Quick Look: HAPHAZARDS – A Ridiculous Rescue Game
Designers: Andrea, Jacob, Noale and Alex Strandlien
Publisher: JABAS LLC
Year Published: Currently on Kickstarter
No. of Players: 3-8
Haphazards was, as the box claimed, a ridiculous rescue game. Players were faced with silly situations such as “fleeing a raging centaur” and had to choose their favorite way of being rescued by the other players items and story they fabricated using them. Thanks to the Jabas team for sending this along to me. I can easily see how it was created for family fun and interactions as their origin story spoke about in their rulebook.
From the Publisher:
In a world where unspeakable hazards are waiting around every corner, you and your friends must use your wits to rescue each other from definite disastrous doom!
This is a card-only game, of which the cards were a high-quality with a linen finish. The box was decent as well, but for some reason the base was taller than the top and it didn’t close fully. The art was simple, soft, and brightly colored, but did the trick.
I enjoyed the ability to play this with nearly any age group and how it encouraged the use of imagination.
I am rarely a fan of a kingmaker mechanic in games and that is the case here as well. On each player’s turn they choose who wins that round – regardless of what they used or the story they told.
This game is very similar to Apple to Apples, except instead of being anonymous and using a single card, players use 3 cards and it’s clear who owns the cards as they take turns telling a story with those cards. It is a fun little game for families, young kids, and good-natured friends, but due to the ever-present ability for players to choose a person rather than a card to win, it would not be my first choice as an icebreaker or for a game group. People tend to feel bad about choosing the same people or the opposite and choose them on purpose in such scenarios and it becomes less about the cards and more about feelings. I played this with an adult group of 4 and it got mixed results. However, I tried it with my 4- and 6-year-old and they had a blast. Their stories were a bit ridiculous, but that’s kind of the point. As a children’s game, I think it hit its mark.
Areas they did well:
– use of imagination
– small and portable
– quick turns
– all players get to interact on every turn
– easy way to create some laughter with family/friends
– very simple rules and fast set up
– colorful, soft art for a younger audience
Areas they could have improved:
– some more useful items to use in hazards to base a story around
– hazards for a wider variety of rescuing needs
– mitigate choosing the winner. For example, players stack their cards [secretly] in a single pile keeping their 3 together. The reader has to make up the stories, and the other players vote. Then whoever owns the cards used gets the hazard.
– It says it can play as 8, I’d use teams for that count, 8 individual stories each turn would take a really long time.
This was a prototype and the game is still as of July, 2022, on kickstarter, so this is subject to changes and/or improvements. As mentioned, I’d recommend this for young children, families, and good-natured groups. It’s a carefree way to spend some time, unwind and relax. The foolish nature of the game should be embraced rather than resisted.
I’ll see you next time, back here at The Game Table,
Here’s a link to their website and kickstarter page if you’d like to find out more:
Find out more at BGG.
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Brad Hiscock, aka “Zerility”, is a construction project manager and electrician by trade who was the owner of a 6-time award winning electrical company. His passion for board games has led him from playing hundreds of original titles to creating a design and publishing company of his own, Convivial Games. As an up and coming collaborator on many projects, he is always eager to try new games and meet new people.
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