Deep below the Earth’s surface, a nasty Dragon has spent decades lording over his mountains of ill gotten loot. We’re talking about gold, rubies, diamonds, jewel encrusted crowns, and enough other shiny treasure to qualify you and the rest of your family for an early retirement. The Dragon has repelled any attempts so far to pilfer his goods, but sitting and guarding loot all day can get boring, even for the laziest of lizards. So, with a flash of smoke and ash he’s left his lair to go off and see the world, leaving all that wealth unguarded. Word is traveling fast around the village and before too long every able bodied adventurer will be making their way into the dungeon looking to make a fortune for themselves. It’s up to you to assemble a team of Looterz to head up into that dark pit and come out with the goods before anyone else does.
Looterz is played over a number of simple rounds. Players start off the game with a hand full of Looterz cards and they’ll get a chance to send them into the dungeon to either search for treasure or do battle with your opponents’ teams.
On a turn you’ll start off with a Recruitment phase, where you can either draw a card from the local tavern (the deck where all the Looterz hang out) or add a card to your team currently delving into the dungeon. During the Dungeon phase you’re able to activate the entire team you have in play. You can either use a Looter to search for treasure, to attack another Looter, or use their special ability (if they have one). You’ll get a second Recruitment phase (same as the first) and then you have to Sacrifice down to only three Looterz in the dungeon.
The really fun aspect of Looterz is how many different personalities make up the deck and how those different combinations of characters can make for strong or interesting teams. Each Looter has a certain amount of life and a power level. When you put them out into play you can grab the super cool heart tokens to show their current health level. Their hearts also determine how many dice you roll when you’re attacking another Looter or searching for treasure. So, for example, if I want my Warrior to search and he has three hearts, then I’ll roll three dice. I’m trying to roll the same or lower than his power level (in this case 2). Each die that results in a success will yield either a gold piece or result in the target of your attack losing a heart.
During the Dungeon phase, you’ll activate all of the Looterz you have in play to either attack, search or use their special ability. Some of those abilities can be pretty powerful, like the Cleric, who can add heart tokens to other Looterz, or the Mermaid, who allows you to gain control of another Looter until the end of your turn, or my personal favourite, the Gelatinous Cube. You can sacrifice any other Looter you control and put their life tokens on the Cube as if they’ve been absorbed into its sticky, squishy form.
Game turns are surprisingly quick and Looterz flies by at a really great pace. It’s not uncommon that your entire team in the dungeon will get wiped out all at once and you’ll be forced to start all over again, but your Looterz are really just the hired help. You’ll shed a tear for their loss and move on. Game lengths are determined by player count. After a certain threshold of gold has been attained by a player the game ends immediately.
This past year has represented a sea change for Cool Mini Or Not, now rebranded as CMON. They are still actively producing big box games with the best miniatures in the industry, but ever since The Grizzled hit the market last year to great acclaim, CMON has been broadening their line up of games. Titles like Unusual Suspects, Potion Explosion, and Play Me are aimed at a much wider portion of the gaming audience. Looterz is a continuation of that trend.
Looterz is a small box game for 2-6 players. Each round only lasts about 20 minutes and the simple rules and high re-playability will make you coming back for more again and again. I like seeing how the different combinations of cards work together and how you can maximize your turns for gold acquisition or opponent mayhem. Definitely give Looterz a look if you’re in the market for a fast, portable game.