Wild Pursuit User Review

The following is a review of the Wild Pursuit board game by David Bradshaw creator of Card Armies: Battle for Wesnoth and Sky Castles.

Wild Pursuit

Kos

Game Rating: rating
4 out of 5 Stars

I recently purchased Wild Pursuit and played it with 2 and 5 players. The game is targetted at 2-6 players. Our group included both adults and primary-school-age children.

Game Overview

In Wild Pursuit, players must use the right survival gear and capture tools to capture wild animals. Each animal is worth points relative to the difficulty in capturing it, and the player with the most points at the end of the game wins.

Game Design and Rules

Rules overview: You have a token which you can move around the board to get onto the same space as an animal. You can then capture the animal if you have the prerequisite cards in your hand. The game is simple enough to teach to children, as long as they can read and follow the descriptions on the cards. There is a low amount of strategy and a high amount of luck (in picking cards and rolling the die), with relatively low player interaction. Overall it is well suited to people who want a light game but may not appeal as much to hard-core strategy gamers.

On the upside, the game is well balanced in terms of the number of survival gear, capture devices, and the relative difficulty in capturing the animals. Players have meaningful choices to make about whether to attempt a more difficult capture (for more points) or an easier capture (for less points).

Each player can hold only one capture device and one survival gear card in their hand, which turns out to be a good design decision. It prevents hoarding and mitigates the effect of bad card draws — even if you don’t draw the cards you need there is a good chance that somebody else dropped it somewhere where you can pick it up.

There is opportunity for player interaction if two players were trying to capture the same animal, and players can choose to trade cards with each other, though both of these occur infrequently in practice. So in essence it is a race game.

On the downside, and this is a downside common to almost all turn-based games, is that as the number of players increases the length of time between turns also increases. The game length does not increase much with more players, though, which is a good thing. The game length of 1 hour is probably pushing the upper time limit for family-friendly games, when factoring in a child’s attention span. The rules include an optional “speed rule”, which I highly recommend using to keep the game moving along quickly. We also play with a “First to get X points wins” rule, rather than exhausting the deck as per the original rules, which we find cuts the game length a little more and also creates excitement as somebody attempts a difficult capture to win the game.

Visual Design and Theme

On the upside, the game deliberately sticks to the theme of capturing animals to study them, rather than hunting them for food or sport, and in doing so it appeals to a wider audience including children. The pictures on the cards are visually appealing, and the flavor text on the cards lets you read interesting facts about the animals while waiting for your next turn.

On the downside, putting cards on the board means that it can become cluttered with all the dropped survival gear and capture tool cards, as well as the animal cards. You can mitigate this issue by ensuring that there is space around the outside of the board rather than putting them on the board itself.

Summary
Wild Pursuit is a family-friendly game with an attractive theme and good design. Take steps to keep the game moving along quickly (or implement some house rules as above), and you’ll have a great time with a game that appeals to a wide audience.

Be sure to take a look at these exciting games By David Bradshaw!:

Card Armies: The Battle For Wesnoth

http://www.thegamecrafter.com/games/card-armies-bfw-set-a

Sky Castles

http://www.thegamecrafter.com/games/sky-castles

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s