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Dawn Under
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Store:  Family Games
Edition:  Dicke Luft in der Gruft / Dawn Under
Theme:  Horror / Spooky
Genre:  Memory
Format:  Board Games

Dawn Under

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Product Awards:  

Ages Play Time Players
6+ 20-30 minutes 2-6

Designer(s): Norbert Proena

Manufacturer(s): Rio Grande Games, Zoch

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Product Description

Help! The sun is rising! In the false dawn before sunrise, the vampires search for a dark resting place for the day. But, just when you think you have found the perfect grave, you find it is already occupied. Or worse, it contains dreaded garlic!

Dawn Under is a fun game of searching and memory. It requires some thought, a lot of memory, and, perhaps, a bit of bluff. But, memory is your most important tool in your search for daytime resting places for your vampires.

Dawn Under: a family game without numbers, calculations, and scoring. It is a light but fun game for children, but a challenging game for adults.

Product Awards

Games Magazine Awards
Family Game Nominee, 2006
Spiel des Jahres
Nominee, 2004

Product Information


  • 1 gameboard
  • 66 grave lids
  • 60 vampires
  • 18 garlic bunches
  • 18 wooden stakes
  • 1 rule booklet
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Product Reviews


Average Rating: 5 in 4 reviews

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Dawn Under-good for the brain
July 09, 2006

Just played Dawn Under for the first time today at the board game group that I belong to. None of the 5 of us who tried it today had played it before but all learned how to play in a few minutes. It has to be on those kind of games that they recommend to boost your brain power since you have to try to remember who has opened which grave. A fun theme and it would be good for all ages--I played with 30's and 40's.

Dawn Under = Fun Vampire Memory Game
June 14, 2006

Dawn Under is a memory game filled with vampires, tombs, stakes, garlic and rats. Easy to understand rules and extremely easy to play with first time players. Match up vampires with empty tombs but watch out for garlic, already filled tombs. The rats throw an interesting twist in the game but you'll just have to find out for yourself!

A hit at my Boardgames Group
June 12, 2006

I know this is a kid's game, but it's a lot of fun for adults with a sense of humor. In fact, if you know any lighthearted Goths, this is a must-have holiday present.

Ages at my monthly Boardgames Meetup run from 20's to 50's. We're casual gamers who meet once a month, so we're not the target demograhic for the intense strategy driven games which take 4 hours to learn. Those are great, but they don't allow for a lot of socializing.

If you're looking for a fast, quirky game, I'd highly recommend Dawn Under. With six players, it took around 20 - 30 minutes per game. In fact, the game was such a hit it was played 5 times in 4 hours by several different groups of people.

Dawn Under is basically a theme version of that old childhood classic, "Concentration."

The large, incredibly sturdy board is laid out like a cartoon graveyard. There are sixty shallow graves on the board. At the beginning of the game, you shuffle the coffin lids and randomly distribute them over the graves. Each lid has a color on the underside. The sixty vampire tokens are divided evenly among the players. All but two are face down. Each player also gets three bundles of garlic.

Gameplay is dirt simple: match the colors of the face-up vampires to the colors of the coffin lids. If you open an empty grave and the colors don't match, you can add a bundle of garlic. If you open an occupied grave, you have to take a stake. When you get three stakes, the other players all give you one of their vampire tokens. If you open a grave full of garlic, you have to take a vampire token from the player who put the garlic in the grave.

The game ends when a player puts all their vampires to rest.

The board and pieces are unusually sturdy and durable - probably because the manufacturer expects it to take a beating from kids. The cartoony artwork adds to the fun. If you're looking for a short, casual game, I highly recommend Dawn Under.

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