Game Review – Loot the Body!

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Like many adventurers, obtaining the greatest treasure imaginable is the ultimate goal. When a group of adventurers in Dragon’s Den Inn heard of an ancient dungeon that could provide unimaginable treasure, they set out to work together to acquire some awesome loot. In B Team Games’ upcoming Kickstarter Loot the Body!, players work to defeat monsters and collect loot in this fast-paced, cooperative, competitive game.

*A review copy of this game was provided to us by the publisher. Rules and other game elements are subject to change once final game is released.

Designer: Jason Bice
Publisher: 
B Team Games
Genre: Cooperative, Dexterity
Players: 2-5
Play Time: 20-40 Minutes
Number of Logged Plays: 7

Skip ahead to find out:
Game Overview
Game Play
What He Said
What She Said
Our Pros and Cons
The Verdict

Game Overview

IMG_4539In Loot the Body!, players take on the role of a hero seeking to defeat monsters, avoid traps, and collect loot in an ancient dungeon. The heroes work together to defeat monsters, but only the hero who does the most damage to the monster will receive loot. It’s only fair that the person who does the most work gets the best reward, right?

To defeat the obstacles in the dungeon, players play an action card from their hand, which will determine if the attack is successful and how much damage it does. The game will end once all three of the boss monsters in the dungeon have been defeated. The player with the most gold at the end of the game is the winner. Can you outwit your fellow adventurers and gain the most loot on this journey through the dungeon?

Game Play

IMG_4545Loot the Body! begins when everyone is dealt a hand of five action cards to be used against threats found in the dungeon. Critical hits and critical failure cards equal to a number of players are added to the action card deck. Each player selects a hero and collect two coins to begin the game. Lastly, the dungeon deck is created using three boss cards and 12 other dungeon cards. The bosses are seeded into the deck so players won’t encounter all three without going through at least ten dungeon cards. Once the deck is created, the game begins.

Each round of Loot the Body! takes place over three phases:

  1. Gear Up: Trade in one gold to discard and draw up to two new action cards.
  2. Explore the Dungeon: First player reveals the top card of the dungeon deck.
  3. Take Action: Each player plays an action card face down from their hand and draws a new card from the action deck. Once all players have played a card, all players will simultaneously reveal their chosen action card.
    • If players destroy the monster, proceed to step 4 (Loot the Body). If the monster still has health they will attempt to attack the heroes. A D6 die will be rolled and on a result of a 1 or 6, the monster successfully attacks the players. Additionally, the monster will also deal one extra damage to the last player to draw a new card to their hand. Players will continue playing the “Take Action” phase until the monster is defeated or all players have fainted. (Fainted players are not eliminated from the game. They will reset their health and continue playing as normal. At the end of the game, they will lose four points for every time they were knocked out.)
    • An attack is successful if the armor class indicated on the corners of the action card meets the requirement indicated on the monster card. Once a success is confirmed, the player deals damage equal to the value on the center of the action card. Unsuccessful attacks do zero damage to the monster.
  4. IMG_4541Loot the Body: Depending on the type of card defeated, players receive rewards based on their performance.
    • Monster Card: The player who did the most damage to the monster receives a number of loot cards listed on the bottom left-hand corner of the card. Second-most damage receives an additional gold reward indicated on the bottom-left-hand corner. All other contributing players receive the gold value listed on the bottom-right-hand corner of the monster.
    • Treasure Card: Players play a card that meets treasure’s requirements. The last player to draw a new card will receive no treasure, while everyone else who played a valid card receives a treasure token.
    • Trap Card: Similar to the Treasure Cards, players play a card that meets the requirement of the card to avoid the trap. The last player to draw a new card is caught in the trap and receives damage.

If players tie for the most amount of damage to a monster, they both receive the number of loot indicated on the monster card in clockwise order from the first player. Players tied for second place each receive one additional gold as a reward instead of the indicated amount on the bottom left-hand corner of the monster card.

Once the third boss in the dungeon is defeated the players will tally up their haul from the dungeon and the player with the most gold wins!

