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Awards

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You Might Like

  • Fun characters and puntastic names
  • Lots of player interaction
  • Scope to create your own additional cards
  • Involves some strategy
  • Set collecting with a difference

Might Not Like

  • Can get stuck in a stalemate loop at 4 or more players
  • Sometimes games can drag on because of stalemates
  • Set up and put away can be a bit fiddly
  • Can be confusing at first that some of the cards in the creature decks have a different reverse side to the rest
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Hunters of the Lost Creatures Review

lost creatures

I’m just gonna come right out and admit it. I’m shallow. And judgemental. Well at least when it comes to board game looks. I know for a fact I’m missing out on some great games just because I can’t get past the styling, Bohnanza for instance I’ve heard soo much about and sounds brilliant but I just not falling in love with the styling – it’s a me problem for sure. I can’t even tell you what it is that appeals to me. I like colour, but also monochrome, I like characters but not too cutesy, I’m not a fan of busy imagery, unless I am – and of course tiny boxes are king but I’ve also branched out into bigger box games too! Too many times I’ve plumped for a game just because the box caught my attention, of course I’ll give the blurb a cursory glance, but who am I kidding if I think the box looks cool, it’s going in the basket!

Sometimes it pays off sometimes it doesn’t.

Hunters of the Lost Creatures grabbed my attention. Small box, weird characters, fun theme – but does it make to the table often enough?

Lose yourself in these creatures

In Hunters of the lost creatures each turn you’ll be sending out one of your hunters to try and ensnare one of the many ‘Lost creatures’ to attempt to fill your park with the most unusual and diverse animal anomalies known to board gaming. Essentially a set collection game, where every creature has its own points value, but extra points can be earned for various combinations of animals.

All the crazy beasts have illustrations just as crackers to match their puntastic names. From the Monopus (one legged octopus) to the Duocorn (two horned unicorn) and the baseball bat (…you can work that one out right?) And then you have the Melancauliflour which isn’t even an animal its some kind of sentient (all be it sad) vegetable.

As well as the myriad of weird and wonderful livestock up for capture, you’ll find the equally bonkers hunters, they all most definitely get referred to as ‘characters’ in their local area.

“Oh look theres Captain Knut Shore, hes a right character he is!”

Etc.

All creatures great and small… and puntastic

In hunters of the lost creatures you’ll have four different areas to hunt in, forest, sea, plains and air. Each of these areas is denoted by a different colour and every player will have four hunters one of each corresponding colour that can be used in its matching area. One creature will be revealed for every area per round and players will need to decide which one they are trying to capture and secretly select the equivalent hunter.

Each player places their chosen card face down and when everyone is ready the cards are revealed. If you’re the only player to hunt in an area – congratulations you’ve caught that creature, but if more than one player has attempted to capture the same animal (played the same colour hunter) you’ve made too much noise in that area and the creature hides so no one caught it this turn. If everyone happens to play the same coloured hunter you’ve all made so much noise that the animal in question is out of the game as it runs away… to the discard pile.

Each captured creature may be placed in any players open park, but why would you want to give away your precious detainee? Because amongst the animals there are also trolls worth minus points and they’re the kind of guys who will cramp anyone’s style and bring the parks atmosphere down.

You’ll also find a selection of special card scattered throughout the game which allow you to do things like steal, swap or discard animals, some are area specific, some are not. Theres also cards that allow you to close you park so your opponents are unable to poach your beloved beasts or give you unwanted gifts of trolls.

Knut Shore if you should get this?

Hunters of the lost creatures seems aimed at the younger audience, players from 5 years and upwards but it’s enjoyable for all. Suggested time scale is 15 minutes, but honestly it’ll take the kids that amount of time to select which hunters they want and that’s after they’ve spent the previous 10 minutes before that laughing at the names – Heywood U. Cuddleme and Stan Dupp being firm favourites.

Hunters of the lost creatures comes with a game reference card for each player – which I always love in a game. It also has four blank creature creator cards, one for each area so you can make you own additional crazy beasts. I love that this is encouraging the kids to get creative, theres also no reason these couldn’t be used to make extra ability cards too. There are also a few well thought out adjustment for the two player game, where you take extra hunters into your hand and play extra cards per turn.

For the most part Hunters for the lost creatures plays smoothly and has lots of player interaction. It also involves some strategy when choosing what special card to use and when to use it as well as trying to gauge which creature to capture all whilst considering what your opponents might be after.

The only sticking point is if you play with four or more players you can sometimes get into a constant stalemate when attempting to capture creatures. For example if two players hunt in one area and two or three (dependent on player count) hunt in another. This means the creatures get frightened, hide and no one wins them that round, fine in theory but when that’s happened five times on the trot the game starts to drag. This can happen multiple times within the game, especially if you’re playing with children who desperately want a certain card. The sweet spot to avoid a continuous stalemate is three players, then this can’t keep happening.

Hunters of the lost creatures is a great game and although it certainly grabs the kids’ attention with its colourful and crazy array of characters it’s still a game for everyone. The gameplay is quick and easy to learn but still allows for strategy and has tonnes of player interaction. My only gripe is how it can drag on with stalemate after stalemate but there are many house rules you could introduce to combat this. For instance perhaps if the same area is consistently hunted for three rounds that could also scare the animals to the discard pile, or perhaps the hunter gets tired and has to rest for a turn – i.e. players who used that hunter cannot use it next time. In fact it feels like theres some scope here to put your own twist on the game not least with the blank cards included which is great for imaginative kids and adults alike!

Easy to get out and play, if a little fiddley at times to set up or put away but yes Hunters of the Lost Creatures does make it to the table and this time it paid off – yay me!

Zatu Score

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You might like

  • Fun characters and puntastic names
  • Lots of player interaction
  • Scope to create your own additional cards
  • Involves some strategy
  • Set collecting with a difference

Might not like

  • Can get stuck in a stalemate loop at 4 or more players
  • Sometimes games can drag on because of stalemates
  • Set up and put away can be a bit fiddly
  • Can be confusing at first that some of the cards in the creature decks have a different reverse side to the rest

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