Most of us only know sloths for their custom of hanging upside down from tree branches or for helpfully providing a useful two-letter word in Scrabble (an 'ai' is a Brazilian three-toed sloth). Reckless Sloths gives us a fresh perspective on these previously unassuming mammals.
Designed by Sindri Levi and Amelia Prizginaite, with art by Sindri Levi and Sylvia Vinjars, Reckless Sloths is a card game played using three discrete decks of cards. The first deck shows the sloths. They are not images from a David Attenborough documentary but cute anthropomorphised cartoon figures shown acting out the often bizarre caption. For a two- or three-player game, four sloth cards are laid out face up (five cards in a four- or five-player game). In a row beneath them, a 'danger' card is placed below each sloth. These are hazards and pitfalls just as zany as the sloths and sporting similar light-hearted illustrations.
The third deck comprises 'power cards'. Along with their comedy illustrations, the important information on these cards is the icon in the corner. It's these icons that you'll call upon to defeat a hazard (ie: match the icon on your power card(s) to the icon(s) on the danger card) in order to rescue a sloth and add it to your individual sanctuary. With two or three players, the winner is the first player to save eight sloths (just five sloths in a four- or five-player game).
You pick up a power card at the start of each turn, so there's a high probability of being able to save a sloth on almost every turn. Not much of game then, you might think. Except that the sloths themselves mostly have conditions that apply when they are in your sanctuary. A sloth might, for example, require you to discard all the power cards in your hand that bear a particular icon. Intriguingly, these limitations apply not just at the point in which you save the sloth but for all the time the sloth is in your sanctuary.
As you might guess, Reckless Sloths is a game with a strong 'take that' element. Several cards allow you to steal power cards from other players and some allow you to steal sloths from each other's sanctuaries. There are even sneaky cards that allow players to swap sloths... With such a card in your hand, you might save a sloth that appears to handicap your subsequent plays only to swap that sloth on your next turn so it is your opponent who is lumbered with it. This all makes for a fun, if sometimes chaotic, game - especially at the higher player counts. And at no more than about 20 minutes a game, Reckless Sloths never outstays its welcome.
If you're looking for an ultra-simple family game that's quick and easy to play, then Reckless Sloths could be just the thing for you. It's on Kickstarter right now. Click here to check it out.