Variants:
Two Player Mode
A dummy hand of three face up action cards assists players in defeating the dangers found in the dungeon. The hand is controlled by the player who is second in turn order. The dummy hand always plays last and does not receive any rewards for defeating monsters and does not play a card on treasure or trap cards.

IMG_4546Mayhem Mode
Every adventurer for themselves! In this mode, chaos reigns as players deal friendly-fire damage to their fellow adventurers. Cards with blue backgrounds are added to the deck and action cards with a 5 or 6 are removed from the game. All eight of the bomb cards are added to the deck and one shield and one potion are added to the deck for each player in the game. Bomb cards are similar to action cards, except they always succeed and does damage to all other players and the monster. Shields prevent all incoming damage during the round, and potions can be used to recover health.

He Said

Loot the Body! is the first game we’ve been asked to review by a publisher, and we were pretty excited to do it. One thing that Mandee and I always enjoy are quick and easy-to-teach card games because they’re portable and can be played anywhere. Loot the Body! fits the bill in both of these categories and also has a fantasy theme, which is one of my favorites.

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The Enemy of my Enemy is my Friend
I’ve always found semi-cooperative games interesting because you can get mixed results playing with different groups. An example of this is when we play the semi-cooperative version of Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game and a competitive player tanked the game because they felt like their chances of winning was slim so they’d rather have everyone lose. It’s a valid strategy, but it’s always left a sour taste in my mouth. I’ve always felt like the cooperative portion of the game should take priority over being the best winner on the team.

Loot the Body! handles the semi-cooperative aspect well because each player is, ultimately, responsible for themselves, even though they’re technically on a team. They only hurt themselves if they don’t want to participate in defeating a monster because they won’t get loot or they’ll have the potential of being knocked out. It’s also because of this aspect that each player has to think a little bit more about what card they’ll want to play on a monster. Is it worth it to play a high attack card on a monster if there’s a chance you won’t deal the most damage to it at the end? Even though it’s just a little thing, I felt like these little decisions every round added excitement as we were going into the reveal of the action cards.

IMG_4522Two Step
The most unique element of Loot the Body! was the punishment of being the last person to draw a new card during the action phase. That decision aspect I spoke about earlier has to be expedited because being last is never a good thing in this game. There were a lot of moments when a treasure card would come out and a look of panic would appear on everyone’s face as they searched for a card that fulfilled the requirements. This would be followed by an even bigger rush to play a matching card and not be the last person to draw a card from the action deck. It brought back memories of playing Speed with my cousins when I was younger as we’d race to be the first ones to go through decks and yell, “SPEED!”.

This is a great mechanic to keep everyone engaged in the game because being last results in negative effects. On the flip side, I could see this being a stress inducing element for some people because it can get pretty heated with multiple people reaching for the deck at once.

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Mayhem
If you haven’t noticed from our previous reviews, I really enjoy the experience of a chaotic game with unpredictable twists and turns. The base game has loot cards that will allow players to swap actions cards out in the play area before they’re revealed or even after they’re revealed. This is another element players need to keep in mind when they play their high-powered cards because they could end up with a junk card in front of them. On the other hand, a loot card is worth three gold, so if you’re going to use the card,  you’ll want to make sure you get more than three gold back as a reward.

Once you introduce the mayhem cards into the game, it gets even more chaotic as you’re fighting to keep yourself alive to prevent yourself from losing points. Players will be slinging around bomb cards with reckless abandon that result in other plays burning up their potion cards to stay alive. The nice thing about these bomb cards is that they deal damage to everyone and don’t require you to single out a player. In this way, it doesn’t feel as mean of an action because it affects everyone at the table (except yourself).

