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HeroTec Kickstarter Preview

Quick Look:

WARNING: This is a preview of HeroTec. All components and rules are prototype and subject to change.

Designer: Duane Kolar
Artist: Fabrice Weiss 
Publisher: Button Shy games
Year Published: 2017
No. of Players: 2 (3-4 with expansion)
Ages: 8+
Playing Time: 10


tl;dr: Fantasic and quick, it's a step up from Mint Works with better art and theme.

Getting to the Game: 
You and one other player (or up to four of you, if the stretch goal expansion is unlocked) are Quartermasters for budding superheroes. Your job is to get your new crime fighter set up with a costume, lair, gadget, and a vehicle. Whoever gets the best gear wins.

Setup for HeroTec is a breeze, and the rules are very simple. Shuffle all eighteen cards together, then deal them all out onto the table in alternating rows of face up and face down. This is the "stockpile." That's all it takes!

Playing the Game

A player's turn gives them two action points to spend on three possible choices: Select, Shift, and Build. When you Select, you remove a card from the stockpile and place it in your workshop. This reserves the card for you, keeping your opponent from taking it; if you uncover a face-down card completely by doing this, turn that card face-up. With a Shift, you move a token up or down the left edge of one of your workshop cards, changing the resources it produces. Taking a Build action requires spending the resources listed on a workshop card and moves it to your showroom. Doing this "turns on" the text of the card, granting you either a one-time or ongoing bonus to your play. 

As more than half of the cards in the game are face down when the game begins, there's a delicious tension built in as you weigh the reward of the card you really want against revealing a card your opponent will use to beat you. You can only keep four cards each in your workshop and showroom, so you also can't just snap up every vehicle or lair you see, preventing your opponent from getting any of that type.

For the speed at which HeroTec plays, there's a really good amount of meat on its bones. It feels very slick to play, giving you enough to do without pushing Analysis Paralysis players' buttons, and the hidden-card tableau is used to great effect.

Artwork and Components: 
The artwork shown on these cards, I'm told, is not final. If it were, I'd be totally fine with it. The art is clear, fun, and evokes the superhero theme very well. 

There aren't "components" to speak of here, which is one of HeroTec's only drawbacks. The vinyl wallet looks and feels cool and serves a great job at holding (nearly) all the cards very well. My complaint with it is that it doesn't hold the expansion cards. I'm told they will come in their own plastic sleeve, but tossing them inside the wallet doesn't feel as nice. Also, the wallet won't hold your cards if you decide to sleeve them. These are nitpicky things that most developers don't do, but I'd like to see foresight here in the industry. Sleeving cards for games isn't the edge case anymore as hobby games grow in popularity; not allowing for this choice is quite literally why we can't have nice things.

Additionally, the game requires tokens, but asks you to provide them. The rulebook states that you can use coins or whatever you have handy. This is a pet peeve of mine, personally, but may not bother other people. I know developers want to keep costs down, but I'd pay a couple bucks more for colored, translucent plastic chips. NOTE: I believe that "premium" tokens are going to be available through the KS campaign, but they should be standard. They're important enough to the gameplay to make them mandatory.

The Good
HeroTec is portable, fun, thematic, quick, light-but-not-too-light, and looks really great. There's very little not to like here, and if the price point is right, there's no reason this can't be added to your collection. 

The Bad
My only complaints are about not being able to sleeve the cards and not having standard tokens. These are very small worries and have nothing to do with the actual gameplay. 

Score: I have no reservations about this game. I'm giving HeroTec the score of Doesn't Need a Secret Identity.

Check out HeroTec on:


Coming to KICKSTARTER 11/8/2017

About the Author:

Nicholas Leeman has been a board game evangelist for over 10 years now, converting friends and family alike to the hobby. He's also a trained actor and works summers as one of the PA announcers for the St. Paul Saints, a professional baseball team. He lives in Minneapolis, MN with his board gaming wife and son.
HeroTec Kickstarter Preview HeroTec Kickstarter Preview Reviewed by The Madjai on November 07, 2017 Rating: 5

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