Bucket of Doom Party Game Review (Big Potato)


I don't know why people play party games with me. It's probably akin to playing a party game with the ghost of Larry David, some kind of ephemeral spector of wit long dead, telling and retelling the haunting jokes of yesteryear. It's a thing that happens, though, because we often have more than a reasonable number of people, and party games are frequently marked (as this one) with a "+" instead of a maximum number. Really, "Bucket of Doom," 3+ players? So 30? 30 people could play your game? I didn't think so.

Bucket of Doom Game Details

Players: "3+"

Game Time: 30 Minutes

Age: 17+

Genre: Storytelling / Adult

What is Bucket of Doom?

Bucket of Doom is a party game sold in Target, which is all you need to know. A "death-dodging adult party game," it asks players to pull up scenario cards. These scenario cards include the timely "Donald Trump wins." When the scenario is pulled, everyone needs to play one of their items, and describe exactly how they would survive till the end.

Adult party games are sadness, distilled and marketed in brightly colored tins. Are people so lonely and desperate that they need to -- you know what, they are. We are. Why continue?

Bucket of Doom comes in a bucket, for no reason. It's not actually a playable game, either. Consider this scenario card:

"You're a Lion chilling out with your pride on the African plains. Suddenly, a dentist appears."

What does that even mean? Why would there be a dentist? Why would a lion fear a dentist? Is this some kind of meta knowledge that I've somehow missed, like elephants and mice?

Regardless of your now-emerging cultural panic (Is it some kind of pun!?), you need to play something on the card. You know which cards you have, because they are double-sided. Other players, if they're paying remote attention, also probably know what you have. Everyone goes around awkwardly justifying why a "horny ferret" would help them. Eventually, people have to vote, but because people are voting on such disparate concepts, it gets reduced to some half-hearted mumbling and someone wins by default.

A Storytelling Game Without the Storytelling

This isn't a game, even among storytelling games, because it gives so little to go on and what is there is just an excuse to say silly words. Much of it doesn't even play to the conceit of the game:

"Pumped full of steroids, you smash the Olympic 100m World Record in 4s flat. The drug testers are coming."

To what? Kill me? Is this the Saudi Arabian olympics? In the above hand, you can see that I have a "Yeti from Skymall(R)" in my hand. What does that even mean?

Anyway, it's a bad game -- made worse by its garish colors and the fact that it comes in a bucket. As far as party games go, it's probably not horrible, and it does play 3+.

Bucket of Doom Party Game Review
  • PRO: Presumably, you could use the bucket for something else.