Welcome board game fans to another edition of A Roll of The Dice with me, your games master, Adam. This week we are diving into one of the more twisted and exciting games we’ve played to date, Gruff.
Gruff is best described as a battle card game, which brings new dynamics to an already booming genre. The creators knew what they were doing when they created this game and decided to try and change the entire battle system of most card games. They flipped the script for lack of a better term, but how did it add or subtract from the game itself? Let’s find out!
DESIGN – 10
The artwork in this game is spot on and super interesting. We loved the really dirty art style, and honestly adored just looking over each Gruff and Shepherd before we even began. The art is dynamic, fun, and gritty, and you can tell right away what they wanted the cards to portray.
The art alone would be enough for me to pick the game up and give it a try, which speaks volumes for the artist. With some of the stretch goals on the kickstarter, I am needing to find out what each card will look like. The fact that I want to buy more from them should say volumes.
REPLAY VALUE – 10
Card games, as I have said in the past have a lot of replay value. This one is not like most games though, as you actually draft a deck from many options. Each Gruff starts with 15 cards, and you must choose 8 of them to use in your 24 card deck (3 gruffs each). So you actually have a major mixture, with many different possibilities in this case alone, not to mention the order of your Gruffs and the Gruffs you even choose all play a factor as well.
We played four games, very rarely saw the same card more than twice, and all games had completely different outcomes. This should speak to the fact that this game is one that you can just keep playing without fear of getting bored.
FUN FACTOR – 10
That’s right folks, this game is insanely fun for what it is. The game itself has a lot of fun aspects, and of course, lots of ways to murder your friends, or bring your own Gruffs back to life.
The game changer though is that the attacks you do are not instant hits. You need to declare an attack on your opponent, and then let that opponent take an entire turn before your hit goes through. This adds so much more strategy, depth, and challenge to this game. There is not many people who can perfect one specific strategy, and that is something I love. There is nothing worse than a game that can be mastered quickly, and this is definitely not that. This is one of my favourite features in this game, and I look forward to hundreds more uses with it.
Well, this is it. The very first 10/10 we have ever given, and probably one of the only ones. I have never fallen so hard and so quick for anything other than my wife and son in my life. This game was dynamic, fun, entertaining, and just all-in-all one of the more fun times I have ever had playing a game.
1) Where did the idea for this game come from?
The origin of Gruff is pretty weird. I had been developing a positional tactical card game for several years. At the same time Virginia had been filling sketchbooks full of mutant monster goats as a drawing exercise. One day it dawned on us that we should crush these ideas together and see what happens. The result is this twisted mutant thing we call Gruff.
2) What are your top three favourite games of all time?
I love the Commander and Cube drafting variations of Magic the gathering. Gruff started as an excercise to see if I could solve the un-fun elements within these systems. 3 years later it has evolved from that point. Though those games were a big influence on me.
I have worked on over a dozen console video games during my career. The process of making a video game can, sometimes, suck the enjoyment out of playing it. I still love Darksiders 2. It hits all of the right notes for me, exploration, visceral combat and a really over-the-top art style. It helps that I remember where I placed most of the secret chests.
Sometimes you need to get some space from competitive gaming and just spend an evening having fun. I have a lot of great stories of friends gathering together to play Betrayal at the house on the hill. I have been playing it since the first edition and I still have a blast every time.
3) If you had to describe your game in one sentence, what would it be?
Gruff is a tactical card game about mutated monster goats where you take the role of a shepherd who has weaponized his flock into the meanest, weirdest, and fattest goats that the world has ever seen!
4) Where can people get a copy/learn more information?
5) Anything else you feel the readers should know?
Gruff is complete! Gruff has been in development for over 3 years now. The last year has been spent in heavy testing. The game is finally at a polished state. We are very pleased with it, and are excited to get into your hands.
Thanks so much guys for giving us one of the best times of our lives. We look forward to seeing where things go from here.
**As of this review being written Gruff is live and ALREADY 200% funded! Congrats guys!**