Dastardly Dirigibles Review - A Steampunk Card Adventure

Dastardly Dirigibles Review - A Steampunk Card Adventure

Quick Glance: Dastardly Dirigibles

  • Game Type – Card
  • Number of Players – 2-5
  • Mechanics – Set Collection
  • Difficulty – Easy
  • Release – 2016
  • Publisher - Fireside Games
  • MSRP - $19.95


Of course, the most fashionable method of travel in a Steampunk reality is a Dirigible. So, when Professor Phineas Edmund Hornswoggle, the renowned Airship designer, announces his retirement you must compete in a rummy-like challenge with other builders to create the most dazzling airship to prove you are the worthiest successor.


Dastardly Dirigibles Board Game
Publisher Services Inc (PSI)

In Dastardly Dirigibles each player holds cards that represent sections of a ship, each in one of the 7 suits, that must be played side by side in order to create a handsome airship that will score as many points as possible once the round is complete. Points are scored only for cards of the suit used most in your ship. But wait: every time a player plays a section card all other players must play the same section card onto their own ship if possible. In addition, player may use special cards to foil the plans of others and lead them to victory.


The rulebook is clear and well written. It includes pictures and examples of play that help quickly grasp the game. There is also a glossary of Victorian insults that feature words like Blag and Perfidious, it’s a “brilliant!” touch.


This game oozes theme thanks to the great steampunk artwork and flavor found on cards and in the rulebook.


There is very little to setup besides cards and player boards.

The components of Dastardly Dirgibles are very impressive.


Every element of this game, from the cards to the box, features impressive artwork that keeps things fun and light without being silly. Each player receives a tri-fold board in which to build their airships, these feel a bit flimsy as do the cards. This is a bit disappointing since the quality of the art is so high, it’s a shame to see it on cheap card-stock. This is only a minor complaint, though, in light of the price point which makes component quality an acceptable concession.

The cards for the game stay true to the Steampunk theme.

Various airship cards that must be put together.

Final Thoughts

Dastardly Dirigibles is a quick and easy game that revolves around the rule that when a player adds a section to their ship all other players must do the same on their own ships. This drives much of the strategy which is heavy on hand management. I often found myself getting rid of cards that could mess up my ship/set if I was required to play something on another player’s turn. There can be times when it feels like you are just fishing for cards and that doesn’t always come easy with 7 different suits. The game ends as soon as someone plays their final section card while others are left with incomplete airships, denying precious points. Once player boards get down to only a few empty spaces the urgency ratchets up as everyone tries to make final moves before someone goes out, ending the round. Despite only slightly below average quality components and chance for that game to drag in the middle this is an engaging and interactive game that I would recommend to anyone looking for a filler game for the right price. So, if you can figure out how to get your telescoping goggles off of your top hat then grab a copy of Dastardly Dirigibles and start building a bang-up airship, good sir!

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