REVIEW: Ready Check!

ready check

REVIEW :

READY CHECK

 

OVERVIEW

Ready Check is a card game by 2HandsomeGames that is inspired by similar fast paced, tongue in cheek games like Munchkin; loaded with in-jokes, stereotypes and things that any current or former MMORPG player can truly appreciate.

Essentially you play the role of a Guild Master (the leader of a group of players in a Massively Multiplayer Online RPG) in a generic MMO. Your goal is to recruit and manage unique guild members personalities, assign them the best classes and raid dungeons for loot and Victory Points. While doing this, you have to watch out for your opponents who may choose, at any time, to play an effect card on you and mess up your plans. Or, you just might draw a card with Patch Notes that change the rules of the game for everyone.

A ready check is an automatic survey that can initiated by a party or raid leader. Ready checks are most often used in preparation for a boss encounter to make sure everyone is ready to commence. They are also often used as a means to survey which players have returned if the raid takes a break for any reason.

The concept of the game is fantastic. The gameplay is fairly straightforward too. You don’t need to be an MMO aficionado to understand the game either which is a bonus.

While not yet in production we have been in touch with them and got ourselves a print and play prototype copy to review. The rules were pretty rough when we got them, with a lot of terms going undefined and some general confusion with how certain cards are used. Thankfully the designer has been more than willing to take critical suggestions and since then has updated the rules significantly.

2HandsomeGames are re-launching have relaunched their Kickstarter and hope to get this produced and, as they state, “Bring all the joy, misery, and laughter of your pay-to-play MMORPG to your table”. The original Kickstarter was cancelled after a week. This is a good thing! 2HandsomeGames realized they weren’t ready and have regrouped and fixed things up for a relaunch. And let’s be honest .. they had way to many reward tiers that it was just confusing. The relaunch should be a lot leaner and cleaner and the rules have been tidied up and refined more.

I know I’ll be backing it to add to my collection of light games!

BREAKDOWN

Ready Check is a component-lite, rules-lite card game. Good for a filler or palate cleanser between heavier games, or for those times when you just want a quick, light hearted game.

The game consists of a Rules sheet and 3 decks of cards. Forums, Dungeons and Loot cards to be precise. The print and play prototype we used had about 90 cards but the final product should contain approximately 200 cards in total.

The Forums cards are what makes up your guild members. Each turn you can choose a forum card to bring into your hand to build your guild. On their own, the forum cards provide only part of the rules interaction as some of the personalities provided will only play with certain others (or not at all) while others come with different stipulations. It’s a balancing act of what you need to successfully raid dungeons for those Victory Points.

Dungeon cards are where you get your victory points. You use your guild members (Forum cards + Class cards from the loot pile) to raid dungeons and score loot and points. The harder the dungeon is to defeat, the more points it’s generally worth (though some are worth more loot than points). Having a limit on the number of Dungeon cards in play means you have to carefully choose what ones you want to raid depending on your goals (points vs loot, or both) and what guild members you have available to raid them.

Loot cards are what provides everything else in the game. This is where you will find the classes to equip to your guild members (giving them a “power” rating to defeat dungeons), rules modifiers (global “patch notes” and personal “buffs and debuffs”) and effects cards which you can use to help yourself during a raid or hinder your opponents during theirs.

During any given turn you will draw forum cards (as needed), organize your guild using the forum cards you have plus any classes you’ve looted (you do start with a few loot cards to get you off the ground by the way!), raid dungeons and reap the rewards. The first person to 40 Victory Points wins.

Simple. Elegant. Fast. Honestly, it only takes a few minutes to get the rules down and you’re ready to raid .. and mess up your opponents.

Here are some card examples for you;

class cards dungeon cards

effect cards forums cards

patch notes stash cards

 

SCORE

Rulebook – How to play               4/5

Everything you need to know is there (now). Well organized, easy to read and clear since updating them.
Terms are well defined and diagrams/picture references help clarify more difficult rules.
Ready Check is rules-lite and good for quick, filler gameplay

Rulebook – Aesthetics                   3/5

Well laid out, decent amount of picture references using the actual game art to go along with the rules.
Concise and to the point without a bunch of filler fluff.

Gameplay Experience                    3/5

If you’ve ever played an MMO, or at least know the gist of them, you get it. It doesn’t have quite the same level of tension as a real MMO but expecting that would be a little much.
You get the general feeling that you are in the shoes that Guild Master who has to balance the personalities in your guild to make the most of dungeon raids.

Gameplay “Fun”                               3/5

It’s a quick, fun little game, reminiscent of Munchkin and the like, with some different mechanics in how you manage your cards to make it stand out.
Lots of different cards and combinations help.

Replayability – Game Night         3/5

The game plays quick enough and there are enough cards and combination options that playing it several times in a single session is easily achievable.
It’s a little bit niche (within a niche) so not everyone is going to want to do a repeat, even if they enjoyed it once.

Replayability – Shelf Life               2/5

As with games of this kind, you’re not likely to bring it to the table all.the.time.
It’s one of those great filler games that you remember you have and pull out to play between games or if you just want a quick, rules-lite game session.

BONUS POINTS

Prototype Copy – 1

Great Artwork – 1 – The art is perfect for the genre. Light hearted, fun, MMO-ish.

OVERALL SCORE – 11/14