The Deadlies: A Card Game of Deadly Sins and Vicious Gameplay | Casual Game Revolution

The Deadlies: A Card Game of Deadly Sins and Vicious Gameplay

The Deadlies

Pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath, and sloth — you will have to use them, and maybe a little virtue, if you wish to win this game.

Smirk and Dagger’s brand new card game, The Deadlies, features plenty of their trademark take-that style gameplay.


Each player takes a wickedness token and places it so that the number six faces them. This is your starting hand size. The deck is then shuffled and six cards are dealt to each player. The rest of the deck is placed in the center of the table, with the halo card beside it, and the game begins.

The object of the game is to get rid of all the cards in your hand. There are seven suits (corresponding to each of the seven deadly sins) with cards numbered one through seven in each suit. There is also one corruption card, which acts as a wild. Players take turns in clockwise order. On your turn you play one or more cards. You may play all cards of a single suit, all cards of the same number, or a set of cards in ascending order. Each suit has a unique ability. When playing cards of the same number, you choose which card is considered to be 'on top'; when playing cards of ascending number, the card with the highest value is 'on top'. After you play your cards, the ability of the card on top activates.

Abilities include actions such as asking an opponent if they hold a specific card, and if not they must draw a card, otherwise you draw; or draw two cards and if envy is not in your hand you choose to swap cards with an opponent. Most card abilities revolve around guessing what other players have, or pushing your luck in some way to try to lose cards or force an opponent to gain more. There is one purity card which, when its ability is activated, allows you to take the halo card. When the halo card is played, you discard your entire hand.

When you are out of cards, your hand limit goes down by two and you rotate your wickedness token to reflect this. You now draw up to your new hand limit. The first player to reach a hand limit of zero wins the game!

The Deadlies Components


The Deadlies is a fun, light card game with fast turns and some push your luck elements blended with counting cards and playing the odds. Your best bet is to attempt to remember what’s already been played, but there is always going to be that element of the unknown, and the cheers that result when you succeed or the groans when you get some bad luck.

The abilities introduce an enjoyable hand management mechanism. It’s tempting to get rid of as many cards as possible, as fast as possible, especially given how easy it can be to be forced to draw more by your opponents; however there is strategy in when you use certain abilities and which ones you hold onto for later, which is in turn tied to your card values and how easy it will be to make sure that a certain card will be the one ‘on top’.

Not all abilities scale equally based on player count, but this does affect all players in the same way, so it doesn’t feel unfair — but it's worth noting that some cards are more or less powerful depending on how many players there are.

The artwork is super fun. It’s cute, creative, and does a good job of capturing a representation of each sin while still keeping the game firmly rooted in family-friendly territory. The cards are a nice quality — the game doesn’t take up a lot of table space and comes in a relatively compact box, making it a good choice to slip into your bag when going places.

If you enjoy casual card games with lots of take-that elements, The Deadlies is a neat little game that you should check out. The slowly shrinking hand sizes ensure a steadily building tension as you progress and there’s a lot of player interaction. Along with this, it has an enjoyable blend of hand management, educated guesses, and some good-old-fashioned push your luck, which results in a clever and engaging game.

Pros: Fun artwork, good mix of mechanics, lots of player interaction

Cons: Some cards are less useful at different player counts, take-that gameplay is not for everyone

Disclosure: we received a complimentary review copy of this game.