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  • Writer's pictureJared Neal

The Boy Who Cried Wolf - A Howling Good Time

Updated: Jun 7, 2021

(The pictured copy of the game is a print and play version I made, from a file I purchased from PNP Arcade. If you want to learn more about my process for making print and play games, check it out here)

Retail Price: $12

Player Count: 3-5 (best at any count)

Age Range: 8+ (3+ in our experience)

Play Time: 15 mins. (consistent with our experience)

Complexity: 2 out of 10 (consistent with our experience)

Mechanisms: Bluffing, Voting

Designer: Jonathan H. Liu

Artist: Marty Cobb

Publisher: Button Shy Games

Educational Value:

  • Strategic Thinking

  • Deductive Reasoning

  • Non-verbal Communication

  • Probabilities

Flavor Text:

“Stuck on boring sheep duty again. Everyone knows there haven't been any wolf attacks in months. Maybe it's time to make this job a little more exciting: I'll cry wolf and see who comes running!

Can't wait to see the looks on their faces... hey, what was that noise?”


In The Boy Who Cried Wolf, you are simply drawing cards from the common deck, and then either claiming it is a wolf or passing. If it is a wolf you must cry wolf, but if it is a sheep you can either pass, or pretend it is a wolf.


Shuffle the deck of cards, and place them in a pile in the middle of the table.


Starting with the first player, each player will take one card on their turn. If the card you take is a wolf, you must cry wolf, and if it is a sheep, you can either say pass or cry wolf. If you cry wolf, the other players must vote on whether they think you are telling the truth, but giving a thumbs up representing you are, and a thumbs down if they think you are lying. If you are lying, you will get a point for each person who thought you were telling the truth, and if you were telling the truth, each player who doubted you will lose a point. The game ends when a player reaches 10 points, or after 5 wolves have been drawn.


As is the case with most bluffing games, this game is purely about being able to read people, and so there really isn’t any luck per say. I know it is hard to say there is strategy in such a simple game, but you do have to think through when you bluff, and the added risk of losing a point if you falsely accuse the boy crying wolf, means you have to think hard about whether it makes sense that someone would be bluffing.


The artwork is very simple in this game, but it is pretty cute, and definitely fits the theme.


There really isn’t much theme, but the actions do match the story of The Boy Who Cried Wolf.

Replayability/Fun Factor:

It is highly replayable, in that no two games are ever going to be the same, because you are playing the other players more than you are the actual cards. Especially for younger kids, this game is an absolute blast, as they really seem to relish the opportunity to try and trick you, and to try and call your bluff.


This game is an excellent game to have in your pocket and break out when you have just a few minutes of downtime somewhere. It isn’t one you are going to jump to play with a group of adults, but especially younger kids seem to love this game. It is such a simple concept, and no words or symbols to understand, just simply trying to read other people, and think about the probability of someone having a wolf or not. This game is going to work for kids preschool age on up.

+ Easy to learn

+ Quick to play

+ High replayability

+ Fun player interaction

- Not much substance other than player interaction

- Won’t hold up if played too many times in a row

Final Score:

Jared - 6.5

Abigail - 7

Other Games You Might Like:

Cockroach Poker, Dinosaur Tea Party, Durian, One Night Ultimate Werewolf

This game was purchased from PNP Arcade, and is available for print and play here or the retail version is available here (this isn't an affiliate link).

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