Designed by Brandon B, Lindsey Felice, Christopher K Lees and Jordan E Perme, Familiars & Foes is a cute, easy-to-play adventure-style cooperative game where up to five players each represent the familiars of witches and wizards. Players work cooperatively to rescue their masters from the monsters that have abducted them.
The game is scaleable for different player counts (the more players you have, the tougher will be the array of foes you have to face) and because the game is fully cooperative you can also play it solo. There's an option for a sixth player to control the monsters but that will mean player#6 will just be rolling the die - the foes are designed to be played automatically against the cooperative players so there really aren't any choices to be made by a player who takes on the task of controlling them.
Each turn, players can make a physical or magical attack on the monsters that appear or they can deploy the artefacts they are each dealt at the start of the game. Players' boards include tracks for hit points and magic, and the various foes you encounter have similar hit point tracks on their cards. You'll mostly be rolling a d20 to determine success or failure of your attacks, and you'll similarly roll for the monsters to see what damage they inflict. Note also that hits from some of the monsters can also prevent you from using magic on your next turn.
Players are encouraged to vary the actions they take each turn as this will enable them to unlock more powerful actions. Players can also use their actions, artefacts and individual special abilities in combo with those of others. These add to player interaction and the fun of this light family-friendly game - which is why, tho' having a solo option is welcome, we much prefer the multiplayer game. The game includes a poker-chip 'Ballyhoo' coin that can be flipped to determine some 50:50 options; for example, to add damage to another player's attack but at the push-your-luck risk of taking damage yourself if the coin toss goes against you.
Tho' what we're showing here on Board's Eye View is a prototype, it gives a good flavour of this game's attractive presentation. The 'board' is printed on soft fabric and the components include a 3D toad model as a turn marker. Much of the dice-driven gameplay will be appropriately familiar, making this an easy-to-learn game, but Horrible Adorables have put the familiar together in a fresh combination. Familiars & Foes is sure to appeal to children and it works very well as a family game.
Familiars & Foes is currently on Kickstarter. Click here to check it out.