Number of Players: 1-4
Time 1-1.5 Hours
Game Type: Asset Collection
Gamer Type Casual
For those of you who may not have guessed, I am an avid hunter (as seen by the gun reviews). There are very few areas where these two passions overlap. However, it was exciting to receive a copy of “Pennsylvania Gone Hunting” from Laughing Rogue games. Bringing the gaming community and the hunting community together shows there is always overlap in any field.
In this game, you and your friends are going hunting in Pennsylvania. Simple story, simple fun. However, it does go a little deeper than that. This game borders on a role- playing game where you get better equipment and tools to increase your chances of being the best hunter at the table. This gives a depth to the story like any other RPG, you define where you want the story to go. 7.5 of 10.
Artwork in this space is always interesting. When I first looked at the box, which is a standard medium size box, I thought the artwork would be augmented photographs, which can always be a little awkward in the game. When I opened the game, I found I was mistaken. The artwork was just so well done that it came across as augmented photos, the artwork was actually drawn. This really draws the player into the game with beautiful pictures of the animals, which could be artwork on their own. 8 of 10.
The game is a move and shoot game, with your chance of success being dependent on the tools and firearms you have. Most of the actual mechanics are dice-based, with the dice use being determined by the tools. This means the tools the player chooses to use on a hunt have a high level of control over the rolling dynamics. This brings the game further from an Amerogame and dangerously close to a euro-game. There is still that level of chance that makes the anti-dice crowd cringe, but the strategy of the game giving control over that should alleviate the pressure, if only slightly. Add to that a map system which incorporates movement of the game animals and you have a very interesting set of mechanics. 8 of 10.
As you know, I like to look for the big four: offense, defense, rush, and engine building. In this game, offense and rush merge together and defense and engine building merge together. Therefore, all four methods are represented, but in their own unique ways. A player could choose to go out and sneak up on animals, avoiding the need for new equipment, and just take their shot in the woods like an amateur hunter. On the other hand, a player could take the time to sell their game animals, build up an armory, and go after the trophy animals. The first is pure offense/rush and the second is defensive and engine building. You have your choice in this game, which makes it a lot of fun. 9 of 10.
There are not a lot of hunting games out there. Yes, there are some games where you hunt orcs or some mystical beast, but there are not many where you look at hunting real game in a realistic setting. That fact alone sets this game up for success. Add to the fact that it challenges that gamers cannot be hunters, bringing a little bit of spice to the field, also makes it novel. Finally, it being in my home state of Pennsylvania just pushes it over the top. 9.5 of 10 for novelty.
Ring the bell, we have a contender for game of the year this year. Pennsylvania Gone Hunting brings together a lot of elements which are starting to fall away in the gaming community, which is sad to see. With dozens of new games being released each week, we see a lot of games that are just clones of successful games. Laughing Rogue breaks this trend by bringing something original to the table. With a score of 42 out of 50, this game is a monster in its genre. While this game is not for everyone, if you are willing to take a challenge and step out of your fantasy comfort zone, this is a game for you.
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