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Ichabod Jones: Monster Hunter

This card game is very firmly based on its comic book source material: Ichabod Jones is the creation of author Russell Nohelty and illustrator Renzo Podesta. Ichabod is a mental patient who has been convicted of the psychopathic murder of innocent people. Is it just in Ichabod's mind that he sees himself as a Monster Hunter battling demonic creatures from Hell, or is he the only thing standing between humanity and the Apocalypse? That's the premise for the comic book and it's also the basis of Alexander Wrede's card game.



You can play the game with two, or even solitaire, but Ichabod Jones: Monster Hunter - the Card Game is ideally for three or four players. You each have a hand of six cards to which you draw a further card at the start of your turn. There will be three face-up monsters, and more will appear when each of these is defeated. The monster cards all have a hit point value that players need to at least match to defeat the monster.


You play a card from your hand face up to one of the monsters. The cards are numbered but that isn't the amount of damage the card dishes out. In fact the cards that are played have no effect at all until they are declared as an attack - which, in addition to playing a card, is the other thing you can do on your turn. There's no point declaring an attack with fewer than three cards on a monster because it's the number of cards on the monster that determines the strength of the attack and just one or two cards has zero effect. If there are three cards, the monster will take one point of damage; for four cards it will take two points, and for five cards, the monster will take three points of damage. Extra cards beyond five would add no further damage.


To play a card to a monster, it has to be the same suit (colour) as the other cards played and the card number must either match or be higher than the card previously played to that monster. If, on your turn, you can't play a card to a monster then you must play one face down on the Apocalypse pile. That becomes a game timer: when a fifth card is played to the Apocalypse, the game ends; otherwise it ends when the draw deck runs dry.



The monster fighting then is cooperative, with all player contributing to the cumulative attacks. Well, at least it seems like it's cooperative... Tho' you'll need to work together to defeat the monsters you won't actually score directly for the monsters that are killed. Your actual score when the game ends will be determined by the cards left in your hand and they will score according to their colours and the icons on the cards as affected by the monsters you've collectively all defeated. And if you're left with any cards with the 'voices in your head' icon, you'll either score nothing or have your score maxed at 5 points - which could still be a winning score depending on what cards others have been left with.


The icons on the cards can also be used in-game for their various effects, including to discard cards and replenish your hand - tho' repeated use of this power will hasten the game end so you'll want to avoid that unless you're reasonably confident that you hold a potentially winning hand. You see, at the end, this is a competitive game that has only a cooperative facade: each player will be out to win by skilfully managing their end-game hand...


If you're familiar with the Ichabod Jones comic book, then the voices in your head will already be compelling you to buy this card game. Its unusual scoring system tho' makes it a game that's just as interesting and intriguing to those who've never even heard of Ichabod Jones! The game is due to come to Kickstarter next week. It would be insane to miss it. Click here to check it out.


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