Review based on several sessions thanks to a review copy by the publisher
Modern boardgaming is built on some pillars made of classical mechanics/games. One of this pillar is, for sure, Memory. A lot of games ask for “memory skills” but few of them really use memory-like rules as core engine. Until now my best were Chicken Cha Cha Cha, Bonbons and Sherlock (Ilopeli 2011). SecuezooS beat all in a big way with 3 different 2-5 games and solo rules in the same nice little box.
There are 25 animals cards, 5 different animals in 5 different colors, 10 restrictions cards (one for each animal and one for each color) and finally 60 trails cards (30 color trails and 30 shape trails).
The 5×5 grid of face-down animal cards is built in a way that each player already know, in the beginning, 4 different cards. The same grid stay the same in the different rounds of the same game allowing players to become confident with it.
Trail cards display 5 challenges in order: shapes challenges in shape cards and colors challenges in color cards. They could be difficult challenges (an hen, a blue, …) or easy challenges (red or green, horse or cow). The trail card has a difficult level going from 1 to 6 according to the difficult of the single challenge composing it.
On the Trail
There is a common trail of 4 trails cards players have to complete that means a row of 20 challenges. Each player has two restriction cards: one shape and one color. In his turn player have to fulfill the challenges in order following is own restrictions. So if I have blue and hen restrictions it means that in shape challenges I can’t use blue animals and in colors challenges I can’t use hens. With a “push your luck” mechanism I can turn face-up animal cards, completing challenges, as long as I want but if I reveal the wrong card I lose all the advances of that round. If I decide to stop without a mistake I stabilize my advances. When a player complete all the 4 trail cards the manche is over and each player score the completed trail cards. The second manche is with the same 5×5 grid, 5 new trail cards and different restrictions.
Every player has a personal 3 trail cards trail. You compete on all the trails (yours and other players). On your trail you have to obey your restctions; on other players trails both yours and theirs. As soon as a trail is completed all the players score points according to the completed trail’s cards in that trail. In your turn you decide, card by card, on which trail complete and continue until you make a mistake. What happens here is that you work in a different way: you can think in which trail complete depending on the cards you remember in the grid.
Time Trail and Solo Rules
The game last for 6 rounds. In each round each player take a trail card of a difficult level equal to the current round and reveal animal cards until all the 5 challenges in the card are satisfied. There are bonus points for taking also a restriction and for completing the challenges in the right order. In the Solo Rules you reveal just 5 cards and score 1 point for each completed challenge.
|Synthesis and Emotions
What SecuezooS actually does is combining colors, shapes and restrictions in simple but challenging set of rules. In the games you usually have to find a card, in the standard 5×5 face-down grid, matching the selected trail card and following the restrictions. What are you actually doing is trying to memorize shapes (here is an hen, there is a pig, …) and colors (here is a green, there is an yellow) and combine this two sets with the addition of restrictions (it could be that you need to find a purple animal but not a cow or an horse not blue and red) that sometimes make what is good for you no good for others.
On this great engine “On the Trail” add a well done “press your luck” mechanic; Trailbusters add the possibility to compete on different trails with different restrictions reversing the usually memory structure and “Time Trail” and “Solo Rules” a total new way of play memory.
Something really new: fun and challenging without moving away too much from usual memory. Great!
This is the first game from Blauberry and Roberto Pisonero Trapote. I really hope to see other games because this is an awesome start!