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Attack of the Mutants!» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Maybe we can reason with them…. rss

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Michael Debije
Netherlands
Eindhoven
The Netherlands
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Attack of the Mutants is a game from Yaquinto’s album series from 1981, and is designed to be played by two players. It plays in about 45 minutes.

What You Get

The game comes in Yaquinto’s Album-style boxes (a little note in the top corner states ‘not a phonograph album, game only’) so that will date this one. The cover art is very tacky, but quite appropriate for the game. Check out the Chewbacca-like character behind the sharp-breasted, unconscious woman, and the fawning owl creature in white underpants! Quite a hoot (pun intended). The album folds out into 3 sections: one with the map, done very nicely with an overhead, 3-D effect, one with a battle board with some cheesy cartoon art (my wife said it looked like it came from Robert Crumb) and game tables, and the last some pockets for storing the game equipment. You get 133 nice and thick cardboard playing pieces: blue for the science lab team and janibots, yellow for the mutants. You also have a set of wall counters and broken door counters, a card with a reduced version of the map for the advanced version. Notable is the lack of 2 dice which you need to provide. In all, a quality production, but the art will appeal to you or not.

What You Do

The premise of the game is a standard monster-movie plot: the science lab team is trying to leave the radiation-torn world of the Big Meltdown of 1993, and has almost finished the teleport machine. Outside the building, however, the mutants have mustered, and they want to break in and destroy the lab, so all will share the same fate in this ravaged world. The game is decided in 10 turns, and whoever controls the Tech room at this time wins the game.

The human player sets up his forces first. There are two Techs (Professor Applewhite and his buxom daughter, Penny) in the Tech room, a number of human guards stationed in separate rooms and corridors of the lab facility, and a mess of janitor-robots (janibots) scattered about, no more than 1 per room. The human also places a number of impassable walls throughout the complex, so the board changes every game. Then the mutant player arranges his mutants around the perimeter of the building. Each side of the 4-sided complex has one leader, and can contain a mix of ‘regular’ and radioactive mutants, at least 1 per space. The game is ready to start.

The mutants move first. The initial part of each turn involves the mutants trying to get through the doors of the complex. To do so they either need to break them down (requiring a die roll modified by the number of mutants engaged in the act) or, if there are mutants on both sides of the door, opening it with a joint effort (no roll required). Mutants them move one space. In any area containing mutants and humans/janibots there will be combat. There is no stacking limit, so there can be an awful lot of critters in a battle. The combatants are moved to the battle display, with a max of 5 on a side, and battles are done by d6 rolls, each different unit given variable chances to ‘hit’. Each hit is an elimination, combat is simultaneous, and continues until one side is wiped out. This completes the mutant turn, and now the Tech team move and fight. One wrinkle is that the janibots cannot move without the presence of a human, so there is some desperate running about trying to rally the bots. The final phase is ‘glow and go’. A number of the mutants are depicted in red: these are radioactive mutants. At this time, a six-sider is thrown for each radioactive mutant: on a roll of ‘6’ they expire, and are removed from the game.

At the end of 10 turns, control of the Tech room is assessed, and victory, defeat, or a draw is declared, depending who maintains control and with what forces.

The advanced game adds options of hidden movement, running away, overruns, and the game provides an alternate scenario where instead of trying to get in the building, the mutants arrive in the tech room and try to get out to attack the surrounding countryside! In this version, Penny can be captured, and carried about and becomes a focus for recapture…

What I Think


A lot of this game comes down to your enjoyment of the theme. If the idea of mutants named Lucy, Amos, and Haskell (yes, all the mutants and humans have names printed on the counters) clawing their way into a research facility staffed by people named Buck Bukaw, Percy Fitzwalter and Mack McKenzie who are desperately performing a holding action as they try to escape into otherspace does not tickle you, this game won’t either.

Combat is extremely rudimentary, movement simple, and the board is often too small for the amount of counters. I also run out of smashed door counters, and sometimes forget who has moved and who has not: there are mutants entering from four sides at once, so things get a little chaotic. There is a lot of dice rolling; braking down door, combat, and ‘glow and go’. The latter, especially, is a bit of a bother.

However, in capturing the feel of a 50’s or 60’s horror flick, the game has done a very good job, avoiding all unnecessary complications for a quick-moving, fast-playing game. It has entertaining player notes to put you in the mood, a host of named characters for relating a tale, and goofy art to keep things light. This one gets a light recommendation for those fond of the theme, but a gentle pass for those who have no interest in the wild events depicted.
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Jonan Jello
United States
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I'll mourn over the marble steps, Junkies of the world lay across the monuments, I climb and blister on the mount, Drunks take a piss where heroes once bled out
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Great reveiew Micheal. Since I was young, I've always wanted this game since seeing the ad in a comic book.

I find the Go and Glow phase to be really damaging to the mutant hordes and just a bit too frustrating for the mutant player.


Overall, I'm happy this game works well ifor the genre and lives up to my hype of expected entertainment.
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Hernan Ruiz Camauer
Argentina
Buenos Aires
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Hex_Enduction_Hour wrote:
Since I was young, I've always wanted this game since seeing the ad in a comic book.

Same here. Something about that pulp-comic-style ad really hooked me on the game.
 
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