Review – Loot and Scoot from Victory Point Games
Designer – Chris Taylor
Art – Tim Allen, Scott Everts and Chris Taylor
note – Many thanks to Victory Point Games for providing a review copy of this game
As I’ve said before, I am certainly a fan of fantasy themed games and always willing to have a play.
Many fantasy themed games tend to be what are referred to as “dungeon crawlers” which are all about a group of characters, all with different abilities and backgrounds who band together to explore an underground dungeon or at an outdoor location in the quest to collect treasures and destroy the monsters that are infesting the area. This is another extension beyond the core war gaming focus for Victory Point Games and as such, needed to fit into their production model of very few rules, card game maps and cardboard counters or chits to represent characters, resources monsters, etc. and all relatively small and compact especially compared to a number of big and brassy Rolls Royce level productions now available. I am a fan of Victory Point Games precisely because they have stuck to their guns in terms of production model and continue to set out to prove that you don’t need to have lots of glossy plastic miniatures and huge heavy game boards and components to produce good, fun games.
So, does Loot and Scoot stack up? Well, it is a game for 2-4 players aged 10+ and there are solitaire rules with the first expansion.
In the small packet you get one double-sided page of rules. Yes, only 2 pages!!!
136 color die-cut 5/8″ playing pieces and tokens
Providing – adventurers, monsters, money, divine pity, loot, hirelings, upgrade buildings, poison, treasure and dungeon parties
Four Dungeon Maps
Loot and Scoot Expansion #1 Loot Harder comes with
40 new counters adding new buildings, new effects, more poison and treasures
2 additional maps
The standard of artwork is typical by VPG standards, colorful, functional and easy to read. Everything works and is very easy to use. The counters are sturdy and durable, the maps are on thin card and fairly basic but again, they work for the context of the game.
The object of the game is to gain victory points for monsters killed, treasures gained, etc. The game ends when one player defeats the Big Boss of his/her dungeon. Each player has to choose another player’s dungeon to explore, not their own. So there is great uncertainty as players can choose different dungeons to explore which could be quite advantageous, or not so… The dungeons are populated with monsters, traps, and treasures and in the expansion rules, secret rooms which are hidden from view until you enter each room of the dungeon.
Loot and Scoot is an easy game to pick up and the game process is as follows:
Hire Hirelings – or actually, cannon fodder that you push in front of you to take hits from monsters before they get to your adventurers, heh, heh, heh…
Beg funds (takes up both actions in a turn) – cash poor? need to hire help or train skills? go cap in hand to your friendly neighborhood bank manager
Build an upgrade – Upgrade buildings allow you to increase the abilities of your adventurers which helps them live longer. This is a good thing…
Train adventurers – That’s what the upgrade buildings are for
Trade Adventurers – you can trade adventurers with other players at a “negotiated” price, interesting… heh, heh, heh…
The 2nd action can also be one of these OR, you can go Lootin’
Lootin’ involves going into the dungeon and exploring each room, taking on the monster located there, overcoming the trap and/or collecting treasure. You can go as far along in the dungeon as you dare. After all, if you can get rid of more monsters and get to the Big Boss before the other players you should win. Right?
Well, As you do this, you will take hits and your party will weaken and diminish and you will eventually get to a point when you have to decide whether to carry on or cut and run to live to fight another day. So you will need to go back to the local Inn, drown your sorrows and build up your team again. You see, in most cases, you need a 6 on a 6-sided die to kill the monster and that just doesn’t happen too often. Hence you really have in essence, a push-your-luck game with a 1 in 6 chance of killing baddies. Not too easy :-p
So there is lots of tension and frustration as luck plays a huge part in your destiny. You can only do so much to up your odds but those monsters are quite unforgiving. Well almost. You see when a monster is too big for its room size, the poor little diddums is so uncomfortable that you can hack em down on a 4+ die roll. Although this doesn’t happen much.This can be very frustrating for experienced players as they have such limited control to impact their ability to kill monsters as it all comes down to rolling a 6.
Did it work for me?
As a simple gateway game, this all works very easily and clearly. The scope is limited but if you are looking for a light dungeon bash to play with new gamers, or to introduce others, especially kids, to the fun of dungeon crawling, this can be an ideal place to start. As a relatively fast filler, or a solitaire game, again Loot and Scoot works. It isn’t big and sexy like the glamorous D&D board games for instance, but you know what? It basically plays in a very similar way and it is a lot easier and less time consuming to get into, set-up, and play. So for me, it works as a nice simple and very fun alternative to the big games. Is it deep and detailed? nope. It doesn’t need to be. Most importantly, if you accept the luck element is there to make sure it isn’t an easy steamroller over the monsters and still present a challenge, you will enjoy it.
Boardgames in Blighty rating – 7 out of 10
Actually, it is light enough that it could actually be a fun laugh for families.
For more information about Victory Point Games go to – http://victorypointgames.com/index.php