Cuphead Dice Game: A Real-Time Boss Battle Frenzy | Casual Game Revolution

Cuphead Dice Game: A Real-Time Boss Battle Frenzy

Cuphead: Fast Rolling Dice Game

Published by The Op, and based on a video game of the same name, Cuphead is a real-time, push-your-luck dice game of frenzied boss battles and speedy rolling.

With eight boss battles to play through, Cuphead: Fast Rolling Dice Game is a cooperative challenge (and we do mean challenge!) for one to four players.


The game comes with eight boxes of boss battles and is designed to be played through in order. Some decks introduce new concepts and rules when you open them. To set up the game, you select the box you are playing and open it. You take the phase one attack cards of the boss you are fighting and set them next to the boss board. The rest of the cards you set aside.

Each player takes a hero, five white dice and one black die, and three health tokens. Players decide together whether they will play with a ten, fifteen, or twenty-second timer.

Every round is broken up into several parts. During part one, you draw three of the boss’s attack cards and lay them face-up on his board in a row. If any say 'wallop' on them, you then draw a fourth one, as well. Each attack card shows one-to-two icons.

The next phase is the rolling phase. You start the time and all players simultaneously roll and reroll their dice as quickly as they can. You can reroll any dice you have not already locked onto your player board. You are trying to roll the icons shown on the attack cards in order to dodge them. Your player board has spaces for your dice, with these spaces corresponding to the order the cards appear on the boss’s board. You must assign dice to these cards in order, starting from the left. However, you may choose to skip a card, but once skipped, you cannot go back that round and assign dice to it. You have to keep going. If a boss card only requires one icon, you may also assign an additional attack icon to it, in order to deal the boss damage.

Once the timer runs out, you resolve each attack card from left to right, for each player. If a player did not assign the correct dice results to an attack card, he receives one point of damage. If he assigned the correct dice, he receives no damage. If he avoided damage and played an attack icon, then the boss receives one point of damage. The black die is special. If you use this to deal damage it will trigger a special ability on your weapon that will often deal extra damage. Players start the game with a basic weapon but you can unlock more as you play through the game.

If you do not assign a die to a wallop boss card, you do not take damage — however, if you do assign the correct die to it, you get to draw a wallop card. These can be quite useful. They might heal players or can be saved to be spent in place of a specific die result.

Some boss cards will award you a parry token if you manage to avoid damage from it. If a player ever runs out of health, another player may spend a parry token to revive them. A revived player returns to the game with one health but cannot lose health or gain parry tokens or wallop cards. If a player cannot be revived, everyone loses the game.

Once all boss cards have been resolved, you discard them and a new round begins. If you ever have to draw boss cards and there are none left in the draw pile, you take a time token and reshuffle the discard pile.

If you get the boss down to zero health, you discard all remaining boss cards on the board, and remove all cards from that boss phase from the game, before taking the cards for the next phase. There are multiple phases, and you have to defeat all of them in order to win the game.

You can then calculate your score, based on everyone’s remaining health and parry tokens, and unused wallop cards. You lose points for time tokens, and also earn a bonus based on the length of your timer. After you beat a boss, you can choose to play it again, perhaps trying to get your team’s score higher, or move on to the next boss battle.

Once you have beaten the final phase of a boss, you are also awarded a certain number of gold coins. New boss decks introduce new emporium cards to the game, which you can purchase with your coins between fights. These are new weapons or special abilities. The game also has ‘super art envelopes’. Each of these lists a special requirement that once players meet, they can open to add more cards to the emporium.

Cuphead: Fast Rolling Dice Game Components


Cuphead: Fast Rolling Dice Game is an excellent blend of push-your-luck and real-time gameplay. It’s just an enjoyable combination as the push-your-luck choices are up against a tight timer that makes it all the more challenging to make the right calls.

Do you want to spend your black die to avoid damage, when it rolls just what you need? Or risk your luck and reroll, hoping to use it to deal damage later? Do you skip an attack card and take the damage, because you’ve rolled the icons for the next one, or roll them again? You usually don’t have a lot of leftover dice at the end of a rolling round, so how you use each one can be quite important.

It is a challenging game, which is fitting based on its source material, but not so difficult as to be frustrating, and the timer length allows you to adjust the difficulty a little. You might think the easy setting of twenty seconds for the rolling phase is going to be a breeze, but it still requires some fast rolling and snap decisions if you hope to remain alive.

The design of unlocking new bosses and upgrade cards, opening new boxes to reveal new decks is quite fun, with a similar idea appearing in previous games from The Op. Even with the first box, however, you feel like you are playing a full game experience, so it’s quite easy to play the game with groups who don’t want to work their way through that many games. It’s even fairly easy to reset the game if you want to play through it in order again, with sorting out the emporium cards being the most time-consuming aspect of it.

Cuphead the video game has a great aesthetic, so it’s not surprising that the board game does, as well, with great art. There is an official app to do the timer for you that is nice and fits with the artwork of the game. The icons on the dice do require a bit of a learning curve as there are a couple that at a glance seem a little similar, such as one side showing one foot and another showing two, or one side showing a finger gun and the other side showing a hand wave. This might be intentional to increase difficulty, but the game already seems difficult enough without these similarities.

We had a lot of fun with Cuphead: Fast Rolling Dice Game. It scales well across player counts, is challenging, it feels great when you win, and elements like the super art envelopes add a fun touch, layering the game with another goal to work towards.

Pros: Aesthetics, balance between push-your-luck and real-time gameplay, generally easy to reset the boxes

Cons: The icons on the dice could be a little easier to read at a glance, theme may be a little strange for players unfamiliar with the video game

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