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Credit: Greenbrier Games
|Designer: Stephen Gibson
Publisher: Greenbrier Games
# Players: 1-6 players
Playtime: 60-90 mins
About (from BGG):
In a land beyond God’s reckonin’ is a place called the Forgotten West — a cursed land of sorts in the American frontier, housing the damned, the mysterious, the unfortunate. You ended up there, God knows why, and you sure ain’t leavin’ anytime soon.
The Iron Witch, a downright mysterious bein’, has turned you into a Grimslinger, a powerful witch imbued with metal, machine, and fancy elemental powers. Now yer maker’s requirin’ all his newly sired to duel each other so that he can make y’all into witches proper for his own purposes.
Grimslingers is a strategic, sci-fi fantasy western themed card game that features two different modes of play: versus and coop.
When this game arrived I had no recollection of ever agreeing that it was a good purchase but apparently approximately a year ago I said ‘yes that looks interesting’ and my hubby backed it on Kickstarter.
Fast forward to a month or so ago and Grimslingers arrived on our doorstep. My first impression was ‘wow – look at that art!’. There’s nothing else I can say, the art is amazing and absolutely beautiful.
But what about gameplay? We only played the coop campaign and have no intention of playing the duel mode (we don’t play competitive games in this house!).
The game is very easy to learn and play; not too taxing but definitely has a fair amount of strategy. It doesn’t take too long to play which is always a bonus for us given our limited (toddler-free) time. It works equally well with 2 or 3 players, and it was easy to add a 3rd player after playing the first mission without them feeling that they had been left behind.
I really like the story nature of the game – it always feels like you are trying to accomplish something and the length of time it takes you to accomplish it is up to you – do you go the direct route or the scenic route? In our first game we took the direct route and the second one the scenic route. Both games were fun from start to finish. The narrative was fun to read with just the right amount of humour and not too much blood and guts. It felt like the right amount, pausing gameplay just long enough to give you sense of purpose but not so long you forget what you are doing.
It didn’t feel too hard to play in terms of level of challenge (but then again I managed to get a super-good card just as we were fighting the final boss during Part 2 which was a pure stroke of luck – things could have been very different! That may make you think that the game is too random – but in reality, I took a real gamble and it paid off; sometimes gambles work, other times they don’t. In fact on many, many occasion my gambles didn’t pay-off!
My main concern with Grimslingers is replayability. Now we have finished the 4 missions in the campaign, I’m not sure I really would want to play these missions again especially as the game is limited to 6 key enemies . The individual character abilities are interesting, but I’ve found I rarely used mine, and the cards in each of the enemy decks did become a little repetitive (the Spectres are a particularly annoying enemy!). However, if you like card counting as a strategy then you’ll love it. That said, I really, really have enjoyed playing it and I’m not sure the lack of replayability is an issue. Legacy games you only play once through so why not this? Also, the expansion is meant to give the game a new lease of life but we’ve not got that far yet – I’ll let you know when we have!
You can find more of my thoughts on Grimslingers on Reddit.
A fun game that isn’t too taxing or too long but with just the right amount of strategy after a hard day at work. Replayability is of potential concern with just the base game (thus a 7 rating), but as a game to play through once and sell on, I’d say it’s definitely worth it, if for nothing else than to admire the beautiful art. As to whether the expansion improves replayability (which it should!), I’ll have to let you know once we have played it!
My Rating: 7/10