H.E.R.O from Eelyriver games
‘In HE.R.O, 2-4 players take the role of young doctors who work together or compete with each other during a nighshift in a chaotic ER. During their Night Shift they have to save patients, perform surgery and amass as many heroic deeds as possible - all the while still finding enough time to sleep.’
Three words to describe this game: patients, freeloading, chaos
In this game, you are working a shift at night in an ER. You can play cooperatively or competitively. Each turn you can take 3 actions comprising of any of the following: move one room, run into a room (taking a chaos token), heal a patient, go to the library, go to the call room. In the library, you collect journals, which will give your hero permanent upgrades for the rest of the game. In the call room, you sleep collecting pillows. You must have at least 6 pillows by the end of the game to even be considered to be the best hero in the ER. The back story being that you need to actually be awake to tell your boss in the morning about all your achievements!
Each round their are a number of staff (NPC’s) who you can use to help you cure patients. You can also one per turn ask for the counsel of your fellow doctors who are in the room with you. Each time you do this, you receive a reward for curing a patient but at the same time the hero who helped you will gain freeloader hero points. This means that you can literally earn points for just being in the room which is awesome in my opinion. Some actions will cause you to gain chaos as for example running through the halls of the ER at night causes chaos!
At the end of the game, provided you have 6 pillows, you will deduct a set number of hero points depending on how much chaos you have accumulated. For any extra pillows you gain, you can remove chaos tokens. Interestingly in the competitive version, all tokens such as hero points and chaos as well as pillows are put in a bag to be hidden both from you and your other players. Therefore you mentally have to keep a track of what you have received as you go along. This means you could miscount and end up not having enough pillows at the end - so beware!
We played this game at the UKGamesexpo where we were lucky enough to have spent an hour in the company of the creator of this game. You could not ask to meet a nicer bloke and he really made sure we had a great experience with his game. From the moment, he offered to teach it to us, you could see just how much this project meant to him. We loved hearing how the characters came about, how the cards were developed; the story behind the game is impressive to say the least and it all comes from his real life experiences. You can tell how his humour and passion for what he does has been weaved into this game and it was brilliant to play. Given that we learnt it at an EXPO, it was easy to pick up and grasp the idea of. The miniatures are amazing - although I’m not sure we could do a paint job like Robert has done on his. They are amazing and are definitely one of the things that draws you to this game. It takes a serious subject and puts a fun spin on it, but still offers a chance to strategise and puzzle how you are going to get the most out of your turn. The artwork on the cards is fantastic and so humourous. There is a card which is a patient who has Maple Syrup syndrome and the image is a Canadian hockey player. Another card had an alien on it, with indecipherable information about his ailment except that it must be something awful as it’s extremely difficult to cure. Each patient has an amount of time in which you have to cure them but even this has a humourous twist as patients who are in a coma, or suffer from narcolepsy don’t mind waiting to be cured as opposed to those with hothead who might need to be dealt with within a couple of hours. As the time moves on, more and more patients build up in the ER and if the ER ever overruns then each player needs to take on more chaos tokens. We had such a blast with this game and it is definitely one we would be interested to back on Kickstarter - this is certainly saying something as we rarely back things on Kickstarter. I have to say that this is down to sheer amount of passion and love that has been put into this game and way in which Robert was able to portray it to us in a short amount of time.
check out the kickstarter to get notified when it launches