Release Date: 2022Players: 2-6
Designer: Andrew Meyer, Justus MeyerLength: 15-45 minutes
Artist: Justus MeyerAge: 8+
Publisher: Doomlings LLCComplexity: 1.5 / 5
Plastic (by weight): <1%Air (by volume): 50%

Space: an endless void with countless stars, some of which capable of harbouring a planet that can support life. On one of these Goldilocks planets far away from our own, life has indeed emerged. Yet, nothing is ever allowed to last. One day, the inevitable end will come. So in the meantime, life on this planet is competing for supremacy. They do not know it yet, but they are the Doomlings by Justus Meyer and Andrew Meyer from Doomlings LLC.

Sure, it’s a silly introduction, which goes really well with the silly illustrations by Justus Meyer, who is also the co-designer of this silly little family card game alongside his brother Andrew Meyer. Even the gameplay of Doomlings is silly and I mean that in a really positive way. As the game itself explains at the end of the rules leaflet, “for now, play something cute, try some things, and trust that the cards will help you find your way.”

These are very true words and I love that the game encourages players to just play cards and see what happens. The rules are pretty simple to help with this easy-going approach. Setup might take a moment or two, but very quickly you’re off and starting to build your gene pool of your cute little Doomlings. It’s great when a game gets you playing within a few minutes and there is no expectation that you need to understand all of the rules straight away and have a solid strategy from the start that you follow diligently throughout the game. On the contrary, there just is no perfect way of playing the game.

We’re Doomed

The deck of cards in Doomlings is huge and there are endless possibilities. In fact, there are plenty of expansion packs you can add to create even more combinations. So given the sheer amount of luck you’re faced with, all you can do is play the best card at the time. Sometimes you need to keep a card or two that might be of benefit later on. Ultimately though, you always hope that the next cards you draw get you more points, which inevitably, they won’t, of course. After all, we’re all doomed to die. We’re only here for a short glimpse in the eternity that is the lifetime of the universe. We can only do our best and hope that we outcompete the other Doomlings around the table.

There are many different ways of scoring. Most cards simply have a face value of points. Many other cards give you points for having certain cards in your tableau in a sort of set collection style. There are also cards that trigger at the end of the game and allow you to gain some additional points.

However, it’s rare that you’re actively working towards a certain type of point possibilities. There is just too much randomness that you could plan to collect certain cards in the hope of scoring big. All you are really doing is setting yourself up with as many scoring opportunities as possible. You’re basically trying to give your Doomlings the best chance of survival. If luck isn’t on your side, then you may still lose, but at least you did all you could.

some of the many cards from Doomlings
some of the many cards from Doomlings (Photo courtesy of Doomlings LLC)

Doomlings In Fluxx

In some ways, Doomlings reminds me of Fluxx. You play a card, which may allow you to play another card or discard cards, then draw up or discard down to the so-called Gene Pool number. Instead of the changing goals in Fluxx, in Doomlings it is up to you to pivot depending on the cards you draw and what other players do to your trait pile, which are the cards you have already played in front of you. However, there is still a bit of flux in Doomlings, because the number of cards you can have in your hand at the end of your turn changes throughout the game.

The real focus in Doomlings is on the huge amount of cards that come with the base game and that you can increase even further with expansions. No two games will ever be the same. So while one approach might have worked really well for you in one game, the next game will be very different. You’re unlikely to draw the same sort of cards.

While that sheer amount of randomness might put some people off, I think you really need to lean into it when you play Doomlings. It’s impossible to plan for combos and wait for the one perfect card, that will simply never turn up. Instead, you need to enjoy the luck factor and create as much chaos as you can. A varied tableau with lots of possibilities stands a much better chance of winning than a highly fine-tuned one. Yet, when the perfectly honed trait pile does pull off the impossible and hits the one-in-a-million jackpot, it is absolutely amazing.

So my advice is: lean into the chaos!

Family Fun

Doomlings is simply a silly game that is great for all the family. There are just enough rules to add enough spice and interest. The best approach to the game is to relax and enjoy the fun. Read the cards, see what other people have played and have fun with whatever card you decide to play.

I’ve now played Doomlings many times and every time was fun. I played with people of a wide range of ages and experience with modern board games and the score at the end was always tight. It was never possible to tell who would come out victorious. Even when a player seemingly had a huge lead, one or two rounds later everything changed again.

So, get yourself a copy of Doomlings, strap in, play your traits and wait for the final catastrophe to decide who comes out victorious. If you’re not taking the game seriously, you are guaranteed to have a lot of fun.

Useful Links


Transparency Facts

I feel that this review reflects my own, independent and honest opinion, but the facts below allow you to decide whether you think that I was influenced in any way.
  • I was sent a free review copy of this game by the publisher.
  • At the time of writing, neither the designers, nor the publisher, nor anyone linked to the game supported me financially or by payment in kind.

Audio Version

Intro Music: Bomber (Sting) by Riot (

Arrakis by Sascha Ende
Free download:
License (CC BY 4.0):


These are the songs I listened to while I was writing this review:

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