Quick Look: Worst Enemy
Designer: J.L. Reid
Year Published: Coming to Kickstarter 2022
Thanks to J.L for sending this along for us to take a look. I enjoy a trick taking game as a warm-up or nightcap to an evening of games as well as at lower player counts to pass the time while chatting or having a cup of tea and/or coffee
Worst Enemy is a (mostly) cooperative trick-taking card game with rotating hidden roles and one-vs-all mechanisms. It’s designed for 2 to 4 players ages 12 and up, and lasts between 30 – 40 minutes.
The premise is that you all play as parts of a single mind, however, each round one of you will take the part of the Core Personality who shoulders the sole responsibility of scoring for the group. The other players take on the roles of negative personality traits each playing with a unique rule that confounds how the tricks play.
The game is a race against your bad tendencies as each round you lose advances a Worst Enemy token closer to the end of the score track. Can you work together to score enough tricks to reach the end, or will you prove that old adage once again, “Sometimes you are your own worst enemy“?
This was a hand-made prototype and was of good quality for a personally made prototype. I enjoyed the easy setup and the plain art style.
My favorite part of the game was its theme/premise that everyone was playing as one “mind” with a goal but had to fight against its own negative tendencies to achieve it.
Be aware it is a prototype and is likely to undergo several changes before in its finished form. That said, the rules themselves were sorely lacking. There were several inconsistencies and some important information not conveyed. There were also no examples of how specific things worked or played out. As a quick example, prior to playing out a round, the core personality predicts the tricks they will win (or not win). One of the options is to win by exactly 2 but with 9 tricks in total, that’s impossible to complete in a 2-player game in which the closest results would be 5-4 or 6-3.
The game has a similar feel to the popular “the Crew” trick taking game but with a slight twist. I can see what the game has the potential to be, but think that it needs some reworking and polish before it’s ready for production.
Areas they did well:
– The core concept.
– The use and incorporation of theme
– The hook / variance to trick taking
– Small game box and components: easy to travel with and ship
– Interesting way to keep players involved
Areas they could have improved:
– The rulebook was weak and incomplete.
– The game balancing was off, especially when discussing player count rule variance.
– More playtesting and blind playtesting to smooth out gameplay.
I felt this title was in an unfinished state and encountered a lot of difficulties at the table mainly with debates over rules or lack of rules. In my humble opinion it needed more work before it got to the review stage and hope that the designer continues to tinker with it prior to moving forward. As mentioned above, I do see the potential this game could have so if it does get any major changes, I’d be willing to try again instead of ruling it out altogether.
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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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All of Brad Hiscock, aka “Zerility”‘s reviews can be found HERE.