Temp Worker Assassin – Review
Greetings from a beach somewhere in Valencia (Spain). Just before I left the UK I got the chance to play a few games. So it’s come to that time where we must cast an opinion on it. We did a little preview piece which introduces the game, it’s being shipped out to Kickstarter funders around December 2016. The print and play version I received consisted of
- 4 Starter deck cards of 10 cards each
- 5 Turn Marker cards to indicate Monday to Friday
- 23 Department cards
- 34 Target cards
- 60 Stationary cards
Of course, this being a print and play version of the game this may not be the final numbers. It is of note that the final product will also include 20 Meeple, that will be colour coordinated with the starter decks.
Each player gets a starting deck and to use as their own personal pool and five counters to represent their assassins (I used some dice). The decks are all the same so there is no benefit for being any particular colour. The departments are then placed as advised by the instructions.
The reason for picking these departments is that the other departments you get add complexity and difficulty to the game, so since you’re learning it for the first time I would stick to the guidelines. Once you have played a few games then go ahead and change one of the departments out. Four stationary cards are also laid out with the pack to support it and resupply. From the target cards, you take out the five typing pool zombies and turn one of them face up, then add three targets with normal workers from the deck.
The game is available for a maximum of four players and consists of five rounds, which represent the working days of the week, Monday through to Friday. You decide who goes first and then, as explained in the preview, you have one of two choices to make. You either place your assassin in a department, or you attempt an assassination. The department gives you various bonuses that include:
- Gain X
- Gain X cards from the face up stationary cards available into your hand
- Research X
- Look at the top X cards on the face down stationary deck, pick one into your hand and then trash the rest
- Draw X
- Draw X cards from your personal stash into your hand
- Trash X
- Add X cards from your hand to the trash pile
Attempting an assassination is simple. You just need to obtain the number of attack points that’s displayed on the targets card. You play your stationary hand out, which may require you to discard or trash cards, in order to get attack bonuses. If you are successful (you have equal to or more than the required number) then you gain the target as points to be added up at the end of five rounds. The targets themselves range from an array of difficulties with your zombie typing pool being the easiest (you get one of these per day). Any assassinations, (attempted or successful,) end up with your assassin being taken to security so you lose control of them until the end of the day. Once all players have placed their assassins, it’s time to go home so all assassins are returned and then the next day starts.
I always try to praise a game for what it does well as well as throw it some constructive criticism so let’s get into the guts of this and tell you what was good, not so good and a final verdict.
The game is pretty easy to learn, rules and mechanics are quite simple so teaching it to non-players is a simple task. Once the first few rounds got underway the game definitely became more fun and competitive. I found myself actively wanting to aim for the higher end targets as well as trying to find ways I can make my hand better. The artwork is really nice on the cards and I can only commend the artist for doing a great job, despite my gripe below. The stationary cards have a great variety and some of them become very useful in the latter stages of the game which feels balanced. Total game time for a first playthrough was about 90 minutes (with two players) but on a second around 50 minutes, this feels about the right amount of time a game should go on for. The game also has several difficulty settings so will have a fair amount of longevity for replay.
Not so Good
For me, font choice is very important. Now I have pretty good eyes for someone who has worked with computers for as long as I have but the font that was chosen for the titles of the cards is a little hard to read. It’s obvious why the creator chose this font as it fits in with the feel of the game somewhat but even with my glasses on I still found it difficult to read. This might down to the way I had it the cards printed so I am hoping the final product does not suffer from this. The artwork is a little obscured by a choice of presentation on it. Each target looks like it is behind a cracked piece of glass with a bullet hole, I think the cracks sometimes distract from the beautiful design of the characters. Like any deck building game knowing what cards do what is always a bonus and I feel with this game any experienced player would have a distinct advantage which may discourage newer players.
Overall it’s a good game, it plays well and has a good learning curve. We would like to thank the creator (David Newton) for sending me the PnP early. We realise how much work has gone into producing it and we hope that it does really well. You will be able to buy it from Amazon and your friendly retailer around December time for the price of £24.99. While you’re waiting you can connect with the game on social media via Twitter and Facebook and of course the Website.
If you have any input on our review or would like to recommend a traditional game for us to try out then please get in touch. Alternatively, if you are a creator we would be more than happy to help you out with beta testing within our group and don’t mind signing NDA’s. Send us your suggestions and Kickstarter projects via the comments section or via our normal channels of Reddit, Twitter and Facebook
Love and rockets from Valencia