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Subject: Rumpelstiltskin and the Gingerdead House rss

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You bought a house in the enchanted forest without doing your due diligence. Now a hoard of fairytale monsters are coming to destroy it. Can you fight off their advances and be the last 'man' standing?

I backed this game on Kickstarter on a whim. I got really excited by the artwork and story blurbs and thought that the premise was hilarious (I think I may have been binge watching a lot of Once Upon a Time at that time...). It also didn’t hurt that the game was pretty cheap too! This was in fact, my very first backed Kickstarter.



To be honest, I would probably not have bought this game if it Kickstarted today. Since then, I’ve learned a lot more about my gaming style and tastes (though I’m sure that the journey has just begun) and I've tried to really exercise discipline when it comes to Kickstarters.

However, while I do not particularly enjoy this game, Lucas really does (he likes being able to play evil cards on me and steal things off my board and likes to have a non-thinky game for times when he just wants to chill). In fact, he has requested this game multiple times and for some reason had a more positive initial reaction to it than Scythe (*sigh*).

The pros?
-The two of us are able to play a game in 15-20mins
-The rules took literally 2 minutes to learn (nothing complicated or fussy here)
-I love the cards: the artwork and special effects are awesome and hilarious
-family friendly (though I have no kids so sometimes I’m a little bit obtuse about things people would consider inappropriate). Game is pretty luck heavy so I can see kids having an equal chance to win against adults. Skill is not really a factor.

The cons?
Buyers need to be aware: There is no complicated strategy here. This is simple, mindless fun. If you come in expecting something more you will be disappointed.

Other things to know?
-this is a player elimination game. If that’s not your thing stay away. If it is, great.

So....How does it work?
This is a “tower defense” game. Players get hands of cards from the player deck which consist of a mix of defenses (to be placed on your board and used to fight off encroaching monsters) and tricks (that can be used to attack your opponent or get some special benefit for yourself). For instance, a typical trick might allow you to steal a defense off an opponent’s board.



Each turn has five phases.

First, you draw an action card which outlines how many monsters enter the field (and possibly other effects that will constrain or aid you in the turn).

Second, you draw monsters and place them on your field observing any special effects listed on their cards (Monster cards indicate which lane (aka column) they enter on your field).

Third, you play any defenses or tricks from your hand.

Fourth, monsters advance one row (from left to right on your field) and any resulting combat between monsters and your defenses is resolved. If a monster gets past row 1, you have lost the game.

Finally, you draw back up to 5 player cards.

The components
Nothing special here in terms of quality, though I will say the player boards were heavier than I was expecting (which is a good thing).

The artwork is where this game shines. Graphics and card effects are filled with a sense of humor.

Time to set up and play
Nonexistent set-up time. This game is pretty much plunk the boards down, shuffle the cards and go!

Complexity/Rule book
No complexity here. Rules take less than five minutes to read and explain.

Player Interaction/Conflict
Some good player interaction here, as players can play “tricks” on opponents to steal/destroy defenses, prevent them from playing defenses/tricks, or other negative impact.

Players
We played this with two and it worked well. I’ve heard the game is excessively long with more players (but I have no inclination to try this out with more.

Overall
This is never going to be my favourite game, but it does make me laugh. It’s worth it (to me) for the fun artwork alone (and the fact that the hubby always wants to play).
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Mark W
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Almost exactly how I feel about it. My buddy like it a lot so it gets played. There is some strategy but mostly it is just mindless fun.
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