“ The classic South American Liar Dice game. The exciting game of guesswork, bluff and luck that can be played anywhere by anyone, though consummate liars do have an advantage! There is no board, no setting up and no complicated rules, so this makes an ideal after dinner or travel game. Age: 8 and up. „
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I've no idea what the other reviewer is talking about here, Perudo is an amzing game, it SOUNDS more complicated than it is, but in reality, it's dead easy and great fun. Re-read the instructions and get playing, you wont be disappointed.
Ok, me and my friend took so long to try and figure out the game. But we still couldn't, its like the instructions were in spanish. Perudo sounds like fun, untill you cant figure it out. The ten page manual is confusing and hard to understand. Even though on the back it says "No board, no setting up, no complicated rules." I would not recomend this to kids. They give an demonstration, its for 6 people, but we were only playing with two. We are still trying to find out how to play. It has been almost a year. Please this does not make a good gift.
Your frustraited Friends,
The game busters
If you saw the movie "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest", you might recall a scene where the squishy evil guys are playing a dice game. In that game Bootstrap Bill loses to Davy Jones in order to save his son, Will Turner. If you were wondering what that game is, I can tell you - it is called Perudo, or sometimes called Liar's Dice, and is readily available in shops. If you weren't wondering about that game and are familiar with it, then you'll know that they weren't playing the game right in the movie! But more about that later. This is a review of that game which we purchased a few years ago and here's what I think of it.
First of all, this is a game of both skill and chance. The idea is to either bluff your way into winning while trying to figure out if your opponents are bluffing as well. If you can do that, you can win this game - and that's the skill part. The chance part comes in the random way that dice tend to fall. Sounds simple, doesn't it? Well, it isn't all that simple, actually, and that's what makes this game challenging as well. And while most of us may have never heard of this game before, it is a very ancient South American game and one that has been taken seriously by a group in Rome since 1857.
The game comes with six coloured cups and for each cup there are five dice, the same colour as the cups. To begin, each player rolls a die and the one with the highest number on their die goes first. Then everyone takes their dice, puts them into their cup, shakes them and then puts the cup upside-down on the table in front of them. Then you look inside - without revealing to the other players - to see what your dice show. Then the bidding begins. The first player must make an assumption based on the dice he has as to how many of the same numbered dice are among everyone's dice. The bidding follows very specific rules and is fairly complicated. For instance, you have to increase the number of dice in play with that same face number from the last bid (such as three 4s, then four 4s). You can also increase the face number on the dice (such as four 2s and then three 3s). What's more, in the regular game, Aces (meaning dice with only one dot on them, or 1s) are considered "wild". When someone thinks that the previous bid isn't likely to be what the dice really show, they call out "Doodoo" and everyone has to show their dice. If the bidder was right, the person who called "Doodoo" loses one dice. If the bidder was wrong, then he loses one dice. Then the next round begins, with the bidding starting from the person who just lost a die. The game ends when one player is the only one left with any dice and everyone else has forfeited their dice.
There's more to it than just this and I'm sure what I've said doesn't help you all that much, so I suggest you read the official rules of the game at www.perudo.org to get a better idea. You might also have a little bit of an idea of how the game is played by watching a few minutes of the game being played in the movie "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest". Unfortunately, they didn't play it right since none of the players had only one die left and the game wouldn't have been over after that round was played. Still, it does help to see them play. You'll notice that one person says "four 5s" then the next says "five 5s" and then something like "eight 5s". This is basically how the bidding goes, although you could also work up to fives by starting with any number of twos or threes first, if you wish. The really fun part comes when you get really well acquainted with the rules and learn how to use the Aces and make special bids or calls based on different criteria.
For instance, if you think that the person who has just bid is bidding exactly what all the dice in play actually reflects, you can call "Jonti". If you are right, you get one of your lost dice back. Of course, if you still have five dice, you can't call "Jonti" since you can't have more than five dice in your cup. Also, you're not allowed to use this when there are only two players playing. Still, this is a useful move if you've only got one die left and don't want to go out of the game. Then again, if you call it and you're wrong, you've lost the game - so calling out "Jonti" (as well as anything else) should be used with care.
There are also special rules for the round that begins when one player has just been left with two dice. This means that there are rules for several different situations throughout the game and not just one set of rules that applies throughout the game. Fascinating, don't you think?
And this is why I like this game. No, it isn't easy to learn and it takes a good deal of practice. There are also a good deal of rules to remember and follow. But what's good about this is that you have to think carefully about a whole lot of things. Things like: What did other people bid before me in this round? How many dice are in play in this round? What are the possibilities that I will have my bluff called? How can I make a bluff bid that people won't call me on? How likely is it that the bid I just heard is real or a bluff? You see what I mean? There's a whole lot more skill to this game than there is chance, and I always like a game that gets me thinking. And once you start playing - especially if you have a group of more than three people - you'll get hooked on this. It's good, clean fun for everyone.
The makers of this game say that it is for ages eight and up, and I would probably agree with them for the simplest levels of this game. However, I really think that kids under the age of 10 or 12 (unless they're very bright and understand the subtitles of bluffing) won't easily catch onto this game. The version I bought was in a tin colourful box which had a cloth sack inside and in that the six plastic cups, five colour coordinated dice for each cup and a set of rules. It really is all you need, but they sell fancier versions with leather cups or inside what looks like a Spanish pirate chest (because of the movie?). As you can see from the Technical Stuff below, this isn't as obscure a game as one might have thought, and with a small effort you'll find it out there. It would make a wonderful present for any family who likes to enjoy each others' company and play games that aren't on the computer or PS and take more than chance or manual dexterity to win at. So, if you're looking for a game that doesn't require reading (for those non-English speaking friends and family that visit), gets you thinking, isn't computer based, can be played by (almost) the whole family, gets people off the PS, and is enjoyable as well as complex enough to keep adults interested as well, I'd say that this is one game that fits that bill. That it appeared in a pirate film with Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom doesn't detract from it's fun, either. I'll give it a yo-ho-ho four rum stars (one off for the difficulty to learn the rules) and recommend it to all me mateys!
Thanks for reading.
Davida Chazan © January 2007
This game is produced in England by Paul Lamond Games, P.O. Box 3353, London N1 1SR, U.K. and the web page for this game on their site can be found at http://www.paul-lamond.com/family-page12.html
There's actually an official site for players of this game at http://www.perudo.org/ and they even have a way there where you can download a computer version to play on your computer or even play on-line with others! This site has all the information on the history of the game, how to play it and other versions of it.
You can buy Perudo on-line for £17.99 plus postage and handling, via http://www.boardgamecompany.co.uk/Perudo(LA1).htm
or via http://www.mailorderexpress.com/ for £12.74
or at http://www.areyougame.com/Interact/item.asp?itemno=REP-7500 for £12.99
and also http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/45 sells it as "Liar's Dice" for £19.95
you can even find it on Amazon.co.uk new for £19.98 or via the marketplace from £12.74!