Designer: Maxime Desrosiers
Number of Players: 2-4
Duration: 15- 30 minutes
I was approached by Maxime Desrosiers to review Castle Loot which is currently on Kickstarter until Sunday 31st July 2016. At the time of printing the game is not funding well, and to be frank that is quite unfair. I think this might be a case of bad Kickstarter page, good game. I don’t want this review to be about what impact a Kickstarter page has on how well the project funds, but people need to be aware that if you don’t put the effort into making the thing you want funded attractive, people are not going to want to touch your product even if you are giving away gold (ok maybe people would take free gold).
Castle Loot is a game by (according to BGG) first time designer Maxime Desrosiers. Castle Loot is a dexterity game, like my last review this is not something that I would normally play, more because I haven’t found one that is going to be to both mine and my wife’s taste than anything else. Anyway, this game was given to us to play and review so what better chance to check one out.
The easiest way to describe Caslte Loot is that it is an RPG game of snap. The game comes with 60 Castle cards which go in the centre of the table. You then surround the castle cards with the 4 equipment cards which you will need on your journey. Then you are ready to play – I love a game with a quick set up!
Players take it in turns in drawing cards from the central Castle deck, they place the card in front of them and carry out the action required from that card type. I won’t go into the ins and out of the exact rules here, but you either get rewards or hinderances depending on the cards effect. Play continues with a player until they draw a duplicate card at which point their turn ends and the dexterity begins!
Depending on what double card was drawn, depends on what equipment card players are racing to grab. The player that grabs it first wins the Looted cards and keeps them in their Loot pile.
The game ends when all the castle cards have been played, and scoring is done from the loot pile that players ave collected over the course of the game. Points are awarded to players for the number of gems that they have collected, and the player with the most points wins.
The things I like about this game, is that players are forced to be watching what’s going on the whole time. There is no break to quickly check your phone. It is also incredibly simple to pick up and play and the rules are easy to teach anyone.
The problem is that you are severely limited in what your choices actually are. You have no power to determine what cards you lay in front of you, as they are being drawn one by one and being played as they are drawn. So stopping yourself getting a double and ending your turn is completely out of your control. The simplicity in this game actually ruins it. If you actually had some control as to when you get to stop turning cards over then at least you feel like you achieved something. But being forced to stop because you drew a double seems unfair.
The dexterity part of the game is fab! Again really simple, you draw a double Dark Stairs what do you need…..a torch. So grab it before someone else does. This part of the game was really fun, and is actually the only control you have at any point. Which is a shame, because I think there is a lot of potential in this which could have been executed better.