Monday, March 13, 2017

HOP! (Passport Game Studios)

The board game industry is at an exciting time. Hundreds of games are produced every year. This is great for players in the hobby, but tough for designers and publishers, because they have to make a game that stands out in theme, mechanics, art, etc. Today, I am going to tell you about a beautiful game called HOP! HOP! is a game for 3-6 players, age 6+. It retails for $70, but can be found for less than that depending on your retailer.
1. Construct the 3-D gameboard, placing it in the center of the table.
2. Spread the Cloud tokens around the board with the cloud side up.
3. Spread the Bird tokens around the board. It doesn't matter which side of the bird is visible.
4. Shuffle the Dare cards to form a face-down deck.
5. Place the Rainbow close to the board.
6. Give each player a Character Board, their Figurine that matches their board, 5 Balloons of the same color, a double-sided Bet token. Youngest player is the starting player.
Game Play
On your turn, you are the Hurler. You must pick a player who will be the Skewerer. The Skewerer picks an elbow and places it on the table with their index finger pointing up. The Hurler then draws a Dare card, which tells them how they must throw the Rainbow. Note: Some dares involve other players who will help you (also known as an Assister) or who will hinder you (also know as a Turbulator). Before the throw occurs, any player not participating places a bet with their Bet token. 

If the the throw is a success, the Hurler advances their Figurine one level on the board. The Skewerer and Assister each gain a cloud token, The Turbulator gains and loses nothing. Those who were correct with their bet receive a Bird token, dove side up. Those who were incorrect with their bet receive a Bird token, crow side up.

If the the throw is a failure, the Hurler loses a Balloon. The Skewerer and Assister gain and lose nothing. The Turbulator gains a cloud token Those who were correct with their bet receive a Bird token, dove side up. Those who were incorrect with their bet receive a Bird token, crow side up.

If you ever have three doves, you return them and move up a level. If you ever have three crows, you return them and lose a balloon. The game ends when someone reaches the 7th and final level on the board or when someone loses all their balloons. Score is tallied by adding the value of your cloud tokens to the value of the level of the gameboard you are on. Highest score wins.

HOP! is a very fun dexterity game with lots of different and wacky dare cards. Some examples of this are The Schoolteacher where you have to remove your glasses or wear someone else's glasses or Night Flight, where the Skewerer has to close their eyes. This makes the game silly, crazy, and unpredictable. It also is going to keep the interest of kids, because no matter what role they are assigned, they are going to be up moving around, and that is a great element for family games.

Unfortunately, the components are the game's greatest strength, but also its greatest weakness. Let's start with the positive. The gameboard is 3-D, which adds a wow factor to the game when you set it up. The artwork is playful and full of vibrant colors that make the game pop! The figurines in the game are high quality, highly detailed, and honestly everything that the Tokaido miniatures should have been. So with all of these great things, I can see you scratching your head and asking, "Why is this bad?" It's bad because it's unnecessary and drives up the price exponentially! $70 for a family game is a lot of money, especially for a game with such a simple mechanic. The game does not need a 3-D game board or miniatures, and the dare cards could have been smaller in size. Your children, family, and friends could have still had a memorably fun experience without all this bloat of presentation, and I'm afraid a lot of people will pass on this game due to the high price, which is unfortunate. So while, I do recommend this game, I would recommend it only if you can find it on sale.

This game was provided to me for free by Passport Game Studios in exchange for an honest review.