Can You Keep All Your Beans Alive in Dumb Ways to Die? | Casual Game Revolution

Can You Keep All Your Beans Alive in Dumb Ways to Die?

Dumb Ways to Die

There are a lot of beans doing dumb things to get themselves killed. Can you help your beans avoid horrible accidents or escape the psycho when he attacks?

Published by Spin Master, Dumb Ways to Die is a light card game with a ton of take-that and bean murder.


Each player is dealt three bean cards, which they place in front of themselves, alive side up. Next, the deck is shuffled and each player is dealt five cards.

On your turn, you roll the die and get a result of 1-3: this is how many actions you must take. An action is either draw a card or play a card. You choose how to spend your actions. When you play a card, it is either an accident card or a special action card. Special actions can include, for example, looking at the top cards of the deck and returning them in any order, forcing another player to discard and draw new cards, swapping cards with another player, or similar.

When you play an accident card, you play it against another player.  Accident cards come in three different categories: nature, ride, and home. When you have an accident card played against yourself, you have a chance to play another one to counter and stop it, but it must be of the correct type. A nature accident card stops a ride accident, ride stops home, and home stops nature. If you can’t stop an accident, one of your beans die, and you flip it over to its dead side.

If, when you draw a card, you reveal a ‘you died’ card, it is immediately played against one of your own beans. Like accident cards, these come in one of the three categories, and like accidents, you can play the correct accident card to stop it, otherwise one of your beans dies. There is also the psycho attack card. When this is drawn from the deck, everyone at the table must roll the die one time — any player who does not roll a one loses a bean to an untimely death. The last player with any beans left wins the game.

Dumb Ways to Die Components


Dumb Ways to Die is a nice blend of push-your-luck mechanics and light card play. Drawing from the deck is dangerous, as you can draw those death cards, and while you want to have accident cards in your hand when drawing to combat them, you also want those accidents to play against your opponents. There are also special ability cards that you can choose to play at key moments. For example, the fair trade card allows you to swap your hand with another player. If it’s the last card in your hand, then you’ll leave your opponent with nothing and force them to draw next turn, making them more likely to lose a bean. But do you want to risk your hand growing that small, just for the sake of that one ability?

This blend of push-your-luck and take-that works quite well and results in a silly good time, which also plays fast. Player elimination is part of this game, but beans generally tend to go quickly, and you’re unlikely to be out of the game for very long.

The components are quite well made. The dead side of the beans are lenticular images (the kind that shifts as you move them) so you can see your bean die, which is a rather clever touch, and the cards are all a nice quality, while the die is large and chunky and fun to roll. But while the violent theme is treated very lightly, it’s still going to be too morbid for some players.

If you’re amused by the theme and like light card games, this is a really fun entry into the genre, with some enjoyable player interaction, back-and-forth gameplay, and a great weaving of push-your-luck throughout. It can be surprisingly suspenseful each time you draw a card, especially as you start to run out of beans, and you can pull off some truly fiendish plays with card abilities.

Pros: Blend of take-that and push-your-luck, aesthetics and component quality, lots of player interaction

Cons: Even with beans the theme won’t appeal to everyone, lots of take-that elements might not appeal to some players

Disclosure: we received a complimentary review copy of these games.