Those Pesky Humans Review
By Minion Games and designed by Clay Gardner and James Mathe
Please note that a review copy of this game was generously provided by the folks at Minion Games.
Those Pesky boys at Minion games have produced a dungeon crawler called Those Pesky Humans and since a number of others have had their say, its time for Boardgames in Blighty to toss in a viewpoint.
If you aren’t familiar with dungeon crawlers, in their most simple form, they are games where a group of adventurers (usually a fighter, a magic user, a thief and some kind of spiritual weapon wielding-type) of different races such as humans, dwarves, or elves explore a dungeon or crypt, usually to destroy a big ol baddie and his minions, grabbing whatever treasures, magic potions, weapons they can carry, whilst avoiding traps and other surprises. The baddies are usually ogres, skeletons, goblins, dark elves, wolves, etc.
Its all J.R.R Tolkien’s fault really, what with his Lord of the Rings nonsense and then the likes of Gary Gygax and others coming up with the Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game. From which a number of dungeon crawler board games spun out over the years. All good fun if you like exploring and bashing creepy enemies with a war hammer and collecting cool treasures. The problem is though… ITS BEEN SO DONE BEFORE!
So have Minion Games come up with anything new or different enough at least to make you want to play their game? Well let’s see…
Those Pesky Humans is basically a 2-player game for ages 13+ (although I think 10+ would be fine) but can be played by up to 4 with one baddie player and the others managing the humans. It shoots out of the gate from the start with a clear vision of giving us a not so serious take on the dungeon crawler as tends to be the case with a number of others. This is more akin to a silly take on the genre, with brilliant comic book type art on all the pieces. No plastic figures, just silly looking human characters in plastic stands that look really goofy but that’s what its all about. The dungeon is made up with a bunch of interchangeable hexagons which makes for replayability. A real plus.
There are cards with powers, abilities, encounters, and baddie minions, each with a number of hits they can take before they keel over. The usual diet of these types of games is all here for the most part so I won’t waste time describing them other than to say its all very colorful and well produced. The amusing comic book art helps this game to stand by itself compared to other crawlers.
The basic premise or mission is for the adventurers to grab 3 jewels and then retreat out of the dungeon with them. This differs from other crawlers where the body count matters as well as zapping the big boss at the end. In this game, these are basically a bunch of thieving scallywags who want to grab the jewels without so much as a “by your leave” from the Ogre Lord who never caused them any trouble. Some people! So this is quiet a simple straightforward bash with the Ogre player sending his minions forward while the thieving adventures try to get away with the jewels. I actually have more sympathy for the Ogre.
Overall the game works well, and the best part of all is that it is relatively short compared to other crawlers. This makes it more likely to hit the gaming table as the set-up is easy and fast, and the gameplay simple and fast. If you don’t want to mess with stats and building up characters, just get in there and start swinging a sword or sending magic against the baddies… or if you want to cackle with glee as you keep sending your minions charging through the dungeon with a promise of fresh meat without worrying about alignment… this is a good choice to hit the table. The humor works and keeps it all lighthearted and you can get stuck into the enemy, no muss, no fuss. One thing it could use is a table showing the various key rules in a cheat sheet form to save time going into the rulebook to find odd bits and pieces.
What you don’t get is a storyline, an experience of any kind. So it depends what you are looking for. If you want a lot of depth and storyline, and to gt a bit into character or at least have characters you can have empathy for. This isn’t the game. This is all about smack, crunch, thwack. etc…… and that’s about it. short and simple.
Did it work for me?
On the level that it is pitched at, Those Pesky Humans works well. If you want a short amusing dungeon bash, this a good choice. If you feel the need to be immersed in a story and and more role-playing aspects, you will need to look elsewhere.
Absolutely as its simple to get into, provide some laughs and is very playable.
Boardgames in Blighty rating – 6.5 out of 10
For more information about Those Pesky Humans and other games by Minion Games, go to – http://www.miniongames.com/