- Designer: Emely Brand and Lukas Brand
- Publisher: Drei Magier Spiele
- Players: 3-5 Players
- Age: 7+
- Time to Play: 30 Minutes
Hey folks! I’m back again with another game review. Last time we were trying to lie to other players and just not lose. This time, we’re cheating our way to victory! Players are playing cards and cheating away others trying to get the lowest score over the games. Cheating Moth is from the same line as Cockroach Poker using the same style of art.
Cheating Moth comes with 43 number cards, 20 action cards, 8 cheating moth cards, 1 guard bug card, and the rules.
The action cards are broken into different species much like Cockroach Poker.
Cheating Moth – This card can only be cheated away. You can’t play or give it away. The only exception to this is the Guard Bug who can never cheat.
Spider – When this card is played, the player who played it immediately gives away a card from their hand to another player.
Mosquito – When this card is played, every player expect the active player slaps the mosquito. The slowest player is then given one card from each other player.
Cockroach – All players at once try and play the same number on top of the cockroach. The fastest player gets to leave their card, everyone else keeps the card they tried to place.
Ant – All players except for the active player draws a card.
- Take out the guard bug card and give it to the oldest player. The game starts now.
- Shuffle the rest of the cards together and the dealer deals 8 or so cards to each player.
- Flip the top card of the deck over to play on.
- On a players turn, they play a card that is either one higher or one lower than the card shown.
- If you can’t play a card, you draw a card and end your turn instead.
- You can also cheat one card away.
Cheating – You can only cheat one card at a time. It can never be your last card. Be creative. You can use the drop a card on the floor. Put a card up your sleeve. Throw it over your shoulder. Sit on a card. Place 2 cards when playing on top of the pile. Failing to draw a card if you can’t play. The options are endless.
Guard Bug – It’s your job to watch and call players out. If you think you caught someone, shout something like “Caught you!”, “Aha!”, or “I don’t think so!” to show that you’ve caught someone in the act.
If you’re correct, the cheating player keeps the card they tried to cheat away and the guard bug gives that player a card from their hand and the guard bug card. The tables have turned, and the cheating player now is the guard bug.
If you’re incorrect, the guard bug then has to draw a card from the draw deck.
Remember when I said that the game starts when the guard bug player receives their role? And the dealer gives players 8 or so cards? That’s an opportunity to cheat right there. Check out the picture of the set up. Yuppers! Cheated away one card there.
The game goes on until one player has gotten rid of all their cards. Then, all other players total the points for each card left in their hand. 1 point for each regular card, 5 points for each action card, and 10 points for each cheating moth card.
The end of the round, the guard bug card goes to the player to the left of this rounds starting player. And play continues until each player has started as the guard bug. The player with the lowest points wins the game.
Components wise this game is about the same as Cockroach Poker. This copy was better than the Cockroach Poker Royal copy I own. I didn’t see any scratches, residue, or other imperfections on these cards. I like how the regular number cards are just a light and the action cards are easily differentiated from them. With the nature of the game, I would suggest sleeving these cards. I imagine they’ll get bent or slid around easily.
Game play wise, I like these games. Cockroach Poker you’re lying to the other players. Cheating Moth, you’re cheating. Something that we teach kids, don’t lie and don’t cheat goes out the window. It’s part of the game. I think that’s what makes it so fun. Sure, you might have those temptations in other games, but in this one it’s encouraged. It’s limited, but it’s encouraged. I’m glad it’s limited to one card at a time, otherwise it would be too easy for the players to reach 0 cards. The guard bug is a nice contrast to the cheating. Forcing one player to have to abide by the rules and not cheat, but with the added benefit of being able to play moth cards freely.
Cheating Moth is a fun game that was more about the cheating than it was the actual game play for my group. It’s easy to set up, easy to play and teach, and fast to play. Where it shines is the laughter and smirks coming from players as they pick up and clean up the cards at the end of the round. Revelations of just what lengths each player goes to shows at the end. Cards up sleeves, cards on the floor, cards slid under the table. It almost becomes 52 card pick up, but in a more fun way. If you like Cockroach Poker and the feel of that game, I would suggest this one.