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Once upon a time in the wild wild west there was a High Noon Heist


High Noon Heist box art. The logo is in an a Western style font and the cartoon design shows a bipedal cowboy bull running with a safe with a saloon in the background.

Players: 2 Ages: 8+ Play Time: 15 minutes


DOALG were honoured to be asked to review the preview copy of High Noon Heist by Table For Two Games (www.tablefortwogames.co.uk). This is the first game produced by founder Sam, who aims to produce 'thematic and interactive experiences for two players'.

High Noon Heist is a two-player card game with elements of trick taking, hand/resource management, bluffing and strategy. In this game, one player plays as the law and the other as the outlaws. Gameplay comprises of 15 rounds, each of which represents a stand-off between the factions. Players compete to win these confrontations and claim the loot they provide. The victor is the player with the most loot at the game's end.


Gameplay

So how do you play High Noon Heist? Well it's actually very simple. Each player has a hand of eight cards, rated from 0 – 7. These are the seven characters of your faction, and a no-show card. The game also comprises of 15 Heist location cards, 20 loot cards for additional winnings and two double ended location cards. To set up: the heist location cards are divided by level, each are shuffled and stacked to form the Heist deck. The Loot cards are placed next to these, and the two location cards are placed between the players with the relevant sides facing each faction.

Both character and location cards have individual effects on game play. Each round players choose to deploy a card to out manoeuvre their opponent. Sometimes this may include intentionally loosing a location. Depending on the round's outcome, players claim locations/loot and used characters go to either saloon/hideout or doctors/jail. Used cards are displayed openly, giving players an insight into their opponent's remaining resources. Now, you may have already spotted that there are 15 rounds but only eight cards per player. The no-show card allows players to recall used cards from the saloon/hideout when played, although at strength 0 it won't win any encounter. Cards that end up in doctors/jail are harder to recall, however. Only one heist location per faction allows the player to play the no-show and recall one character from doctors/jail.

This game is rated for play by ages 8+, and I believe this is fair. The rules are simple and provides a nice introduction to a number of game types at a suitable complexity for younger gamers. The 15-minute play time is fairly accurate as well, as this works out at one-minute rounds. However, some players may take longer to decide.

Production

The production quality of this preview edition is very good. I particularly like the artwork, which is very clear. All the text is legible, and the character art is not overly cutesy; but will appeal to fans of animated features like Zootropolis. A couple of rules could use a little clarification. For example, there are location effects that require a player to state (honestly or dishonestly) which card they are playing. The rules do not specify whether this is completed before their opponent plays, however for gameplay purposes it only makes sense to do this otherwise there is no discernible reason for the rule to be significant. Also, there are locations that give players the chance to guess by name their opponent's card, however the reference sheet only provides strength and ability information, which makes this not only a guess but also a memory test as well. This is significantly more complex, particularly for the first couple of games. However these are relatively minor issues that common sense, house ruling or a final production copy can resolve easily.

A game of High Noon Heist in play. Players have played various characers into locations, there is the Jail/Doctors Office and Saloon/Hideout as well as Train St.

Conclusion - High Noon Heist

So what do we think of High Noon Heist? Overall, this is a solid game which is perfect for light and family gaming. However, I do feel it would benefit from some additional content to increase its re-playability. For example, additional heist locations. Having greater randomised encounters with some blindly not in play would reduce predictability (or could be added back in for a longer game). Additionally, the introduction of additional game modes such as quick draw (five seconds to choose your move or 3..2..1.. Draw!) and blind cowboy (used cards are placed in locations face down) would provide more high stakes and complexity for more veteran gamers.


So all that remains is to give High noon heist a DOALG dice score.


A d6 die face showing five pips, each pip the head of the Diary Of A Lincoln Geek mascot Ink the imp

This is a fun, family friendly, light card game. It takes minutes to learn, minutes to play and will fit in a bag or pocket. While this may not appeal to gamers that prefer complex or intense play and react games, fans of sweet, simple card games will find much enjoyment here. Therefore, High Noon Heist gets a solid 5/6.


Mr Sam-wise

A d6 die face showing five pips, each pip the head of the Diary Of A Lincoln Geek mascot Ink the imp

So I enjoyed this game immensely, I totally agree with Mr Samwise about the replayability, add some additional cards to randomise some more elements to the game, but otherwise it's solid. I love the unique quick draw style to the game, some little tweaks and this high stakes shoot out could score us a 6/6 partners, in the meantime a respectable 5/6

Mr Chris - The Founder



High Noon Heist is due to launch on Kickstarter in 2024. To be notified on launch visit: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1582352412/high-noon-heist?ref=clipboard-prelaunch


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