Release Date: 2024Players: 2-6
Designer: Chris Fisher, Nick BarkerLength: 45-60 minutes
Artist: Patrice RameauAge: 8+
Publisher: Devilfly GamesComplexity: 1.5 / 5
Plastic (by weight): <1%Air (by volume): <5%

Howdy partner. Welcome to the Wild West, where there is gold to be found in them there hills. Only the most daring souls will find the riches. Mining is dangerous work. So helping your fellow human is the right thing to do, but getting repaid for your kindness is not guaranteed. I’ll start you off with a pick-axe, some safety gear and a few sticks of dynamite. It’s on the house, because I’m sure you’ll soon be back to stock up. Now, off you go. Make your fortune in this wonderful place we call Undermined! Pairadice City by Chris Fisher and Nick Barker from Devilfly Games.

I’ve now seen many, many… oh gosh, yes… a lot of first-time designers trying to self-publish their card game on their favourite crowdfunding platform. Starting your board game design career with a card game makes perfect sense. They’re easy and relatively cheap to produce, making it easier for the campaigns to meet their funding goals. Of course, every designer is really excited about their game as well. They’ve spent months or years converting an idea that sounds amazing in their heads into a physical game, spending many hours a day refining it, playtesting it with friends and family and coming up with something that they think is amazing and does something that hasn’t been done before.

Unfortunately, many of these games don’t really do anything new. They might shine in their presentation with always wonderfully illustrated cards and sometimes some well-written card text, but ultimately they often do very much what other card games have done before.

Take Me Down to Pairadice City

Now, Undermined! Pairadice City also does a lot of things that we have seen before. There is a lot of randomness from dice rolls and card draws, there is a market row you buy equipment from and players can play cards to help themselves, or support or sabotage others. So there is luck, hand management and player interaction. I think we’ve all seen these types of games before.

However, Undermined! Pairadice City combines these elements in very thematic ways. Your goal is to dig through the deck of rock cards, which represent the mine, by rolling dice and finding victory points. The first player to 12 victory points wins the game immediately.

Rock cards have a number on one side, which is the number you need to get with your dice rolls, and a potential reward on the other. Some have a dollar reward on them, while most ask you to draw from the treasures and perils deck. I think you can imagine what that represents. The treasures and perils cards give you victory points or trigger awful things to happen.

Of course, to dig the mine, you need equipment. Everyone starts out with some free equipment: a pick-axe that you can use as long as you like, but isn’t very efficient, a few sticks of TNT,. that you can only use once, and some rather basic safety equipment. During the game, you can buy more, but you have a limit to how many items you can have. You can increase that limit by buying cards, such as the mule.

Already you get a sense of how well everything interlinks. You can already imagine yourself as one of the hundreds of thousands of people digging in the hills for treasure.

the shop cards, rock cards and treasures &perils cards from the box of Undermined! Pairadice City
you can buy more equipment from the shop to dig through the rock deck to hopefully reveal treasures

Where the Grass is Green

But that’s not all. Undermined! Pairadice City goes one further. The game has no intention of being a serious Euro-style game, where you get resources to buy better cards to get more resources. Instead, it heavily leans into what happens above the table. It’s about the table talk.

That happens, for example, when one player promises to give the other player some money if they help them dig the rock. Of course, when the reward doesn’t materialise, a lot of cursing ensues. The thing is, there are no binding agreements in the Wild West. It’s all done on honour, which there isn’t much around in Pairadice City.

There is more table talk when someone plays one of their event cards, which players draw during the game, to sabotage the person who previously crossed them and didn’t make good on their promise. Or maybe they play a card that helps another player to the disgust of someone else.

The event cards in Undermined! Pairadice City are the jewel in the crown. The game wants you to be ready to interfere when another player is about to win or is having too much good fortune. The game is about helping each other at the beginning, but being selfish when it counts later on. You need to form temporary alliances to manoeuvre yourself into an advantageous position. Playing dirty is what makes you win the game.

Every time we played Undermined! Pairadice City, the story the game told was hilarious. While I was walking through the mine in complete darkness after a black out and a fellow prospector was dealing with poison gas, a third player was about to win, when the fourth miner sabotaged them with a damp squib that made their explosive charge almost useless.

the "It Belongs in a Museum" event card from the box of Undermined! Pairadice City
many event cards will sabotage your opponents

Rags to Riches or So They Say

The combination of the treasures and perils deck and the event cards, plus the randomness of the dice, make for a really fun game. Everyone has control over their destiny and can improve their chances, but when it comes down to it, nobody can guarantee how the dice fall or what other players might do to you. The game is exciting and different every time. While it can take an hour to play, it doesn’t outstay its welcome. At first glance, it might look like many other games of its ilk, but when you look more closely, you will find that it is very different underneath.

So if you’re looking for a light-hearted game that pretty much all the family can play, because it’s really easy to learn and keeps everyone involved, then Undermined! Pairadice City is definitely worth a look.

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 (

Sound Effects: – © copyright 2024 BBC

Music by:


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

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