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Ultimate Rush Kickstarter Preview

“Ugh, I think I got some on me, now I got the Cooties” – Marcus Fenix

Quick Look: Ultimate Rush

Designer: Jerry Haerle
Artist: Martina Fackova
Publisher: Purple Wizard
Year Published: 2019
No. of Players: 2-6
Ages: 8+
Playing Time: 10-40 minutes

Find more info on BoardGameGeek.com

WARNING: This is a preview for the game Ultimate Rush. As a prototype is being used for this review, all components and rules are subject to change in the final copy.

From the Publisher:
Ultimate Rush is an adrenaline-pumping experience mixed with gamer-level strategy. Players create coins and attack points in real time and then attempt to grab a turn order token before they’re all gone!

You can buy energy, power-ups, and upgrades in the Market, then battle INSANE Monsters to help save the Kingdom! Make sure you throw a sweet party or two in between battles and always remember, we fight to become the Most Famous! Live in the moment and finally let everyone know you’re a champion... as if they needed more evidence.


Rules and Setup:
Setup for the game is very simple. You will be working with 3 different decks of cards (Starting, Market, and Monster cards). Take each deck and shuffle them. Each player then receives their character sheet, tokens and starting Power Cards, and marks their character sheet to the appropriate health and energy values. Mark the start of Round 1 with the King Token, place the shuffled Monster Deck in the middle of the table, along with the turn markers (again, matching the number of players).

Depending on the number of players, there is a simple chart in the instructions that will tell you what the Health, Market, and Monster values are.

From both the market and monster piles, turn over 1 card for each player in the center of the table, and place the Round Marker and mark Round 1 with the Kings Token.

Play can now begin. At the start of each round, all players will simultaneously turn over their market cards, and will match the colors on there to gain benefits. The cards consist of purple half-moons (represents attacks) and gold half-moons (represents gold coins). Only full moons count towards their values. Once the player is done with their combination, they will reach out towards the turn marker they want. First one to touch them owns it. Once a turn marker is touch (owned), the market cards they placed in front of them cannot be changed. Once all players have taken their turn marker, the simultaneous phase ends.

Starting with the player who took the first turn token, each player will have the option to buy a card from the market. The amount of gold you made on your turn is what you’ll use to purchase cards (value of market cards is in the upper right corner of the cards), and the cards will give you benefits. The purchasing of a card is optional, but if you are going to purchase a card, it has to be done at this time. You may only purchase a single card, regardless of the amount of gold you have on your turn. Once you have visited the marketplace, you must attack a creature. Each monster card shows how much damage it can take (remember the purple moons) and the amount of damage they will do back to the attacker (this is the value in the red circle). After you attack a monster, your turn is over. Place your turn marker back in the center, and the next player will go. After each player has taken their turn, the round marker is moved up 1.

Now let’s go back a bit and talk about some of the details on each step above. Each turn marker allows for a bonus, whether it is extra health, energy, attack, or gold. These bonuses can be used any time on your turn, but once you end your turn and return the marker, you no longer can use it. When you purchase a card from the market, the card will go immediately to your discard pile face-up. At the beginning of the next round, you will be able to swap out any of your Power Cards for an upgraded card that you purchased on your turn. Remember, you can only keep 4 Power Cards in your hand on your turn, and you can only upgrade 1 card a round. When attacking monsters, you must attack any Boss Monster that has appeared and defeat it before any other monsters can be attacked. Boss Monster cards are all black-bordered, compared to the other monster cards of different color borders. What do the colors mean? Difficulty and rewards they offer when beating them. More fame, more game!

Play continues until all the rounds have been completed. Each player then adds the fame in the cards in their discard pile, and on the Power Cards. The player with the highest amount wins!

Theme and Mechanics:
We’ll start with the Theme of this game. Let’s just say that if I was in India during monsoon season, I’d be drier that this game is in its theme. The concept of the game (a King sending his ‘heroes’ out to kill them with the vague offer of a reward) is felt throughout the game. With a real-time aspect at the very beginning of each round (which works in ways you didn’t expect) to the ability to purchase cards from a shared marketplace, special abilities, and some really good artwork, it’s all in the theme.

Mechanically, while it’s nothing new, that’s a great thing. We have the shuffling of 4 cards to determine what abilities you have each round (gold or attack), then the ability to purchase and attack cards, manipulation of cards in your hand, all of this works smoothly in the rounds.

