Dead & Breakfast Preview

Dead & Breakfast


Brain Crack Games

A preview by


  • 2-4 Players.
  • <30 Minutes.
  • T.B.C. Ages


Dead & Breakfast is the upcoming release from Brain Crack Games. Yes, it is from the same people who brought you Downsize, Mined Out and most recently Farsight. Well following on from that eclectic mix, they are back. This time they want you to build an Hotel. But no ordinary Hotel oh-no that would be no fun at all. You are tasked with building, the most horrifyingly scary hotel possible. Things are never that simple. Because not only are you going up against other entrepreneurs, who are set on making their hotel the best. You also discover that the local builders who are working on all of your properties have become home to a spectral nuisance out to make your lives even trickier. Do you have what it takes to make your hotel bloom and the guests scream? Ghosts.

Inside the box you will find,

  • Window tiles,
  • Wall tiles,
  • Door tiles,
  • Guest tiles,
  • Bonus scoring tiles and a Ghost.

Please note, the copy I received is an early prototype print and as such while the rules themselves are almost finalised. The components are going to improve dramatically and the artwork may undergo some changes. These should only serve to make the game much more attractive to all players.


In a game of Dead & Breakfast. Each player will start with their Hotel lobby (front door) this, in keeping with all the best hotels in the world (and quite a few of the worst) is in the middle of the ground floor. You as players will be selecting window tiles to try and complete floors in a 5×5 grid.

This process is made slightly more complicated by the ghost haunting the builders yard (the window tiles tableau). This ghost will restrict your selection of tiles to just three each turn. Each of these will consist of either 2 windows side by side or vertically. Still sounds easy hey? Not so fast there. Each window tile also has vines growing on it and flowers blooming. These flowers have the power to give you points. But only if the vine they are growing from can be connected to the Door tile. And only then if the flowers are matching in colour to those shown above the door. I thought that would make you stop and think.


I thought you said scary hotel? Flowers are not scary”. Well yes I did. Most of the windows have a monster or scary creature inside them. They might be Spiders, Voodoo dolls, Ghosts or even worse (now you start to understand the section headings). These creatures of fear are important to your success. This is because as you complete a floor you attract a Guest to the hotel. Each Guest is afraid of something this is shown by their image. When placing the Guests you will be trying to align them with their fears, either Horizontally or Vertically based on their card icons. You will be scoring points at the end of the game based on your success at lining them up and this is harder than it first seems.


Oh dear I do not want or cannot take one of the available window tiles. Well never fear (save that for the guests). If you find yourself stuck you do have an option to build 2 blank walls. While this will mean you miss out on some windows scoring opportunities. It is not all bad because the wall tiles have lots of vines to help you connect other flowering tiles together.

Once all players have completed their hotel construction you calculate points based on flowers correctly connected and guests aligned with their monsters. There are also some optional Bonus score tiles that can be used at the start of a game and these will allow extra points for things like ‘number of different monsters on a floor or pairs of monsters in a column’. The highest total points is the winner.


When I first received Dead & Breakfast. My first thought was, “Oh look another tile laying grid game”. However once I started to read the rules I was very pleasantly surprised. It very quickly became clear that there was much more to this game than many other tile games. The amount of thinking over which window tile to select was surprisingly high given the variety of creatures and the orientation of the tile. The scoring of the guest in conjunction with monster location added a lot more forward planning in what at first appearances is a cutesy art game. Once you start connecting the flowers to the door as well, you are suddenly putting even more thought in. This is not to say this is a heavy game, It is a light filler. but once you get under the hood there is a fair bit of thinking required. There is even some room for a touch of ‘take-that-esque’ play as you might decide to take a sub-optimal window tile because the next player is then left with a choice of tiles they cannot use or are worthless to them.


Simple mechanics, Surprisingly thinky, Quick playing, Easy to teach, Easy to learn and Suitable for family, meet-up play,

Put this firmly on your radar for the upcoming Kickstarter.

I know I will be. You can sign up for their Newsletter here.

I was provided with a copy of Dead & Breakfast to preview. I will be passing this copy on to another reviewer in the BGE group. This has no bearing on my review or my final thoughts on the game.

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