Theme and What is it?
“Deer Lord! Did you just smell my armpit?” That’s the kind of thing you might say while playing this hilarious game. It’s a wet-your-pants laughing kind of experience. This is a simple party game but brings so much joy it just must be brought out again and again.
Each player draws 5 cards. The first person to get rid of all five cards wins. In your hand you either have dupe or duel cards. A dupe challenge is something you must do so that others notice but don’t call you on it. If they catch you and yell out “DEER LORD!” they must tell you what your card says. If they were correct, you must draw a new card. So, it is just better to be doing weird things all the time so you can get away with your real dupe.
The other kind of card in your hand is a duel challenge. When it is your turn you may play a duel but not continue to act out any dupes. A duel allows you to challenge another player of your choice to some ridiculous contest which brings much enjoyment to everyone else. Who can recite the best poem about another person? Or who can do a hand stand the longest? Don’t worry, there is a way to discard something you just really prefer not to do.
If you don’t want to duel when it comes your turn you can confess all the dupes you performed while other players were dueling. Someone had to have seen you doing the dupe for you to be able to send your card to the discard pile. If not, you must draw a new card.
At first, I wasn’t sure how I could get people into this game. I thought some were too shy; others too serious. It turns out, there were so many unique cards (165 in the Gold Edition) that all types of people could excel at something. I saw my intellectual scientist friend go flying head first over my deck rail in attempts to win a duel of who could act out the most convincing gun-slinger shoot-out scene. I saw the shy person win at giving the best compliment. It truly caters to all types.
Game Build Quality
The game is a deck of cards and instructions. The cards are basic black and white with the symbol on the box cover printed on the back of each card. The rules look like they were typed out on a standard piece of printer paper without any frills. However, the simple style does not inhibit game play.
There is not much to say for art in this game. There is a geometric deer on the box cover and the back of each card. Even so, I was drawn to the look of the simple black box on the shelf.
The fun factor in this game is off the charts! My friends and I have the best game memories and experiences from Deer Lord! We still bring up our foibles from time to time. It doesn’t get much better than when you are sitting around with 4-8 people acting ridiculous all at the same time and yelling “DEER LORD!” at each other. The weirder you are the more likely you are to get away with your dupe cards.
Age Range & Weight
The 12+ range is good for this game. There isn’t anything crude and I’m impressed at how clean the game is. Yet, the slyness and deception are hard to pull off by the younger folk. Sometimes there are references kids at that age wouldn’t understand. You don’t have to be a pop culture wiz to play but doing jazz hands or understanding words like “conspicuously” might be a problem for a younger player.
This is my go-to party game. It doesn’t get old. I have the Gold Edition which contains the base game and the Broadway and Gangsta expansions. There are several other expansions out there if things get stale. The game even comes with blank cards to make your own “duels” and “dupes.” If I want to get to know what others are like, loosen up a party, and laugh my head off, this is the game I choose.