If you haven’t read my musings on Hostage Negotiator, it’s a solo hand management game where you are at the mercy of dice rolls. There are different Abductors you can expand the core game with, each with different objectives and triggers. Skill tests are made with two dice, and conversation cards let you try and talk down the Abductor to release Hostages.
And I know that a lot of people have already tuned out. This is a pity because Hostage Negotiator is an enjoyable puzzle that the random nature of dice rolls makes eminently replayable.
Why am I droning on about Hostage Negotiator? Because yesterday the second game to use the system has launched on Kickstarter – Final Girl.
Why would I be interested in Final Girl?
Final Girl won’t be for everyone. This time, I think the theme will either make or break it for most. Now, you play scenarios that are heavily inspired by horror movies.
You get a stereotypical ‘killer’ and a location. These can be mixed and matched for variety. The location is the first significant deviation from the traditional Hostage Negotiator formula.
You then select your Final Girl – this is the character that will have the big showdown with the big bad. In true horror movie fashion, your last health has the potential to be an adrenaline rush, giving you one more chance to win.
Hostages are replaced by Victims in Final Girl. These victims are positioned around the location, and you must weigh up saving victims or letting the killer do their thing.
Umm, OK. That doesn’t sound very interesting.
This is a problem with the game system. Until you play a round or two, it’s hard to talk about the feeling the system elicits in you.
Each round, you need to try and save up enough to buy cards for the next round. These cards will let you move, fight, alter dice rolls – there are a lot of choices. There is also the luck factor – if you fail checks, your turn can end immediately, making future turns harder.
The luck mitigation in Hostage Negotiator was brutal. You could sacrifice two cards from your hand to create success but at the cost of other abilities that turn.
Hostage Negotiator has crushed me and elated me because of a die roll. You now have more chances to convert cards into success, but this only makes me more curious as to what extra obstacles I will have to encounter.
This still doesn’t sound that interesting.
Me just writing about it doesn’t help. As you know, I am currently starting the path to update site content. Right now I can’t play a round of Hostage Negotiator to show you what the game is like to play.
Luckily, some others have had the chance to play with the prototype of Final Girl. Hopefully, they will be able to show you better than I can describe it!
If you want to try the original game, grab it on Android or iOS. The graphics aren’t great, but the mechanics are very faithful to the source. This is the best way to find out if these sorts of games are for you.
And you will want to know if it is for you, because of the price…
Wait, it’s how much?
Yep. Van Ryder Games come at a premium, and it’s harder to justify that cost compared to games like Frosthaven based purely on components.
It really depends on the sort of gaming you do. If you are a solo player, you will have literally hours of fun with Final Girl. I know I have close to two hundred hours of Hostage Negotiator under my belt. And that is without touching half of the extra abductor packs I have to extend it even further!
I have gone all-in and flipping up on getting the 3D minis as well. Meeples work well, but it’s only a little extra. I will sleep on it. Comparing the cost to Frosthaven is fair, but so is the number of playable hours you can get from the game.
But if you have made it this far, give Final Girl a look over on Kickstarter. I have yet to have a Van Ryder Game fail me in terms of immersion and value for money!
Until next time,