At last night's North East Nerd Night, I had the chance to play another great two-player game, Rampaging Jotunn. It wasn't the first time I'd played (and it certainly won't be the last, since I was a first-day backer on Kickstarter), but I wanted to share my thoughts about the game as its Kickstarter enters its final days.
You and an opposing viking clan are competing to be the last standing on an island that just so happens to have a giant, nearly senseless brute on it who's prone to trampling villages and armies. You and your opponent start the game by randomly selecting three terrain tiles each, each with 10 hexes on it. Players then alternate placing these tiles down, all touching a central hex, where the Jotunn starts the game. Once the tiles are placed, players place their villages in locations they think they can protect - since once your villages are gone, that's the game! To help with this, each player gets two armies to help protect their three villages - or to attack their opponent's stronghold.
|Matthias Bonnici, publisher & co-designer of Rampaging Jotunn, demoing the game.|
The key to winning is using a mixture of your own power and the Jotunn's power to wipe out your adversary, trampling their armies (though more of those can be raised through sacrificing cards in their hands) and squashing their villages (and once those are gone, they're gone for good).
Rampaging Jotunn is a great game. It looks great, plays smoothly, and feels almost entirely intuitive after one game. The randomized / chosen set up of the island works well to make the game different each time and to have players start strategizing even as they're setting up the board. The face-up army movement cards are brilliant, as you have to choose when to advance quickly, knowing that you won't be able to do so again until you've used your other cards. These movement cards also enable your opponent to think strategically about where to move, knowing what your potential is.
|More folks enjoying Rampaging Jotunn at Dex Con.|
Visually, the game is fantastic. The graphic design is great (unsurprising, since Matthias is a graphic designer by trade), and the art is perfect for the game. There's enough in the game to appeal to more strategic players, and there's enough luck to keep new players feeling like they have a real shot at all points. I strongly, strongly recommend Rampaging Jotunn, on Kickstarter right now!
Doug Levandowski is a game designer who co-created Gothic Doctor, co-created UnPub: The