Let's face it, if you are a PnP game creator and don't have the skills/connections to make it look nice, chances are it won't be easily noticed. Not a problem for Dr. Mindflip, the mind who recently gave us the lovingly narrated RPG The Reverie Engine. Deckula is so charming to look at, that it immediately draws you in and compels you to play it. It is at the same time sinister, seductive and humorous, like a 1000-year old vampire who's had one too many glasses of the finest vintage.
This is a quick but engaging game that you can learn in literally minutes. It's dead easy. All you have to do on you turn is reveal a card from the main deck and decide if you want to keep or discard it. Keeping will cost you energy, so you have to choose wisely and only buy the cards that will either let you get rid of nosy visitors or those that may grant you points in the end. Your goal is not just to survive but also to refurbish your mansion with opulent decor.
Some visitors are very annoying: they destroy your furnishings and your trusty helpers, and tend to show up at the door uninvited. If too many gather up at the same time, they won't let you finish your renovations, so you have to make sure they are "taken care of". If you manage to cycle through the deck, you win the game and then calculate your score. Since some visitors cause more trouble than others, you can raise the difficulty by shuffling in the ones that may be harder to deal with.
For a 10-minute game, this one is a joy to play. As I have written here in the past, I am generally not very fond of quick games because they don't satisfy me as much. I couldn't resist this one though, and I didn't regret it. It seems to be a bit on the easy side: I won all three of my games today, even at the highest difficulty, with an average score of 7. Perhaps I was lucky? I will play it some more to see. If you haven't yet checked the annual solitaire PnP contest, go ahead. It's dripping with exciting offerings.