A Review by Alex Sarver
Average Game Time: 30-45Mins
Not Alone is an asymmetrical card game, in which one player (the Creature) plays against the rest (the Hunted). At the start of the game, location cards are laid out in which the hunted can choose to go. It is the Creature’s job to determine where the Hunted is going to move and catch them there. The Hunted start with the 5 basic locations but can get new locations using the rover location. The game is a very cat and mouse feel, which is rewarding for both sides when they catch or evade.
Every turn follows the same layout:
- In Phase 1 the Hunted can spend their will to get back location cards from their discard.
- Phase 2 the Hunted secretly place the location they are going to move to in front of them, and the Creature can play any Creature cards that specifically happen in Phase 2 such as having a Hunted reveal cards still in his hand to help determine the location the Hunted selected.
- Phase 3 is the Creature placing his tokens and markers that represent where he is trying to catch the hunted.
- Phase 4 reveals the Hunted locations and determine if they were caught (and lose a will point) or if they can resolve the ability of the location.
- Phase 5 is the creature drawing back up to 3 cards and moving planet trackers for both the Hunted and the Creature.
The way to victory is a tracker board where the Creature and the Hunted both place marker tokens. The Hunted advance their tracker each turn no matter what as they constantly progress to rescue. The Creature advances his token every time it catches a Hunted, and moves an additional space if they take the Hunted’s last will point. Both tokens advance toward the middle with the first team to make into the center being the victor.
This game feels very balanced. Neither the Hunted nor the Creature have a distinct advantage. The Hunted have numbers to their advantage, so not everyone can be caught. However, as long as the Creature catches one Hunted, it advances its tracker. The Creature also has additional cards that can be played to help make up for the numbers disadvantage. For what appears to be a simple game of guess the number there is a surprising amount of depth and complexity to every decision. In the spirit of fairness, the Hunted can talk to each other but nothing in secret so the Creature is privy to anything said.
The replay ability of this game is high as there are countless strategies both sides can employ. Also having people take turns as the Creature changes things up as well.
On a scale of 1 to bacon bits, I give this game a bacon cheeseburger with sautéed onions.