Updated: May 11, 2022
Designed by Sonke Schmidt, with cute comic art by Sam Moore, Hunters of the Lost Creatures is an easy-to-play filler-length set collection card game with a 'take that' element thrown in for good measure.
The premise is that the 2-5 players are collecting creatures to populate their theme parks (individual tableaus). Each turn, there'll be a card available for each type of terrain (sea, air, forest, steppe). You each choose a hunter card from your hand that corresponds with the terrain type of the card you want to hunt. If yours is the only card hunting in that terrain, you collect the card and add it to your tableau. If two or more players send hunters to the same terrain, then neither catches their prey and the card remains in situ, as it does if no-one hunts it. At the end of the game you score for runs in the same colour and for each set of all four colours.
That broadly sums up the rules, so this is a family game that even quite young children can readily play. There are a few cards tho' that shake things up a bit. In each terrain, cards will come up that you can 'hunt' that will offer a single-use steal or swap power. You can use these to steal from others a card you need for a scoring set, or just to break up another player's set...
As the tableaus grow, you'll want to keep an eye out for what cards other players need for a set just as much as you focus on your own needs. If you know a rival is after a 'ButterFly' (Pink 3) to complete a set, do you send a hunter to the same terrain to deny them even tho' that'll cost you a selection this turn too? Surely, that'll just help the other players... There's scope in this game for bluff and push-your-luck choices.
The dynamics of Hunters of the Lost Creatures change with player count. If you play with three, then this is a relatively sedate set collection game where you'll only relatively rarely be competing in the same terrain. It steps up a notch as you increase the player count or if you play with the two-player rules where each player takes two hunters. The preview prototype we're showing here on Board's Eye View only went up to four players but we could see from our plays how much more aggressive the game would get if you play with five - where at least two players will be blocking each other on every turn!
Hunters of the Lost Creatures went live on Kickstarter on 10 May. Click here to check it out.