HERE TO SLAY
By Unstable Unicorns
Reviewed by Steven H Silver
Here to Slay is a strategic card game from Unstable Unicorns which gives the players the chance to build a party of heroes, stab each other in the back, and kill horrific monsters. The cards contain artwork is whimsical as are the names of the heroes. The game is designed for play for between two and six players, although it works better with more players. Two-player games have a tendency to go quickly and can engender hard feelings as each play can only challenge the other player, so attacks feel more personal.
Although the game's mechanics are relatively simply, there is a learning curve as the players need to learn the various powers and abilities that each card offers the players. Each player choses a party leader from among the six available classes: fighter, bard, guardian, ranger, thief, or wizard. The specific party leader selected gives the player a bonus in gameplay depending on which class is selected. The goal of the game is to either collect the five remaining character classes or defeat a total of three of the monsters that threaten all of the players. On each turn, a player has three action points they can play. For one point, a player can draw a card from the deck, play a card from their hand, or try to use a special power that one of their played party members has. For two points a player can attack one of the monsters, although their party must have a minimum make-up in order to launch the attack. Other players can attempt to influence the outcome of any action through the use of modifiers, challengers, spells, or magical items.
Although the character classes are derived from most fantasy role playing games, the races depicted are a far cry from the elves, orcs, or dwarves usually played. Instead, fighters are depicted as bears, bards are squirrels, guardians are unicorns, wizards are rabbits, thieves are chipmunks, and rangers are foxes. The artwork will appeal to younger players and helps provide a sense of fun during the game. Even the ferocious ursine fighters are drawn in a cartoonish manner to elicit smiles are the players undermine each other and slay monsters.
Unstable Unicorns has also released an expansion set, Warriors and Druids, which adds two new party leaders and two new monsters to the game. The rules remain the same, but the addition of two new classes, warriors and druids, slightly changes the goal of the game. Players can still win by defeating three monsters, but in order to form a complete party a player now needs seven out of eight different classes of members rather than all six needed in the base game. Although this can lengthen the game and make it more likely for a player to win by killing the requisite number of monsters, it does not create an imbalance in the play and does, in fact, make the interplayer aspects of the game more important.
Here to Slay offers a light-hearted family game that can be enjoyed by players at a wide range of ages, while at the same time offering a chance to use complex strategies to gain the most useful members of your party and defeat not only the monsters, but the other players, who are trying to achieve the same goals. A game lasts a reasonable amount of time (longer with more players or with the expansion set), which means multiple rounds can be played in an evening or Here to Slay can be played with other games. The various abilities offered on the different cards makes the game eminently re-playable.
|Purchase this game|
|Purchase the Warriors and Druids expansion|