Someone asked me recently on BGG what game would I want to play when I am feeling blue. My first instinct was to think of my favorite game, and get it to the table. But, that’s really not the truth. I’m rarely down, but when I am burdened a bit by life’s unfairness, playing Viticulture or Concordia means I have to find the right group, and then I need to dedicate the time to play or even teach it if there are new gamers.
No, the more I think about it, the game I want to get to the table if I am having a tough day would be one that will induce a lot of laughs, and get me out of whatever funk I find myself temporarily in.
I think we’ve found a game that fits the bill recently. Jason Bice of B-Team Games was kind enough to send us an prototype version of his brand new game coming out on Kickstarter this week, which he calls Loot The Body.
Loot the Body, designed by Jason himself, is a quick little filler of a card game, and plays with two to five players in under 45 minutes. The version we broke out for testing this weekend is a beta version, and we understand from Jason that there have been some pretty significant changes to the game since we playtested our version. But, we also understand that the basic concepts of the game remain.
In Loot the Body, players choose character cards from tradiational fantasy archetypes like a rogue or fighter. The main goal of the party is to make it through the dungeon, but the main goal of each player is to collect the most treasure/money. Each character has different special abilities (like not taking damage in certain situations) and a unique max health. The artwork on the character cards is especially striking, and is one of the highlights of the game.
This is one of those cooperative-until-it-is-competitive games, which is one of my favorite genres. In essence, players need to work together to beat the baddies, get the treasure, and defeat traps, but there will be times when a player will definitely consider screwing over another player by playing special cards or with other strategies, so as to get an advantage in grabbing the loot.
And that is exactly why a game like this can make me smile and get me out of a funk. There’s a real thrill when you can switch one of your worst cards with someone else’s best cards by playing a special card. There’s that groan that escapes when someone does it right back to you. I love how my heart rate jumps just a tiny bit when you pull a great card that you know will help you finish off one of the boss monsters and score some big victory points.
Loot The Body is not one of those “so serious” games where it really hurts when there is some backstabbing. In this game, if you have a bad round, you’re just going to get right back in the game with new cards and new health points in the next round. And even if you lose, the game does not last that long, so it is easy to forget about the take-that-events that just happened, and set up another game.
In our playtests this weekend, there was a lot of laughter — we played cards quickly, there was a lot of pointing fingers, and tons of whooping-it-up moments. All of us agreed, even with the earlier version that we got to try, that there’s a lot of game here. We looked at the new rules that Jason describes on his website, and we can see that they really add to the game. One of the quibbles that we had — okay more than just a minor quibble, it was a major annoyance — was the information overload that appears on all of the cards. But, it looks like Jason and his team have responded to a lot of constructive criticism about the layout of the cards, and then fixed this with the new graphic design and some corresponding tweaks to the rules. That willingness to understand when a game needs a step or two back so as to make a big leap forward makes Jason a designer not only to admire but also to watch as he matures. Plus, the changes were very welcome, and make this a more enticing game for us.
All in all, this is a Kickstarter we all want to check out. If the price is right, and the production quality and art are as good as it looks from the version we saw, then it is a definite card game to consider. We’ll keep an eye out for this Kickstarter.
What do you think? Is this a game you’re interested in? Do you like take-that that come in a nice filler sized package? Let us know in the comments.
Until next time, Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler!