There are games that when you first read the rules seem very simple and not even really a ‘game’. Think of games like Skull and Cockroach Poker where the ruleset is very thin but the game emerges to be more than the sum of its components and rules. Prey Another Day is very much like this, every time I have played I have learned something new, every game leads to meta-games and ruptious laughter. Welcome to the Zatu review of Prey Another Day!
Prey Another Day has an effortless setup, Give each player the same five cards and a reference card, which is not really needed either. It can be set up in about ten seconds, how often can you say that these days? Especially when the game has so much bite and tension. Beautiful.
Survival Of The Fittest
This game is devilishly simple yet brings a plethora of options, thought and double-bluffing. The game is split into rounds and each round is three hunts. In each hunt, each player plays a card from their hand. These cards are the same for each player and is a set of five animals. These animals are numbers one to five and are as follows: the bear, the wolf, the lynx, the owl and the mouse respectively.
When all players have played the first card from their hand, the person running the game calls out the first animal, the bear, which is number one. Then anyone who has played a bear turns it over, if more than one player has the bear nothing happens, they are too busy squabbling to hunt. However, if one player has a bear they can name any other animal to hunt, anyone with the animal they call out is out of the round and has been eaten. Bless!
After that the next animal in numerical order, the wolf in this example is called and the same thing repeats. When everyone has either been eaten or survived then the next hunt begins. At this point, everyone only has four cards and the hunt begins anew. Once three hunts have been played if one player is left they get two food tokens, if multiple are left the highest scoring set of animals gets two food tokens and the other survivors get one. In a tie for the win both players get two.
Metgames, Minigames And Mind Games
Prey Another Day is so simple, so, so simple. What it gives you though is a very light toolset to enable a massive amount of interaction between the players. Loads of conversations take place, so much deduction, bluffing and double-bluffing. Do you play low and try to snipe players off, do you try to sneak your mouse that's worth five points through? For just five cards there are so many decisions to make. Not only that but metagames amongst your group emerge, I love it when this happens in games, you start to notice patterns and players' favourite ways to play and then adapt to it. This encourages players to bluff and change what they do to try and outfox you. It's pure brilliance in such a small box.
Prey Another Day wastes no time on unnecessary components, bloat or nonsense. There are just enough tokens and cards for each player and that is it. The cards are very thick and large, which I quite like and the art style, wow, very unique. The artwork is bright, almost neon and the artwork is very uncanny. The animals look quaint and slightly weird, I love it! Everything about this small package is what it needs to be. Simple, easy to read and play with near-perfect components. Lovely.
This game was a massive surprise and a total blast. Everyone I have shown it to has immediately wanted to play it again. It works better at larger player counts and never outstays it's welcome. Prey Another Day brings pure joy with its minimal ruleset but massive player interaction. It brings laughter, shouting and raucousness to the table and I adore that. A great filler for everyone and at almost anytime. I wholly recommend it.