Updated: Aug 22
If you recognise the title as a Japanese anime, you'll know what to expect. If you haven't seen the fairly gruesome cartoon series on Netflix, this game from Cryptozoic may surprise you.
The first thing that strikes you are the components. In addition to the (fiddly to construct) cardboard tower, there is a massive cardboard giant that dwarfs the conventional-sized stand-ups representing each of the heroes. Set this game up in a public place and you will be certain to attract a crowd.
Attack on Titan is an asymmetric game where one player controls the Titan and the others control the heroes who are working as a team to kill this marauding giant. The humans have to defeat the Titan to win; the Titan has either to consume all 12 innocent bystanders, eliminate all the cannons or kill one of the heroes controlled by the players.
Not only do the objectives differ for the heroes and the Titan but so does the way they play. The heroes each go through a set of push-your-luck die rolls, where each fail gives a potential bonus to the Titan. The Titan's actions are through his selection of action cards; one of which is usually concealed.
The heroes have to position themselves at various levels and focus attacks in order to weaken the titan sufficiently before they can attempt a killer blow. Meanwhile the Titan can direct his attacks towards the levels he expects the heroes to be moving to. All of this means that Attack on Titan is a tense game.
Attack on Titan plays quickly. Even with the full complement of five players, it is rare for a game to take more than 30 minutes. That's about right for the level of challenge involved.
You can read a longer review of this game on the Games Quest blog.