crypt board game on table

Crypt Review

crypt board game on table

Name: Crypt

Year of Release: 2018

Player Count: 1 – 4 Players

Playing Time: 20 – 35 minutes

Designer: Jeff Chin, Andrew Nerger

Publisher: R2i Games

Primary Mechanisms: Auction/Bidding, Dice Rolling, Set Collection 

Weight (According to 1.51

Review originally written on 08/21/2020 and posted as part of the Solo Games on Your Table monthly Geeklist on 


I first heard of Crypt in March of 2020, when the creators (Andrew Nerger & Jeff Chin) posted in the r/boardgames subreddit about a campaign they were planning. The idea was that the COVID-19 pandemic had (and still has) “affected a lot of individuals and small businesses.” They went on to say, “We know not everyone has the spare cash to buy… board games but sanity is important too.” They were proposing for a limited time that anyone in the USA could pay whatever they wanted for their game, Crypt, and only had to pay $6 for shipping. 

With this month’s theme being “togetherness”, I definitely wanted to write a Crypt play-through because Nerger and Chin (otherwise known as Road 2 Infamy Games) were basically trying to bring people together during a very hard period for most individuals. Sure, this would be great exposure and hopefully help boost sales of their next project Canvas (which you should go look up as soon as you’re done reading this), but at a cost to these two personally. I admire them for pushing forward and bringing some happiness to a lot (over 2,500 units were shipped out) of people in these uncertain times.

Setup and Rule Book 

crypt board game components on table
Detailed, quality cards, some dice, and a very thorough rule book is all it takes to begin exploring the depths of the Crypt!

If you haven’t played Crypt, it is a set collection and bidding game made up of a deck of cards and some dice. Obviously set up is easy and there isn’t much to it outside of shuffling some cards. I do like that there are Collector Cards that define the goals for each play and these are 2-sided with an A side and a B side. These can be played in any combination to add changing dynamics to each game. Once the cards are shuffled, the dice handed out, and the Collector Cards positioned, it’s time to… roll (sorry, I’m a dad so I had to get a dad joke in.) 

The rule book is laid out nicely, with very detailed pictures and descriptions of how to play. For such a small package, the rule book does not skimp and includes the normal rules, the solo rules, some extra variant ideas and detailed descriptions of each of the Collector Cards. The set up and rule book allow you to jump right into your father’s royal crypt and bring all that glorious treasure back to its rightful owner (namely, you.)

Gameplay Description 

crypt board game cards being played
A ghost? Not so scary. A ghost purely controlled by dice rolls? Now that is scary!

In the solo version of Crypt, you will be playing against an automated player called the Ghost. There isn’t much to the Ghost’s turn, which I appreciate in a game that plays in less than 25 minutes. It is controlled simply by dice rolls and is easy to keep track of. The downside of it being controlled by dice rolls is that luck is going to play a huge factor in your success. But if you’re looking for a brain burner that has absolutely no luck factor, you’re probably not playing Crypt anyways. 

There are three cards that get flipped over in the middle of the table. Two will always be face up while the third is kept face down. Each card has a treasure value on it as well as one of the six treasure types. The treasure values add up for victory points in the end and the treasure types help you to either score the goals found on the Collector Cards mentioned earlier or grant you a few special powers that can be played throughout the game. 

You start by placing any of your three Servant Dice on any combination of the cards on the table. The value on the dice act as your bid for that card. You can place one die, or you can place two on a card, as long as the two dice are of the same value. Once done, you roll for the Ghost player, and place the highest die on the highest valued card, working your way down through the dice values. If the Ghost has rolled higher than you, it pushes your die off of that card and takes control. You then get one last turn where you can place any unused dice back on a single card to try to take control of it (by placing it on an empty card or by placing a higher value than the Ghost.) 

But Kris, why wouldn’t you just always place sixes 6 or double sixes 66 every single round? Well, I’m glad you asked! For any cards you won, you place that card into your tableau and then, you must roll the dice used and have to achieve a value equal to or higher than the value you used to buy the card. But Kris, (you ask a lot of questions!) what happens if I don’t roll a value equal to or higher? If not, your Servant Dice is Exhausted, meaning it gets put back into the box until you choose to use up a turn Recovering all of your Exhausted dice. 

Once three new cards are laid on the table, the Ghost goes first, and you go second. Play continues like this through the rounds until the deck is empty and the game is over. For score purposes, the Ghost scores no victory points but instead only acts as a thief, stealing away cards throughout the game that might have garnered you more fame and fortune. You tally up your treasure values, evaluate if you met any of the Collector’s goals, and then judge your point total against a point scale printed in the rule book. I don’t really care for this way of scoring as I’d rather just know “yes” or “no” if I’ve won but again, it is sort of nit-picky for a game of this size and length. 


Crypt scratches the itch for a quick, light-weight game that I can grab off the shelf and play at my desk a few times while dinner is in the oven or waiting for my kids to finish their bath. The artwork is gorgeous and I love how each of the treasure types have a theme and feeling all their own. Using the dice to bid might have been done before, but I don’t have anything similar in my library (though I do own Scripts and Scribes which I guess is semi-similar.) It is really inspiring to see that a developer can pour such love and attention into a small project and then turn around and gift it to thousands of people, just to bring a smile to fellow gamers’ faces. Good on you, R2i Games!


Ratings are based on 5 main criteria: rulebook, setup, components, art & graphic design, and gameplay.  The first 4 criteria are rated 1 to 5 and the gameplay is rated 1 to 10.  These scores culminate in an “overall satisfaction” score that is rated from 1 to 10.  If the reviewed game has both a solo and multiplayer mode, I have assigned scores separately to give context to which mode we enjoy more.  

Kristofer Solomon

Hey, everyone! I’m Kristofer Solomon and the creator of Board Game Breakdown. I’ve been playing board games since I was little, typically spending days on top of days playing Risk with kids from my neighborhood. As I moved into college, I started playing Magic: the Gathering with a group of guys and my love for board games slid to the wayside as I progressed into gulp adulthood (not to mention a long obsession with World of Warcraft.) Eventually, I fell back into the hobby in its current state when my wife (then girlfriend) bought me a copy of Ticket to Ride: Marklin Edition for my birthday in 2008. This simple to grasp, but strategic train game blew me away. I didn’t realize at the time that board games could be much more than your average game of Sorry or Trouble. We eventually got Catan, Small World, and other well-known titles and the rest is history.

I’m hopeful that the content of this website and its associated YouTube and Instagram channels can be informative to those who are either on the fence about getting a game, or maybe just looking for something new. About 50% of my gaming time is spent solo gaming so I enjoy touching on that subject when I discuss games as this is an area that is typically not focused on.

Thanks to all who spent even a minute perusing this site, it means a lot to me. Happy gaming!

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