Big Killer Robots: Heavy Hitters: The Kotaku Evaluation

 

I’ve performed loads of board video games which can be higher than GKR, however I don’t suppose I’ve ever performed one which’s cooler than GKR.Big Killer Robots: Heavy Hitters is the primary board sport designed by the fellows at WETA, the artwork and results home you most likely know from stuff like Lord of the Rings, Mad Max and Neil Blomkamp’s films. Set in a post-apocalyptic universe the place Earth’s nice cities are principally deserted, it focuses on the preferred spectator sport of the longer term: duels between huge fight mechs, which use the ruined skyscrapers and roads as arenas.GKR helps 1-Four gamers (there’s a decently purposeful solo mode), and whereas it appears to be like like a tabletop miniatures battle sport, it’s truly rather less combative (and extra assorted, and thus extra fascinating) than simply inviting everybody round for a 30-foot deathmatch.I imply, sure, there may be a number of fight within the sport, however it’s not the one factor to do, neither is it the one technique to win. As a result of it’s primarily based on a futuristic sport present, GKR has two victory circumstances that may be met within the identify of leisure, and whereas one is the destruction of a mech, the opposite entails “tagging” skyscrapers (suppose Splatoon) for destruction.The sport rapidly turns into a merry dance across the board, as you divide your consideration between blasting missiles into the face of your opponents whereas additionally manoeuvring your method across the buildings tagging them. This prevents GKR from ever bogging down right into a slugfest, particularly when you think about the best way smaller help items could be summoned onto the map to spice issues up and preserve everybody on their toes, and that by destroying buildings you’re being incentivised to destroy your personal cowl.One of many large issues that differentiates GKR from extra severe tabletop miniatures video games is the best way fight is dealt with. Gamers start every sport by choosing from one in all six pilots (every with their very own perk), then selecting weapons playing cards to kind a deck. You then draw a small variety of playing cards from that deck every flip, and people are the weapons you should use. It’s a mix of strategic choice and blind luck that retains your ways fascinating, relatively than simply counting on the identical assault time and again.The opposite large distinction is that GKR doesn’t have hit factors, or a harm counter. As an alternative, it treats your offensive functionality and your well being as the identical factor; taking harm from assaults (or from over-exerting your self) merely breaks the weapons your mech is bristling with, eradicating these playing cards out of your hand, so with every hit you’re taking your offensive choices turn into extra restricted.These things is all good! I went into GKR anticipating an ordinary tabletop miniatures expertise with good packaging, however I as a substitute discovered one thing quick, fluid and stripped again. Me and my skilled crew had a blast with it, however on the similar time it’s very accessible, which is cool as a result of because of its appears to be like it’s already one thing I’ve had non-gamers I do know ask about taking part in.Anyway, sufficient concerning the sport. Let’s discuss the true stars of GKR: the miniatures and artwork design.Maybe it’s barely unfair to different designers and publishers, contemplating WETA have designed robots professionally for Hollywood, however these are simply essentially the most spectacular pre-painted miniatures I’ve ever seen included with a board sport (Fantasy Flight’s greatest Armada ships, for instance, are bought individually, and break the bank).From the design to the construct high quality to the paint, every of GKR’s 4 “Heavy Hitters” appears to be like like one thing followers would pay $40 for individually, and but right here they’re included in a board sport that impresses with nearly each different facet of its visible presentation as nicely.There’s a spunky Akira vs Metallic Gear aesthetic that runs all through GKR, from the longer term company logos splashed throughout the facet of deserted skyscrapers to the manga-style artwork that adorns all of the playing cards within the sport. Mixed with the intense and daring miniatures it makes GKR simply one of many best-looking board video games I’ve ever seen, not to mention performed, in my life.Usually that’s a trivial factor, a little bit of icing on the cake, however that is such a bodily sport that it actually makes a distinction to your general enjoyment! The massive skyscrapers of the longer term aren’t represented right here by tokens or hexes, they’re standing proper there on the map, and also you’re transferring round them with these comically huge miniatures that add an unlimited sense of weight and immersion to the expertise. Greater than as soon as I discovered myself making “thump…thump” noises as I stomped my Heavy Hitter round a nook and right into a firing place.After all, all this high quality comes at a price, fairly actually: that is an costly sport. Asking $150 for a board sport is a steep request from WETA, however it’s particularly essential right here due to the kind of sport GKR is. This isn’t an expansive role-playing journey that you just’ll play via for months, it’s a catchy, enjoyable battle sport—typically over in an hour or so—utilizing the identical mechs and playing cards over and over. You’re paying for the manufacturing value right here, not the size and breadth of expertise.Which I feel right here is OK, as a result of these excessive manufacturing values are what makes GKR. Had this been a smaller, cheaper expertise I feel I’d have had my enjoyable, famous a few of its good concepts then moved on. However the lure of those large plastic beasts is so irresistible that I’m positive I’ll be taking part in this time and again, as a lot for the enjoyable of taking part in with the miniatures because the sport itself.

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