Danger Zone

June 19, 2007

Danger Zone - uh oh.  Danger Zone - SHARKS!

by Onder Skall

Rifkin Hasburg must be a saint, because if I were in his place, I’d have killed me by now. I’ve been stringing the poor guy along on this Danger Zone review for ages now. I’ve told him “oh yeah I’m going to get to that this week” or “oop sorry guess I’ll do it next week” for months. It’s a wonder he doesn’t have a “kill Onder Skall” group formed.

Alright, so lets (finally!) talk Danger Zone. It’s a winner-takes-all (minus the rake) bidding game for 2 – 8 players, and it’s really fun. The pictures above are from the first game we played with just four people, but we all hung out afterward and played a seven-player game that was even more fun.

Gameplay is easy to understand as soon as you’ve done it, but difficult to explain. There are five “rounds”, and during each round a cube is randomly drawn. After each cube is drawn you choose to “Stay” or “Run”. If you “Run”, you’re done for that round. If you “Stay”, another cube is drawn until the round ends.

With me so far? Good. Now here’s the trick: some of the cubes are good and give you “gems”. Whoever ends the game with the most wins the pot. Some of the cubes are BAD, however, and activate one of the traps. If the same trap comes up twice in a round everybody who stayed gets smashed/sliced/zapped/blasted/eaten, and loses all of the gems they got for that round. At that point the cubes all go back into the pool, the traps are reset, and the next round starts.

There are a few extra little things about how gems are divided up and how a pot of gems in the middle is handled, but that’s the general idea. If you’re still confused, don’t worry: as soon as you’ve played one round it all becomes crystal clear. The HUD is entirely optional and it really is as simple as mashing one of the two buttons on the table. The one feature people had the hardest time with was the point where, after they pay, they need to sit on the platform that has their name. Maybe the platforms need to blink or something.

Anyhow, huge huge fun. We got smashed by boulders, struck by lightning, slashed by spinning blades, blown up by dynamite, and eaten by sharks. Hillarious, fun animations and a deceptively simple interface with lots of strategy behind it makes this a game you’ll want to play over and over again. If you like Poker, you’ll love Danger Zone!


  1. Reminds me of some classic board games. And that’s a good thing! Great work.

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