Super Hack Override
Game Overview: An upcoming game that is currently scheduled to be released to Kickstarter on September 12, 2016. Super Hack Override is a small deck of 25 cards that puts you into the world of computer hacking as you try to prove that you are the best hacker of the group by playing cards both from your hand and from the table after being played by other players.
Box Contents: A prototype version was provided to us, which may or may not change when the game is published. At this time, the game consists solely of playing cards. The card art has a look of a cartoon and is acceptable for the game. Reading of the text on the card is important in this game and can easily be seen with the white text on a dark grey background.
Clarity of Rules: I used both the video that Weird Giraffe Games provided on their website along with the rules that were provided to learn the game. The rules manual gives detailed information on each card, when questions do arise.
Game Play: The initial game setup is based on the number of players in the game. It will determine if any cards are removed from the deck, the number of cred points required to win, and the number of government hack jobs that will result in being jailed. All cards are then dealt to the players in the game. When played, each card will have a hacker cred value. If at any point, you equal or exceed the number of cred points required to win then the game is over immediately, as long as you are not in jail. The cards that give you the most hacker cred points are the red cards, which are government hacks. However, you have a limit on the number of government hacks before you are placed into jail and lose the game.
When it is your turn, you can take one of two actions. You can either flip one of your opponent's face out hacks that have been played to the table, back into their hand. When this occurs you are removing the cred points they had previously earned and you are also removing any protections that card may have given them. The other action is to play one of your face in cards, face out to the table. For any card that was played face out, you then read the executed hack to resolve it's effects.
These effects vary based on the card played, but may provide protection to you from other cards being played, choose a hack that another player must play on their next turn, steal another hacker's face out cards, or choose a single hack from all players and they are mixed up and randomly dealt back to players.
One of the hacks that you will execute after you have played a card in front of you, is a card with a proxy swap symbol. This will allow you to take an additional action:
Choose one hacker's face out hacks and give it face out to another hacker, then choose at random one of that hacker's face in hacks and place it face in into the first hacker's hand.
Swap one of any hacker's face in hacks for one face in hack in any other hacker's hand.
Swap one hacker's face out hack with a hack face out in front of another hacker.
Replay Ability: Because there are currently only 25 cards in the deck, and some of those are duplicate cards, you will generally see all of the cards in play during a game. Because of this, some people may eventually run into the lack of replay ability within the game.
Appropriate Audience: The game suggests 8+ years old. And while we feel an 8 year old can play this game, I think it will be hard for younger children to understand the theme that the game is trying to portray.
What We Liked/Didn't Like: The portability of the game is nice, since it is in a small box and can easily be carried around. While being able to play cards that other players have already played is unique and an interesting aspect to the game, until everyone is very familiar with the cards it also slows the game play down. I personally like the theme of the game, however I think a lot of people can be turned away from it as they aren't interested in what a sock puppet, proxy swaps, trace spoof, etc... really mean. Some strategy is needed in figuring out if you should be playing cards from your hand or using cards that have already been played. However, there are times where you just can't stop any of the actions being played against you, which can get frustrating. For the first few games, players may get confused with the terms used in the game when you are referring to face in or face out hacks and the options available to them for the cards being played.