Monday, September 29, 2014

R / Brave Rats - A Micro Review for Two

Hi everybody!
Sorry for such a late review today. I've been using the day to replay some games with my fiance, take some pictures, and jot some notes down. That being said I am good on review material for some time to come. Now on to the review!

I wanted to shift gears from some medium sized games to one that fits into a pocket and can be played virtually anywhere. So, as you may know, we play a lot of 2 player games, so today we are going to talk about R by Seiji Kanai. R was reimplemented into Brave Rats in 2011.

R/Brave Rats Together for the First Time...Again.
R is a 2 player micro game consisting of 16 cards. Each player receives 8 cards numbered 0 through 7 in their faction. The original R has identical artwork on the cards with the exception of the Prince and Princess cards (one faction being dark haired and the the being fair haired) while Brave Rats has red and blue factions of rats. The players simultaneously pick one of the cards from their hand to play and reveal their cards at the same time. Once the cards are revealed their special abilities activate such as the prince let's you automatically win the round, the princess wins the game automatically if your opponent reveals the prince, and the wizard nullifies the opposing card's ability.
Spreading Out the Factions.
The numbers in the top corner also act as the card's power. After the abilities are resolved players match the numbers up and the higher number wins. The winning player captures the opponent's card, by taking it and setting the pair aside. The first player to capture 4 of their opponent's cards wins the game.

The game only lasts about 5 to 10 minutes with no setup and extremely easy set of rules. The game, although short, has a lot of replay value. It isn't a brain burner and can be easily repeated again and again for a light experience. R works well as a waiting game as well, if you and a friend were eliminated early from a long game you can use it to pass time until the next game is ready to go.

A Swarm of Rats

As far as the game goes the art in both versions is very crisp and visually arresting. That being said, the original art for R is beautiful. Noboru Sugiura's artwork is masterful and a breath of fresh air. Just looking at it also screams that it is a Seiji Kanai/Kanai Factory game. It is distinct and fanciful. In both versions the cards are of a good size and feel. They are well made and won't easily fall apart through heavy play. My biggest complaint about the original R is that it comes in a flimsy white envelope while Brave Rats comes in a great, hard as nails tin.

This was another game I was looking forward to at Gen Con. I caught wind that Blue Orange Games had limited copies of R if you purchased Brave Rats or if you beat them in an oversized version of the game. I had to have R despite not really wanting Brave Rats. I know, I know, it is the same exact game with the exception of the art. That being said, the cartoony rat art and Scotish rat kingdoms really turned me off. It is so minor, but if it wasn't for the original art being available I wouldn't even own Brave Rats.

R!
Now, I really like this game. It is a neat, quick 2 player game. However, the nature of the game is that there is little to no meat to it. Once you play R you probably won't think about it again until it hits the table next time. It is a fun bit of fluff.

I can really only recommend the game if you are looking for a small, cheap bit of fun to play on lazy rainy days with a loved one or if you are a huge Seiji Kanai fan. I'd also say get R instead of Brave Rats because of the stunning artwork.

R/Brave Rats is a fine game, but it will leave you wanting more. Now hopefully Blue Orange and Mr. Kanai capitalize on this and finally release RRR in English with Noboru Sugiura's original artwork.

Thank you all again for reading another Daemonic Teutonic game review. I hope you enjoyed it!

Cheers,
Phil

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