The Bone Collector Needs a Hand! A Review of Skulls of Sedlec | Casual Game Revolution

The Bone Collector Needs a Hand! A Review of Skulls of Sedlec

Skulls of Sedlec

Graveyards have become crowded since the Black Plague and the Hussite Wars. The Bone Collector, a half-blind monk, needs help exhuming graves and stacking skulls. Various types of deceased individuals have left behind their last wishes to be fulfilled after their deaths. Each player's completed stack will then be judged by the Bone Collector, and the player with the highest score will be declared the winner.

Skulls of Sedlec is one of the most well-known games from Button Shy Games, which mainly publishes eighteen-card games that fit in a double-sided pocket. Button Shy games usually shine for their brilliant game design, being light, straightforward, and easy to play while still being challenging and strategic.

Skulls of Sedlec components

Dig, Collect and Stack - A Chilly Gameplay Overview

The game setup starts with a graveyard with six piles of cards facing down and one card revealed. Each player has to fulfill their stack.

The game is turn-based and played clockwise. Each player, on their turn, can do one of the following:

  • Dig: Flip two cards from the graveyard face-up, or one if only one is left.
  • Collect: Choose and pick one card facing up from the graveyard and add it to your hand of cards.
  • Stack: Place one card from your hand over your stack of skulls.

The game ends when all cards have been played, and players resolve their final score. Each type of skull has a different way of earning points, adding a lot of variety to the game. To win, you may need to adapt and replan your strategy during the match.

Skulls of Sedlec cards

From the Black Plague to Your Tabletop

The game elegantly combines game mechanics such as open drafting, pattern building, set collection, tableau building, and city building. The final result is a game that is easy to learn and play and appeals to all audiences, from new and young players to advanced ones.

The Graveyard drafting pool and "take that" mechanics are the primary sources of uncertainty in the game. However, they don't significantly impact the game because most cards are well-balanced. Although Stochastic Contingency is a part of the game, Performance Contingency has the most significant impact. It can be frustrating when another player draws the card you were waiting for, forcing you to make an unexpected change in your plans. But the game continues. Overall, the open card drafting mechanics add value to the player interaction and game replayability.

The artwork is excellent: the cards are not overly detailed, and all the designed artwork was made to provide focus on all the information needed to complete the game. The five different types of skulls have different ways of scoring points, and the scoring rules are simple and clearly written on the cards. Skulls of Sedlec delivers entertaining, outstanding, and fun artwork, and each small symbol or detail serves a purpose. Component-wise, you get what you expect from the stunning Button Shy wallet games.

Setup, tear-down, and downtime time are minimal. Downtime can be a distracting factor due to "analysis paralysis,” an issue circumvented by having only a few cards in your hand. Ultimately, it is an excellent filler and gateway game.

Skulls of Sedlec

Final Thoughts

The game feels like a mini-game: quick, fast-paced, easy to pick up and play anywhere you are. Each game feels unique. When the game finishes, you will want another match. It is engaging and addictive and should appeal to newcomers to advanced gamers.

Skulls of Sedlec is. a “lite abstract game with deep strategy.” The type of game I can bring to the table when I need a break. It is a must-have in my collection (and trousers pocket)!


  • Another Button Shy cult game.
  • Lite abstract game with deep strategy.
  • High replayability in two solo mode expansions and skull types expansions.
  • It is an excellent game I will carry in my backpack; 


  • I am still determining if the initial excitement will wear out.

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

Note: This article is provided by Roll & Mind.