Unofficially, this week seems to have become board game week for me; after writing a few board game focused reviews, I thought it’d be a good idea to continue spotlighting small and interesting titles, especially as we’re nearing Christmas right now and, let’s face it, we could all do with getting away from this image that board games have of being associated solely with Monopoly. Especially as, any time the mainstream press write about board games with Monopoly in mind, they drone on and on about the arguments and rifts that board games cause – in my experience, board games are a wonderful way to spend time with friends and family, though this does require a willingness to experiment beyond the mainstream ‘classics’ that are overly familiar and synonymous with the term ‘board games’ to most people.
On Sunday, I covered cute little city builder Flip City and yesterday the remarkably compact push-your-luck diving game Deep Sea Adventure. Today, another very different game in the form of Rhino Hero.
A tower building game with some interesting mechanics, Rhino Hero is squarely aimed at kids – especially with the nicely cartoony visuals – but it’s a game that anyone can (and probably will!) enjoy.
Play starts with a single card on the board, showing two lines that demonstrate where the next walls should be placed. The active player places these walls in the shape shown – as best they can – then lays a roof card from their hand of five cards on the walls. Some roof cards have special effects, such as being able to add an extra card to the newly added roof (in theory, steadying it), changing the direction of play or riskily moving the Rhino Hero token to the symbol on the new floor.
The first player to use all of their roof cards wins – unless the tower falls before a player runs out of cards, in which case the player with the fewest cards left is declared the winner.
Like the two games I’ve already covered this week, Rhino Hero is yet another game that delivers a really satisfying, easy to learn, fast and fun game in a very small package. It takes the age-old pastime of building towers out of playing cards and slaps a small set of rules on it, creating a wonderfully tense and enjoyably straightforward little experience with a lovely, appealing visual aesthetic that’s suitable for all ages and skill levels.
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