Published on February 6th, 2015 | by Nicole Jekich2
Game Salute Loot Review
Successful Kickstarter Games Included
We received a box of games from Game Salute in late December as part of their Game Salute Loot program: a monthly subscription service for retailers and board game reviewers. As part of the selling point, Game Salute said that this subscription service isn’t just a way to send out games that are gathering dust on their shelves.
I spoke with Michael back in October about signing up and sent in all the paperwork, payment information and shipping address around the same time. I received confirmation later that week that I was part of the Game Salute Loot. Unfortunately using this service isn’t as automatic or at least as communicative as I would like. Nowadays we receive constant updates when we buy anything online. I receive multiple Kickstarter updates about the progress of a game and multiple emails from Amazon letting me know what stage of fulfillment, shipping and delay, if any, in getting a purchased product. The Adventurer’s Quarter Kit, a similar and customizable service I reviewed last year, were very proactive in letting me know when my card was charged, when the kit shipped and I even received a follow up email asking for feedback.
When I received the load of games, it mostly made up for the lack of communication. The $25 price tag is used to cover shipping the games and with the number of large boxed games and recent titles, the inventory was impressive.
What’s in Game Salute Loot:
Big Foot: Designed by Scott Almes and Illustrated by Brett Brooks
A two player deduction card game where Bigfoot and a Cryptozoologist attempt outwit each other. The Cryptozoologist lays traps and sensors to try and find the elusive creature while Bigfoot tries to avoid and sabotage those devices. Big Foot is the only game on this list that I had both heard of before and wanted to add to my collection. The art is gorgeous and I always want to expand my 2 player game collection. The rest of the crate were all surprises.
Democracy: Designed by Mark Rein-Hagen and Illustrated by Soso Chkhaidze
This game shipped separately from the rest and despite this service not promising a customized experience, I knew from the cover that this game would be a favorite around the household. Luke and I played it immediately with friends. It’s a politics and persuasion game where each player is representing different political ideals and trying to control different spheres of influence or factions. Players also get to vote on certain laws that possibly bring about order or unrest to their supporters. And bonus: it comes with a wooden gavel.
Kerflip!: Designed by Damon Tabb
As a Mensa Select winner, I have high hopes for Kerflip!. Word play games are not always my favorite especially ones that include the dreaded sand timer. Kerflip! uses the box as part of the play area and players drop tiles in the center and race to call out a word. Score the word, flip the used tiles over so they are now worth less points. If those tiles are used again, players can quickly sweep them off the board and into two collection areas in the box. Winner of multiple awards, Kerflip! is another family word challenge game like Scrabble and Boggle.
Monsters & Maidens: Designed by Fred MacKenzie and Illustrated by Royce McLean
This is a recent Kickstarter fulfilled dice game from Clever Mojo games and Game Salute included the Epic Dice Expansion set too! Players roll dice and attempt to rescue maidens from the grip of a troll-like monster. Be the first player to rescue the target number of maidens to win. I have been avoiding this game for sometime as I dislike the overused damsel in distress trope. Even with the inclusion of a female hero, the object of the game is still to fight over and claim a female character.
The Battle of Red Cliffs: Designed by Ta-Te Wu and E.R. Burgess
A card game for 1-9 players, The Battle of Red Cliffs is a variation on the traditional game of Mahjong. Players are looking to score points over a number of rounds based on the number of matching sets and also for having one of each card type for the Master Set by the end of the game. The game is much more complicated than a quick set collection game as players have interrupt actions and event cards come up during gameplay. The Battle of Red Cliffs also features a solo variant where the player must collect 50 before the timer reaches the Level 5 round.
Troll Hunt: Designed by Veli-Matti Saarinen and Illustrated by Jouni Hakalahti
All the way from Finland, Troll Hunt is a semi-cooperative game. Players are trying to petrify the trolls which are ravaging the country side. Gather your fellow troll hunters, set up mirrors and try to catch the sunlight and petrify incoming trolls. The board is a constructed with a series of random tiles each with a different spawning point for trolls and terrain set up. This complex puzzle is an interesting challenge for a cooperative game and I look forward to testing out its gameplay.
For $25 that is an impressive collection of games. Our game collection grew exponentially and now we have multiple games to review many of which are recent releases and successful Kickstarters from 2014. While most are quick card games or dice games, this loot includes two big box games (Democracy and Troll Hunt) which features a board, tiles and a minimum 60 minutes of gameplay. I definitely felt that I got a good deal.
You cannot expect a certain type of game or specific title. If you are hoping for a recent, popular Kickstarter game from Game Salute it is best to support the campaign during its run rather than hope for an extra using this service. I highly recommend subscribing to this service if you are a reviewer looking to build without buying a $20-$60 new game each week.
I have noticed that Game Salute has some inconsistencies and a lack of proactive communication with this service. There isn’t a set date when the loot ships nor is their a web page with details about this service that I can share. It is annoying but it isn’t difficult to email a representative to give you an update on your shipment. Game Salute is good with responding to your inquiries. They just need a reminder.
As far as we know this Game Salute Loot service will remain exclusive for game stores and reviewers. To ask about this service please email Game Salute by using their contact form.