When it comes to card-based games where you go head to head against the rest of your group, you need a well balanced group of people. All of your friends need to be equally against each other, without targeting specific people at the start. On top of that, the game needs to be engaging and fun to play through. Whether it was the game or our group, Hostile Hoarders just didn’t gel with us.
Hostile Hoarders is a pretty easy game to understand. Each player gets a random character card, with a job role on it like chef, for example. This character card has an icon on the bottom, which can be useful if you end up playing weapons that match that character. This didn’t actually come up much in the gameplay, but when it did, it mattered a lot.
Then, you will gain a hand of cards. You are able to keep all but two cards at the start, and must place four cards face down in front of you. These cards in front of you are your loot — your weapons and ways of keeping yourself safe from other players. When it’s your turn, you can either draw cards, play cards based on the description they have, or attack other players.
When you attack, you simply take a card from your hand — normally a weapon — and put it face down against someone’s face down card. At the same time, both cards will be flipped, and if the attacker’s strength is bigger than the defender’s defense, the attacker wins. If your card matches your character or their card matches their character, both the weapons defense and attack end up being the same number — whichever is the highest of the two.
If you win on the attack, the card you are attacking gets destroyed and your card goes back in your hand. If the defense wins, they win the card that you attacked with and keep their defending card in place. If the card is removed from the field in front of you, then you can find some instant cards or cards with the ability to place some down, which can refill this area. If you ever end up with zero cards in this area, you have died. When you do win a battle, you gain a green, ration card, which has a random number on it (one to three). If you get five points worth of green cards, you win the game.
In our game of Hostile Hoarders, it wasn’t hard to remember the cards we had seen — and with cards that allow sneak peeking and jumbling the cards in front of you to help — it was pretty balanced. We did have a few group members battling it out against each other. This meant that they were using both of their actions to just fight each other. With the fact that anyone can play instant cards to help people, alliances were formed. It was kinda intense, with a few strings of events happening, with everyone pitching in cards to help who they liked.
The game itself felt random in a lot of ways, but especially with the scoring. The graphics on the cards were often really rude with lots of toilet humor. It just wasn’t a fun experience. I also feel that the game would really have benefited from a playmat, showcasing the green point cards and showing spaces for the face down cards in front of the player.
Hostile Hoarders can be purchased via their website.