Becoming a member of the Paranormal Research Bureau (B. P. R. D.) was really easy. I was very happy about it, but only until Abe explained the real reason. This position is free every two weeks, because the helpers simply don’t last long alive. This is a very dangerous job. There is no choice, but to be better, survive and become a real investigator as quickly as possible! They are far from being at risk, because they enter the secured space.
All the unusual research team tickets come from James M. Hewitt and Sophie Williams. The title is absolutely clear – Hellboy: The Board Game. It is a game based on the famous Mike Mignola comic book, which is released under the name Dark Horse Comics and especially in the production of Mantic. Esdevium Games takes care of the distribution of this news, which celebrated great success on Kickstarter (nearly £ 1.5 million).
The box is massive and its lid won’t leave you in doubt, who’s the star of the box. Devilish looking red character. Under the lid, however, a board is waiting for the players, which equips the players with stacks of tokens and marks the scales of destruction and intelligence. Together with these components comes also a set of destruction cards. The plan, however, includes space for one case deck. There is six of them and their contents are secret, reveled as you play. Following the instructions of the given story, players prepare a map and fill the rooms with random encounter cards.
Each adventure also includes other monsters, whose cards and miniatures occupy the boxes at the bottom of the board. However, individual game participants also have to choose their hero, get his card with statistics, a miniature (set on the starting point), a set of three action tokens and also start equipment.
From then on, the whole group will follow a common effort – to reveal, who is behind all the human trouble as quickly as possible. If they do this before the confrontation token reaches the end of the scale, they get a small advantage. Otherwise, they will have to face the enemy head on.
But at the beginning, such thoughts of the final duel are still premature. In fact, players each have three action points, that they can use to move around the map, explore their environment, and get clues (push the token on the investigation scale). For some of these activities, players need dice, because they will perform tests and determine, how successful they have been.
Above all, heroes can fight. And now the dice play the most important role. The battling level of the hero is represented by the color of his combat space (on hero card) and it corresponds to the shade of the dice. They differ in strength. The result, along with the bonus dice, must still be lowered by the player’s defenses and remaining value is marked by the monster as an injury.
Monsters appear on the map as a result of an exploration, because they will place them on a given location. And some more tokens with them. And if some monsters are still on the map at the beginning of a round, they get a chance to attack their enemies and deal them some damage. But before that, heroes can also defend by rolling dice in their defense. Characters can shake off the injuries, rest and heal themselves. Even so, sometimes there may be a situation, where the hero is eliminated after losing all life points, but even after that, he can return to the fight. He just has to wait a while, before he can join team again.
At the end of each round, one card of destruction is revealed, which usually has an unpleasant surprise for the player (for example, to move forward the doom indicator). Players must keep in mind the deck of the case, whose top card is the only one, they can see throughout the game. At the same time, it describes some conditions under which its requirement can be met and players can advance to the next act.
Sooner or later the time will come for confrontation with the boss. For this, players will use the other side of the main board, which now shows a boss life scale and place for its cards – basic stats and especially a behavioral deck. But now the stunned agents are not getting back to the fight. Once they are knocked out, they’re out. It’s just a battle for life and death. And here is where the whole team can be defeated, if he fails to successfully eliminate enemy before falling down.
Hellboy: The Board Game has a great theme in its pocket and an excellent message is, that the game doesn’t throw its chance away. It offers a slightly story-driven and very atmospheric fun, that you can hardly reject, if you like adventure.
What is interesting is the initial discovery, that makes the individual cases an unforgettable experience for the first time. Before the players with the result of the cards meet surprise. This will disappear with repeated play, but the game is surprisingly replayable. This is mainly because you want to win, where you failed for the first time. Variability is missing only in enemies. There could certainly be more of them in the base box.
The more players and thus the heroes on the map, the easier the game gets. Yet we enjoyed it the most in two, when you get just right piece of the action. It is also possible to defeat evil in a solo play, where the player controls two heroes by himself.
We like the system of skills and dice. While adding unpredictable rolls to the game, their increasing level depending on the color is excellent move. In addition, characters can gradually improve through their abilities and equipment. Each of the heroes has some special skill. But most of the gameplay still revolves around dice rolls, so if it’s not your cup of tea, you probably won’t find satisfaction in here.
The game is quite nice, and when you do play it, you can expect a fun for an hour. But what is significantly slower is generally the whole setup. Although it may look simple from our description, it is not. Players always have a goal in front of them, that they are trying to accomplish, and it’s not just running around in an attempt to beat everyone.
Some rules, such as frog hordes or inferno, happening at the end of a round, are easy to forget. Other rules are quite specific, like shooting to places, where there are other characters. They force you to manipulate the results of the dice and do not seem credible at all, but above all, it significantly disrupts the course of the game.
A big problem is maintaining monsters’ lives, which rules recommend, that you apply directly to the miniatures. And that’s certainly not right, if they were to travel with the creature.
Of course, there are many more elements in the game, that make up the whole experience. But we didn’t want to complicate the description of the rules, so we’ll come back to them now. All the classic elements for this type of combat games await players. Heroes can get various states as a result of an attack, they have to think about range and line of sight while shooting at a distance and can help each other in combat. But they have to be in the same place.
In other cases, other interesting situations will come into play. Across all six stories, the game is interesting and still brings something new. Moreover, the path to victory is not easy at all. Packages have each specified difficulty. The simplest is not very tough. Perhaps it is also because you are still learning the game, but once you get to story two, everything gets the pace right and steers in interesting direction.
The processing is great, especially with regard to the number of miniaturesand the quality of the graphics. The rules are cleverly divided into two parts – a small handbook, that walks you through a piece of the first scenario, and then a detailed rulebook. Although it is not structured perfectly for complex learning, it contains everything needed to start. And that’s what players want nowadays.
Hellboy: The Board Game is a fun-filled game, in which discovery, struggle and tension have all their place. And come in abundance. But there is also room for disappointment and it is a pity, that in some elements, the game is unnecessarily detailed. But it’s all about replayability, which won’t keep you from playing the script for the second time. Its even fun to do it again. But the good feeling will go away after several replays. Luckily, six stories mean a lot of fun even considering a lower game time, so we’re happy to give Hellboy a little higher grade. This game deserves it.
Více o hře.
+ the basic rules are simple
+ luxury processing
+ story feeling
+ final confrontation
+ game time
+ interesting mechanism of dice
- less variability of enemies
- long setup
- you can forget some rules
- replayability (although there is one, but not nearly endless)