Review: Guillotine


I usually like to have a picture of my copy of the game on here, but, for reasons that will be discussed later, we no longer have the original box (at least, not to my knowledge).


Guillotine is a competitive card game for 2 to 5 players, ages 12 and up, designed by Paul Peterson, and published by Wizards of the Coast. Games are intended to last around 30 minutes.


As the game consists solely of cards, setup is mostly shuffling. You’ll need to shuffle the Noble deck and the Action deck separately and place them somewhere within reach. Once this is done, each player is dealt five Action cards at random. And, with that, the game is ready to begin.


In Guillotine, the players are rival executioners during the French Revolution. The goal of the game is to be the executioner who has earned the most points by beheading nobles and other undesirables.

A game consists of three days full of executions and fun. On the first day, you will turn over the top 12 cards of the Noble deck, forming a line. The right end of the line is the front and the unlucky person in the front is who gets beheaded next. A player is randomly chosen to go first and their turn goes like this:

  • If the player so chooses, they may play an action card from their hand.
  • The player then collects the first Noble in line.
  • The player then ends their turn by drawing an action card (this is done regardless of whether the player used an action card this turn or not).

The next player then takes their turn and so on and so forth. This continues until all Nobles in the line have been executed, at which point, the day also ends.

Each subsequent day is played in the same manner. At the end of three days of executions, players add up their points and see who came out on top.

Artwork and Quality of Game Components

The artwork in Guillotine is lighthearted and, for the most part, child friendly considering the macabre nature of the game. It keeps the game feeling light even while you’re sitting there beheading people.

The cards themselves feel like your run of the mill face cards. They feel fine and durable to me.

The box that the game comes in is comically oversized for a small rules pamphlet and 110 cards. It does come with a standee guillotine which is kind of cool, but not necessary to the game by any means. We actually switched our copy over to our original box for Gloom which is a much better, snug fit for the cards and takes up much less space.

Verdict: Yea

Guillotine is easy to learn, fast to play, and fun with groups. Anytime we play, I have a good time. If you’re looking for a quick, simple card game that can work as either a time killer or a game to ease someone into, Guillotine might just be what you’re looking for.


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