It Dies With Me – Breaking Games – Review

How often do you get to play a game with real life stakes and actually eat game components when you win?

Theme and What is it?

It Dies With Me raises the stakes on gaming.  Normally winning isn’t THAT important. But here, defending one of your secrets or learning one of your friend’s secrets makes winning vitally important.  Each round of play one of the players will be forced to write down some juicy secret as the reward for the winner of that round. The game features tombstones, graves, and coffins as its major thematic elements.

Gameplay Mechanics

Each player has a coffin, a grave token, and a die (how appropriate).  On a turn, each player will select a value on their die and hide it under their coffin.  When revealed, all players with the same number as any other players are eliminated. Whoever has the lowest remaining value gets a card while the highest remaining value gets to move forward on the grave tiles.

 

Whoever collects the entire phrase IT DIES WITH ME on their cards or makes it past all the grave tiles to reach the secret journal wins that round of play.  The winner gets to read the secret and then EAT the edible paper it was written on. The one critical rule is that the winner must never divulge the secret. Ever.  And suddenly the title makes sense.

Initial Impressions

We all looked at the instructions for “write down a secret no one knows” and scratched our heads trying to think of something we could even remotely consider someone finding out.  It took a little while before anyone had a secret ready to use. I would recommend warning players to think about some juicy secrets at least 15 minutes before playing the game so they can think of something good.

Game Build Quality

We loved the little coffins to hide our dice under.  It feels like liar’s dice, but we get to manipulate the numbers and use coffins!  It Dies With Me offers one super unique component: edible paper and a food marker.  Players must eat the cake paper when they win so these components are really cool to see in a game. Enough paper to play quite a lot of the game is included but the rulebook mentions how to get more from local supermarkets without much cost or effort.

Artistic Direction

The cards have some wonderful ghostly artwork and dark silhouettes that are not exactly terrifying but fit the death theme great.  Overall there is not a lot of art in the game but what art there is pleased everyone at the table. It lends to the theme while not going so overboard as to make the game depressing or somber.  Party games need appropriate artwork to stay engaging and yet not too serious and It Dies With Me… nailed it.

Fun Factor

I was worried about this game feelings like the choices were arbitrary or that no one would be able to come up with any worthwhile secrets to write down.  I still worry some groups will have difficulty engaging with the game but my group had no such trouble once they got started. Even the players who usually go for intense euro games had a blast and said they would gladly play it again.  The players who didn’t win were very put out that they didn’t get to learn my particularly embarrassing secret. They begged to be told for a good 15 minutes after that round ended. The player who won couldn’t stop laughing at it and now we have something amusing that only the two of us know!

Age Range & Weight

13+ seems fair given the nature of telling and keeping secrets.  I suppose a younger audience could handle the game with more silly secrets rather than truly embarrassing ones.  There is also the overtone of death in the game even if it is primarily in an amusing way. It Dies With Me is a party game, don’t try to take it too seriously other than obeying the critical rule of never revealing any learned secrets.

Conclusions

Because of my pictures, my friends (and all of you) will learn something I am embarrassed about.  But without this article, several people would have to go through life never knowing something they desperately wanted to learn but they couldn’t pick the right numbers and draw the right cards to beat the others.  It Dies With Me offers a unique experience and an unprecedented reward for winning a game. How often do you get to play a game with real life stakes and actually eat game components when you win? This was a great addition to my collection and I hope to bring it out frequently to try winning some juicy secrets.