Final Thoughts
Overall, I’ve enjoyed playing Loot the Body! because of it’s quick, easy-to-teach, and fast-paced gameplay. The semi-cooperative aspect of the game is done well and the speed element is a mechanic that I don’t see too often in other games. I would recommend playing this game with at least three players though since we had the most fun at that player count. As we’ve said in our Five Tribes and 7 Wonders reviews, we really just aren’t fans of controlling dummy players in a two-player variant of a game. If you’re looking for a quick semi-cooperative card game, I would recommend checking out Loot the Body! when it comes out on Kickstarter later this month.

She Said

When we were asked to review Loot the Body! by designer Jason Bice, we were really excited. It is right in line with the types of games we enjoy, and we always want to support burgeoning publishers and designers. Not surprisingly, we ended up really enjoying Loot the Body! and foresee it doing very well once the Kickstarter launches.

Timing is Everything
As a competitive, cooperative dungeon crawl, this game provides a unique experience and great gameplay. It’s heavy enough to satisfy my game tastes and light enough for someone like my brother-in-law, who doesn’t enjoy very heavy games, to stay entertained and engaged. And, given that it is a card, dungeon crawl game, I’m impressed at how quickly it plays. We managed to play four games in about an hour. Other dungeon crawl games use miniatures and can take hours to play one game.

Although the game does play 2-5 players, it really plays best at higher player counts. As a rule, we don’t enjoy playing with dummy players, and this game is no exception to that. With the dummy player, it felt a bit too cumbersome and we often kept forgetting that we needed to take turns doing it.

IMG_4547Welcome to the Dungeon
The gameplay of Loot the Body! is fast-paced and easy to understand. With the cooperative elements, you still feel like you are contributing to the team, but there’s a competitive element to it that adds more interest than a traditional cooperative game.

One element that tripped up some people we played with was the trap or treasure dungeon cards. With these, you have to react very quickly and play the required card. However, because each card has two numbers on it – one for armor class and one for damage – it can be confusing which number you need to pay attention to, especially when you are reacting quickly. In addition, some people we played with kept forgetting that the last player to draw a card, not play a card, is the one who loses when a trap or treasure dungeon card is drawn. So they would get excited to play a card quickly and then forget to draw one and end up losing.

The greatest strategy element to the game is determining how much you want to contribute to killing off a monster/boss. There were times where I felt it wasn’t worth my time to get first place in the battle because the reward was minimal. But you still need to contribute in order to get to the next boss. What can also be challenging is if you end up with pretty terrible cards and then other players feel as if you are purposely not contributing.

Play it Again
Loot the Body!
also, rates pretty high on the replayability scale for me because of it comes with an option to play the base game or mayhem mode with cards that impact other players more. Mayhem mode includes bombs, health potions, and other elements. These add more depth to the game that makes it easy to play multiple games in a row and not get sick of it.

With mayhem mode, there are bombs implemented in the game. As many people know, I do not enjoy mean games where you intentionally target one person and Loot the Body! manages to incorporate traditionally “mean” elements without seeming malicious. For example, bombs affect all other players but doesn’t target one specific person. This is a smart design choice because it makes it appealing to people who like combat, and people like me, who don’t enjoy mean games.

Final Thoughts
Overall, we really enjoyed this game. We currently have a prototype version of the game, so some elements like artwork or card layouts may change, but the general rules and direction of the game should stay the same. I like the cooperative and fast-paced competitive elements to the game and the way the game manages to pack a dungeon-crawl-type game into a short time span. I’d probably rate it higher if it was able to play better with just two players, but overall, it’s a great game to start off a game night, and we’d definitely recommend that you back it once it is on Kickstarter!

Pros and Cons

Pros:
– Plays great at high-player counts
– Interesting gameplay with cooperative and competitive elements
– Easy to understand and teach
– Effective use of “take that” elements that don’t feel mean
– Quick to play
– Great replayability with base game and mayhem mode options

Cons:
– Dummy player in two-player game feels cumbersome
– Having multiple numbers on the card gets confusing

The Verdict

He gives this game out of 7.5 Critical Hits out of 10.

She gives this game 8.5 Armor Class out of 10.

*A review copy of this game was provided to us by the publisher. Rules and other game elements are subject to change once final game is released.

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