I love Halloween. The combination of candy, costumes, and decorations is my absolute favorite. I particularly love cute Halloween plushies or shirts or even games that play on some spooky and supernatural elements. The Boo Hollow line from Funko was quick to roll a critical against my wallet, and I was delighted to see Funko Games was designing a fun little card game called Boo Hollow: Pumpkin Showdown with the Boo Hollow characters. Funko Games recently sent me a copy of Boo Hollow: Pumpkin Showdown to review for GeekMom.
What Is Boo Hollow: Pumpkin Showdown?
Boo Hollow: Pumpkin Showdown is a card game from Funko Games featuring the adorably spooky characters from their Halloween-themed Boo Hollow line. It’s aimed at 3-6 Players ages 6+ and takes up to 20 minutes to play. It has an MSRP of $6.99.
Boo Hollow: Pumpkin Showdown Components
Boo Hollow: Pumpkin Showdown contains the following:
- 46 Pumpkin Cards
- 13 Hit Cards
- 1 Pumpkin Die
- 1 Thrower Token
- 1 Instruction Booklet
The cards are all typical playing card thickness, but the art is all based on the adorably spooky (and very kid-friendly) Boo Hollow line of Halloween characters from Funko. The Thrower Token has the pumpkin’s adorable face on it, and the Pumpkin Die is a 12-sided custom die that lets players roll to dodge or gain cards, everything easy to read and identify. Overall, it’s perfect for a fun little card game that would be pretty easy to take on the go. Directions are straight and to the point with nice picture examples to help out. Funko Games has really been rolling out well-done games and it’s great to see even the smaller games carrying that quality level.
How to Play Boo Hollow: Pumpkin Showdown
Setup is really quick and easy, which is just what you want for a game for kids as young as six. It only takes three quick steps to get a game going:
- Shuffle the Pumpkin Cards and put them face-down in a big spread-out pile.
- Place the Hit Cards and Pumpkin Die to the side with space for a Discard Pile.
- Each Player draws four Pumpkin Cards to keep hidden.
The youngest player will get the Thrower Token and gets to go first.
That’s it. Fast, easy, and you’re off to playing in very little time.
The goal of Boo Hollow: Pumpkin Showdown is to be the only Player left standing by not receiving 3 Hit Cards. This is achieved by a series of Attacks, Defenses, and Dodges.
Like setup, the gameplay is not hard to master at all and is an easy game to teach by playing. Each turn has three basic phases:
Thrower: Play Pumpkin Cards – The Thrower picks a Player and Attacks by placing one or more Pumpkin Cards of the same color in front of another Player. If they do not have any Pumpkin Cards they draw until they receive one.
Defender: Roll Pumpkin Die – First, the Defender Rolls a Pumpkin Die. If they get a Dodge, the arrow says which Player the play moves to. The new Player becomes the new Defender and rolls the Pumpkin Die. Otherwise, the Defender Draws the number of Cards indicated by the Pumpkin Die and moves on to the next step.
Defender: Reacts – The Defender can play a Dodge Card that allows them to either give a Hit Card to the Thrower or shift the Defender position to another Player. The new Defender starts back at Pumpkin Die rolling phase. The Defender can also Counter with Pumpkin Cards in the same color. If the Pumpkin Card value is equal to the Thrower’s Cards, nothing happens and the turn is over. If the Counter is higher than the Thrower’s amount, the Thrower takes a Hit Card and the turn ends. If the Defender cannot react in either way, they take a Hit Card.
When the turn has ended, all Pumpkin Cards used go into a Discard pile and the Thrower Token moves to the next Player in clockwise order.
Other Play Notes
Throwers and Dodging: Throwers cannot defend against their own pumpkins. If a Dodge action would turn them into the Defender, they take a Hit Card and the turn ends.
Wild Cards: Cards with all four colors are Wild Cards and can be played as any color. If played alone, the Player must state what color they will be acting as.
Knocked Out: When a Player gets 3 Hit Cards they are immediately out. Their hand is discarded and they may no longer win. On what would be their turn, they draw a Pumpkin Card and can give it to any other Player that is still in play.
No Cards in Hand: If a Player’s hand is ever empty, they draw two Pumpkin Cards.
No Cards to Draw: The Draw Pile is empty, just shuffle the Discard Pile and create a new Draw Pile.
Two Players Left: If there are only two Players left, Dodges block the Thrown Pumpkins and the turn ends with no Hit Cards being handed out.
The game ends when only one Player is left after all the others took 3 Hit Cards.
Why You Should Play Boo Hollow: Pumpkin Showdown
I’m gaining an appreciation for Funko Games and its products. This is the first of their smaller games I have tried, and it will not be the last.
Overall, this is a quick, fun, well-put-together little game that is easy to set up and easy to learn. The age suggestion is right about on target, and it’s definitely geared for families to be able to play. Just because the minimum age is low, don’t underestimate it for older players either. Depending on how ruthless people get, this is one of those games that can quickly become sort of cutthroat the way Munchkin games often play out.
The more people you have, the crazier the Dodge cycle can become, which makes it extra fun for big groups. In most of these games, my kids tend to target me and then duke it out between the two of them for supreme winner and my second-grader pulled out a rare victory over his brother for our first game.
The game is heavy enough on luck of the draw that I didn’t feel like age and strategy ability created a disadvantage as it does in other games between our kids. I did, however, make a point to split out which kid I threw pumpkins at though, so make sure older kids don’t just pile onto the youngest kid in the family.
The game does lean towards being more fun and went fast enough for us to get two games with three players done within a 30 minute period. I will say that at a $6,99 price point—if you are looking for some sort of Halloween event prize that’s nicer than just candy or a small plastic toy, but not crazy expensive—I would recommend this as a fun choice. If you want your own copy, the official page links to which retailers carry it.