Game Play:
Game play is very smooth and cards are balanced in what they have to offer. While the cards are very clear and detailed in what they do, it will take a few plays to realize what each icon can do, but the rulebook is excellent in providing quick reference page detailed each icon. The game says it can take around 10 minutes per player, which is about right for the games we’ve played.

Another part of the game is the ability to get out of tough situations. Need to fight a monster that's on the board but don't have enough attack to kill it? Turn the card over and summon the top card from the monster deck. Don't have enough of a resource? Trade one type to get it. Died due to a 5-point attack? That's ok, next round you're back up and playing.

Artwork and Components:
I’m going to start by saying that I received a prototype of the game but I believe they were close to being finalized. And if it was the final version, I’d be extremely happy with their quality. The player boards are incredibly solid with a think cardboard core to them, as are the turn markers (which make it so much easier to pick up when everyone is rushing towards them at the same time). The one issue I had was with the Round Marker board, as it seemed a bit crowded with all the artwork and scoring information on it. I would have preferred it to be a bit larger so that it wouldn’t look so crowded. Individual card stock is good, and doesn’t come across as flimsy. My copy of the game did not come with an insert, so I cannot comment on that, but the box itself was nice and heavy board that was being used.

The Good:
Quick, fast gameplay. This supports up to 6 players out of the box and is incredibly easy to expand on with additional monsters and abilities cards in the future. The game is also language-independent, meaning that only the rulebook is in English, but every other component is based on artwork and icons. The board quality is excellent, and the artwork on the cards is really good, though some of the monster cards are a little dark losing out on the detail of the artwork. The theme is throughout the game, and matches it perfectly. You can also play this game with a myriad of ages, as it’s simple enough for younger children to play without any issues.

The Bad:
While I mentioned above that this can be played with younger children, you do want to have the playing groups be of the same skill set. This game can actually turn pretty cutthroat where some players will purposely go for creatures that do not do a lot of damage leaving other players take more damage on their turn. That’s not always bad, as it really does make those players on the next turn usually try to go first or second to get their revenge, but some folks don’t like that. The game can also be a bit difficult for those who have issues with color, as almost all the icons are round and just have a different color in the background. That being said, the icons are all in the same place, so while you might not be able to tell the difference between the purple and red circles on the monster cards, you’ll know that the top circle is the damage you must deal, and the bottom circle is the amount of damage you’ll take.

Final Thoughts:
This game has hit the table over 20 times across multiple gaming groups in writing this review. And everyone loved it! The theme is simple and great, the artwork is clear, you have a bit of the take-that in gameplay, and even though everyone initially rolled their eyes when told of the real-time part, it adds so much to the game and strategizing each round. With gameplay going between 2-6 players, and about 10 minutes per player (less once everyone knows the icons and rules), you’ll be flying through the game and having fun. I’d love to see some more interaction between the players, though that can easily be added with a small-card expansion that adds abilities or monsters that can have negative points. Did I mention anywhere that this is language-neutral, and other than the rulebook, there is no other text in the game? I had a few groups play that did not speak any English, and once the rules were explained, they were able to play the game with minimal questions. I’ve lent out my review copy to another game group who wants to introduce it to their players, and while I really hope I get it back, somehow I am having a doubt I’ll get my copy back and will have to get a copy once this becomes available.

Check out Ultimate Rush on

https://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/286140/ultimate-rush   https://www.purple-wizard.com/   https://www.facebook.com/UltimateRush1/    

On KICKSTARTER now. Campaign ends October 10, 2019.

Delton Perez - Reviewer

Delton Perez is a FLGS owner with 2 locations in Puerto Rico. Originally from Boston, he currently lives in the wilds of Ohio, where he currently resides with his family. By day, he is a Retail Consultant working in New York in the Fashion Industry, but by night, meeples, dice, and cardboard take over. Delton also runs a gaming organization based in Northeast Ohio that focuses on running game nights at Libraries, Schools, and Churches on a scheduled, monthly basis. At times, Delton has even been able to sleep, though proof has yet to be found.

See Delton's reviews HERE.
Ultimate Rush Kickstarter Preview Ultimate Rush Kickstarter Preview Reviewed by NeedsOfTheOne on September 11, 2019 Rating: 5

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