Sometimes you want a simple game that can challenge you
One thing that I always enjoy about gaming is all of the different types of gaming around. Want to play Card Games, Board Games, Video Games, Role Playing Games? No problem. But what type? Do you want a quick one-off light romp or a multi-session campaign where every choice matters?
There are a number of speed matching type games already around. Jungle Speed is one that instantly comes to mind. Snap is another. Overall wildly different games, but they share one key mechanic – the first person to quickly recognise a matching pattern is rewarded.
So why am I talking about such a basic game? Because at it’s heart, that’s exactly what Whoosh: Bounty Hunters is!
But it also isn’t. For a simple and very quick pattern recognition game, Whoosh: Bounty Hunters adds a couple of unique twists.
The game’s narrative is simple. All over the kingdom, creatures have begun to appear. They look so cute and harmless, that people just naturally come over to give them a pet.
It’s at this point, the creatures reveal their true monstrous intentions, and the good meaning folk suddenly become the monsters meal.
To help put a stop to this, bounty hunters (the players) are engaged to capture these monsters and keep the people safe.
So the designers won’t get awards for originality, but to me, you really don’t want a lot of story for a game designed to play in ten or so minutes.
And the game is very simple. You divide up the monster cards into three equal piles, and reveal the topmost of each pile.
Players then take it in turns revealing cards from their equipment stacks. These cards will reveal either a weapon symbol or a magic symbol. Once the card is revealed, players compare ALL players visible symbols to see if the cards in play match a monsters symbols. If not, the next player reveals their card and play continues.
If there are matching symbols, the ‘snap’ mechanism kicks in and the first player to put their hand on the monster with the matching symbol puts the card in their play area face up. A new monster is drawn, and all player cards are returned face down to the bottom of their player decks.
If a player claims a card when the right combination isn’t present, they still take the card but they put it face down in front of them. This placement is very important.
Once one of the monster piles has been emptied, the game ends. Players add the score in the top left corner of the face-up monster cards and subtract a point for each face-down monster card. Once the scores are tallied, the player with the highest score wins!
The only real twists in the game is there is a small number of combo cards and failed attack cards. Combo cards show more than one symbol but act normally otherwise, failed attack cards show a symbol but it’s broken into pieces. These don’t count to the monsters pattern and is a good way to trick others into prematurely claiming a card.
For me, Whoosh: Bounty Hunters is a cute, fun, easy to teach filler game that’s easy to take with you as it’s essentially just a pack of cards. For gamers that play with small children, it’s a great alternative to a lot of other games like this I have played. The three monster piles mean you have to concentrate on more than one combination at a time, but is still simple enough that younger players can play without assistance.
This may be a pass for a lot of players, but it’s a game I would love to try out especially with some younger players.
Until next time,