The quick and dirty comparison is that this really reminded me of what a board game version of Plants v Zombies would be like crossed with some Munchkin and player elimination. If that sounds awesome to you, then try the game out and probably don't read the rest of this.
Gameplay is relatively simple. Each player has their own tableau which is a 4x5 grid. You have 5 cards which are a mix of defenses and tricks. Defenses can be played on your grid to block and fight monsters, tricks are one time use that often interact with other players or their grids.
At the start of your turn you flip a card from the Action deck. That will show you how many monsters enter the board and usually has some sort of negative condition that will effect you or potentially other players during the turn.
Now, that's not too bad. The problem comes in with the actual cards. There are a lot of very powerful cards. It's not too hard to have at least one or two cards every turn that can completely reshape a player's tableau.
I don't know how many turns I was convinced that a player was too overwhelmed to be able to survive their turn, only to have them not only survive, but often have wiped every monster off their board. The power just swings wildly from turn to turn. Too wildly to make the game strategic at all, as at the start of your turn your board often doesn't look anything close to what it was like at the end of your last turn.
It reminded me of Munchkin where you throw what seems like overwhelming forces at a player and then they just get out of it every turn. Eventually someone doesn't get their way out and then they get to sit around and watch as the remaining players continue to throw everything but the kitchen sink at each other only to come out of it unscathed more often than not.
The game is highly tactical. You have to make the most out of your situation every turn. However, it feels like nothing really carries over from one turn to the next on most turns. Various cards will constantly be stealing or destroying your defenses, adding monsters out of turn, swapping entire rows and columns of stuff, etc.
I played a 4 player game. Two people were eliminated the exact same way - in a manner that left them helpless to do anything about it. The combo is to play a trick card that lets you swap any of your columns with their same number column. So, I'd swap, say, my third column with their third column. Of course, I'd make sure the column I swapped was completely full of monsters. Then I'd kill something like "The Singing Bones" which, when it dies, allows me to place it in an opponent's column (there are at least 2 monsters like this and multiple cards of them, and since they keep "respawning" they never go away). I place it in their third column, which pushes everything down, and since was already full of monsters, they are eliminated. Nothing they can even do about it. Have fun waiting for the game to end.
The game dragged on and on. As I mentioned - only one person was eliminated on their turn. The other two had to be killed out of turn when they couldn't stop it. There is some thought that goes in to how you are going to survive a round, but the card effects are beefy so you might have a few options. I don't know how many times I thought a player was done for just to see them not only survive, but be in no real danger at all by the end of their turn.
If the game lasted 15 - 20 minutes then maybe I wouldn't mind, but I'm sure it took well over an hour and we were playing pretty quickly especially once we got the hang of it.
As I said in the beginning, for some people this may be a real blast. If you like Munchkin, I would check it out. It's a different game but it evokes a lot of the same feelings for me. For me personally - those are not good feelings.
Thanks for the feedback!
I would consider playing the 2v2 variant, first team to knock someone out wins, for 4 player games given your thoughts. It's how I prefer to play given I'm not always one for watching games end (depends on the setting!), and it keeps a time cap on things.
I do apologize if our Kickstarter didn't represent the game being a "take that" style of game!
Thanks again, sorry you didn't enjoy it =/
- Last edited Fri Aug 26, 2016 6:46 am (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Fri Aug 26, 2016 6:36 am
I didn't buy the game, a friend backed it and I ended up playing with his copy. I didn't know much about it going in to it.
It's not that I dislike a "take that" style of game, either. I just prefer one where it disrupts your strategy instead of completely invalidating it. I felt like it didn't matter what I ended my turn with defense-wise, since everything would be stolen and swapped around by my next turn anyways. Your board state can be completely different from how you left it every turn and there is no protection from that.
Not all cards are super powerful, but enough of them are that we mostly switched to playing all 5 cards from our hand every turn to draw 5 new cards to dig for those super powerful cards (basically anything that alters large portions of the board). Trick cards were definitely valued over defenses. Defense seems minimally viable since you set something up and it's just all ruined by your next turn anyways. They seemed to mostly fill the role of slowing things down slightly.
Too many monsters and trick cards just have too big of effects.
Maybe playing 2v2 would work. Maybe that would cut it down - at 15-20 minutes I could probably stomach this if others wanted to play. For what it is anything over 30 minutes gets tedious pretty quickly due to lack of strategy. This game is mostly just tactics without strategy, which I think works OK in a short format.
I will say that of the 4 of us that played it, I'm sure I disliked it the most and one person (the one that won) seemed to really like it a lot. As I said, I can see how some people might enjoy it, it's just not for me at all.
Hater. This game is not to be taken incredibly seriously. It's swingy and amusing. That's the point. Maybe it's just not for you, but you could have summed that up in a few sentences. It's a funny game.