When I was at primary school my weekly words to learn to spell were laminated bits of paper that I would take home in my Fraggle Rock school bag. To keep them safe, they were packaged inside a Golden Virginia tin with my name taped onto the lid. Lifting the lid each week would create a tantalising aroma of sweet smelling tobacco. In this raw unsmoked state the smell was quite delicious. The occasional waft still conjures up happy memories of my Grandad opening a draw of wonderful tat that would amuse me for hours as a child. I reminisce in this way because I was delighted when Peruke arrived for review and it’s tin resembled the old tobacco tins of times gone by.
How times have changed. Not only would it be inconceivable to think a child would bring home anything in a cigarette box from school, but tins of tobacco have been replaced with pouches which frankly are far less useful. Now these pouches have been replaced by vape oil. Like I said, times have changed.
With an introduction like this you might be thinking that Peruke is a game about smoking. Quite simply, it isn’t and I apologise if my self-obsessed introduction gave that impression. The good news is, I can now tell you all about this little dice and disc game.
To win Peruke you need to score the most points by the end of the game. To do this you must capture other player’s discs and protect your own. Each player will get a set of discs numbered one to six. These are double sided and start with the target side up showing that they are vulnerable to be swiped. Each player rolls three dice and turns over the disc that corresponds with the number on the dice to make it safe.
The game then begins and on your turn you will roll the three dice. Each number rolled represents the number of a disc you can interact with. You have to decide between three options. The first is to flip your own corresponding disc to the safe side. The second option is to flip an opponent’s disc with that number to the vulnerable side. The final option is to steal a vulnerable disc giving you that many points at the end of the round. The round ends when a player loses all their discs. You play as many rounds as there are players. The person with the most points at the end wins Peruke.
There are variant rules for a two player game. Players get two sets of discs at the start of the game forming a primary and secondary row. Play is very similar to the multiplayer rules above but a player can take from their secondary row if a disc is vulnerable, rather than make is safe. The three or four player count is where the game shines.
Peruke One is a variant single player game in a slightly smaller tin. This game involves trying to beat your own personal best. The game is played over six rounds. All discs start safe. You roll six dice and can use any two dice to make a disc vulnerable or capture it if it is already vulnerable. You roll one fewer dice every round so on the last round you only have one dice to roll.
Peruke One also has the added advantage of having another set of discs that means you can take the main game up to five players.
What it’s like
The small tin packs a lot of take that and strategy into it. It is really simple to learn and equally fun to play. The fact it can fit in a pocket also makes it one of my favourite games on the go. The table footprint is small so it really can be played anywhere you can gather around a table and roll dice.
The solo game is fun to try a handful of times but doesn’t have the replayability of the main game. Peruke One is a nice to have but far from an essential purchase unless you will be regularly playing the main game with 5 players.
Packing it away for the first time can be a challenge as you will see in my unboxing video on Instagram, but you’ll get the hang of it!
This is a brilliant little production. The laser cut discs are very satisfying. I can’t decide whether the discs would look good painted or not. There is also something special about the very simple Chessex dice that come with the game. They are a delight to roll.
The tin bringing back childhood memories for me is a winner too. The rules are clear and concise.
Ultimately I have nothing to fault with the components, they are all good.
This is a great little game that doesn’t pretend to be anything it’s not and doesn’t outstay its welcome.
The fun packed into the little tin makes it a brilliant travel game you will really enjoy. I preferred Peruke at four players as I found the two player game a bit more luck based.
The score below does reflect the RRP which seems a little bit high. If money isn’t an issue for you then definitely buy this game, it is brilliant and you will play it lots. I’m not saying it isn’t worth the money either, because it probably is. But it feels like there are better value games floating around on the market if your board game budget is tight.
Peruke One is fun, but as a solo game there are probably better options that will last longer. As an add-on to the base game to make it five player could however make it an essential purchase for some.
I must confess I wasn’t sure what to expect when Peruke arrived through the letterbox. I have been pleasantly surprised by it and can see it travelling with me on many outings.
Number of players: 2 to 4 (+1 or 1 with Peruke One)
Board Game Review Recommended Age: 7+
Publisher’s Recommended Age: 7
Playing Time: 25 minutes
Setting Up and Take Down Time: 1 minute
Designers: James Gillham and Mark Littlewood
RRP Peruke Classic: £17.50
A big amount of fun in a little tin. There is a lot of things to like about Peruke. Not least the component quality and its transportability. Plenty of strategy and take that with a hint of luck from the dice rolls. Peruke One isn’t an essential purchase but is nice to have.
Artwork and Components
Value for Money
- Good travel game
- Fast playing as limited options on your turn
- Some light strategy
- Quite expensive for a small game
- Player elimination
- Little bit of dice rolling luck