, going from the left. Typically, cube moves only once each round, but the exception is, when new card has the same color as the one in previous turn. Players must not under any circumstances play opposite movement, than was just finished, so they are not able to get the game to a standstill. Round continues until the players run out of cards in their hand or can no longer move.
A character, who is at the moment on the upper side of the cube, gains one point and moves his marker along the scale one step upward. Next round is started by player, whose character found himself on the bottom of the cube at this moment. Duel continues until one player acquires fifth victory point.
Sukkube is a different kind of game. Its a strange creature on the border of usual board gameplay, because everything revolves around one single operation. And here, we are breaking bread, because only some gamers can keep their attention and entertain themself, even with such a simple game. And unfortunately, Sukkube does not make it easy for them.
Game is very tactical. All cards are uncovered, so you can plan ahead. But even so, it is not possible to influence, what opponents choose, so there is a big unknown involved. At the beginning of each round, there is complete set of thirty cards, so movements are usually possible for all sides. But if a player gets a bad set, his physical abilities may be quite limited. This is also our first complaint.
As a much larger problem, that disrupts the continuity of play, we see bots. Thus, especially in the match fewer opponents, players get to play only sporadically and instead, they merely shift cube based on cards of NPCs. It can even happen with the lower numbers, that round is won by some inanimate players, which has rather discouraging effect.
What’s more, the game itself is not short at all. Although rounds last about five minutes, they is always needed large amount of them to decide about winner. This means, that the battle may well stretch for three quarters of an hour. At that point, you’re not playing a game to win, but to finish it. Everything is constantly similar and variability disappears after a few games.
In doing so, the back idea behind Sukkube is good. It tries to set an easy and tactical battle for players, in which they are fighting back and forth for a single winning position. Moreover, the use of the game box as an active element is truly unique.Unfortunately, all this is not accompanied by a quality, that we would expect from similarly oriented game. Sukkube is therefore very disappointing for us.
Sukkube is not a game, that you would be amazed by. And yet at first glance, it can grab your attention, because battle for victory involves even a box, that serves as a cube. But the game itself is too long and dependent on the initial card distribution. It does not help, that everything is tactical through open cards. In fewer players, bots take control of game and leave players just sitting and moving around for them. And game length is the same and did not really change based on players. Its always too long. Sukkube is in sum a game, which certainly should do better.