Review – Let’s Take a Hike from Stratamax Games
By Mark Rivera from Boardgames in Blighty
Designer – Aaron Lauster
Art – Troy Cummings
note – Thanks to Stratamax Games for a review copy of this game.
One of the joys of going to Essen Spiel is that for all the research you do amongst the load of new releases, there will still be surprises in games that you may or may not have heard about. I was given a review copy of a little card game called Let’s Take a Hike from Stratamax Gamesand was indeed pleasantly surprised with it.
A card game for 2-5 players age 6+, Let’s Take a Hike comes with a nice quality, colorful deck of cards with wonderfully cartoony art by Troy Cummings. The cards represent –
Items which are to be carried by each player include – frying pan, camera, sleeping bag, snack bar, compass, flashlight, socks, tent, water bottle, map, bear spray,
There are also Hazard cards which include – bear, skunk, racoon, and blisters
You also get a Lead Hiker card and a score card for each player.
Basically, this game is all about scoring points for taking hikes.
Players are dealt 7 cards (which is the maximum hand allowed) and on a player turn they may do one of 2 things;
– Perform 3 actions or
– Take a hike
1) Draw a card from the deck and add it to their hand
2) The players place cards on the table in front of them in the designated position (diagram indicated in the rules) in their backpack. Each item will only fit in certain parts of your backpack. Each card has a mini-diagram of which backpack storage slots are appropriate for each item. Item cards show a number of “footprints” which represent its weight.
3) Play a hazard card to the table
Each hazard has a specific “gotcha” impact. Bears are played during a hike and the beasts are hungry and curious about what’s in the heaviest backpack (but they can be sent packing if you have Bear spray). Skunks ruin items and cause players to empty their pack and give the rest a good clean as well as end a hike. Racoons steal items from backpacks and cause a hike to end. Blisters cause players to dump their heaviest items to relieve the pain if they aren’t wearing good socks.
A player can decide to go on a hike. They become the Lead Hiker. Other players who have at least one item in their pack can join the hike. The Lead Hiker draws the top card from the deck, the number of bootprints indicating the distance traveled. If a hiker has the same item as was turned up, they don’t need to discard anything. All others must discard a card or cards that add up to the same or greater number of bootprints as the turned over card from the deck. If they don’t have enough bootprints, they discard all their cards and must drop out of the hike. If a Hazard card was pulled, it is resolved.
After the pulled card is resolved, players decide whether they will continue on the next leg of the hike or if they will drop out, and so on. Players who drop out of a hike can collect one of the cards that was turned over but the challenge and pressure comes from trying to last as long as you can as if you are the last one to drop out collects all remaining cards from the cards that were turned over. A real push your luck aspect crucial to winning.
Overall, the game plays very quickly, is easy to understand as the diagrams are clear and it all makes sense. With a little adult guidance, the youngsters will get it.
The game ends after all the cards have been drawn unless a hike still needs to be completed first. The winner has the most bootprints in their scoring pile.
Did it work for me?
Let’s Take a Hikeis a simple, fun family card game and works very well as a filler as well for an adult group. The mechanics are straightforward, clear and work well. The take that element is amusing and keeps things interesting whilst the press your luck of the hikes is a real test of nerve. Good fun all around and with cute and amusing artwork, makes a nice treat for anyone I would say.
Boardgames in Blighty rating – 6.5 out of 10
You betcha. A lovely fun card game for family nights.
For more information go to –http://stratamaxgames.com/