Friday, November 30, 2012

Review -- HEAP

Heap is a card game you are either likely to love from the start, or shelve and not look at often.
Mark me as one who likes the game because I expected random nonsense in this card game from the outset.
The game box pretty much tells you that, when it states "Each player plays a gang of crazed goblins that have travelled across the post-apocalyptic wasteland in broken-down vehicles to converge on a gigantic heap of long-discarded scrap – perfect ingredients for demented automotive modification. In arena-style bouts, each gang selects its champion driver to storm the heap and duke it out for the best parts to upgrade their vehicles."
Several people online have remarked Heap is somewhat reminiscent of Uno, which is true in terms of game play, although the game is more in-depth than that overall.
At times the heavier rule set can be somewhat daunting if you are looking to Heap as an occasional fill-in game. That simply means, like most games, the more you play Heap the more comfortable you will become with the game and how it plays.
Now if you think about the theme a minute, goblins modifying vehicles out of parts scavenged from a scrap heap you might naturally expect random craziness to prevail. In game terms blind dumb luck is often the determining factor in earning victory.
The game, released in 2012, needs to be approached in those terms. Go at it for laughs and fun and worry less about the victor.
Designer David Carl shows he has a sense of humour with Heap and artists Laine Garrett, Manny Trembley and Chris Walton capture that with some very cool art; Scrap Hog and Doombuggy being two of the best cards in terms of illustration.
Heap is not a game likely to make anyone's top-10 list, but for many it will be a fun diversion every once in a while (it does play two-to-four players).
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-- Appeared in Yorkton This week newspaper Sept 12, 2012

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