Welcome to The Game Shelf!

After getting into the board game hobby at the end of 2014, we've decided to share our thoughts on the games we're collecting on our shelves. The collection has certainly expanded over the last few years and we've been making up for lost time!

Sometimes our opinions differ, so Amy will be posting reviews every Tuesday and Fi will post on Thursdays. We hope you enjoy reading some of our opinions on board games - especially those for two players.

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Tuesday 1 March 2016

The hero we deserve:- Rhino Hero

GameRhino Hero


Designer: Scott Frisco, Steven Strumpf


It was a warm early-Autumn day when Richard Hino decided to walk to his job at the construction yard. The suburbs of Animalopolis were always pleasant at this time of year, a gentle breeze took the edge off the last of the summer sun. But wait, what was that crying? Richard, unbeknownst to those around him, used his Super-sight to see a kitten, caught up in the tall branches of a tree! Sneaking into a nearby alleyway Richard used his Super-speed to change into his costume. From the alleyway emerged Rhino Hero, the bravest, and only, superhero Animalopolis has ever known! Using his Super-flight Rhino Hero flew up to the tallest branch of the tree with the kitten in it. Rhino Hero began to talk to the kitten telling him that “He should always stay near his mother” and “Make sure you brush your teeth after every meal”. In fact Rhino Hero was so caught up with is Super-lecture that he hadn’t noticed that his Super-heaviness has bent the tree down to the street and the kitten had wandered off! Join us next time for more adventures of Rhino Hero!

Rhino Hero is a competitive tower building game for 2-5 players in which you attempt to build a tall tower by using all of your cards, or at the very least not be the person to knock the tower down. Tower building will be “assisted” by the titular Rhino Hero who will move around the tower being super-heroic… and heavy. It should be noted that this is a kids game, you shouldn’t be expecting much in the way of strategic play, but if you’re willing to play a silly game then you’ll be surprised how much fun could be had.

Rhino Hero stands heroically on top of the apartment block! What could go wrong?
Every turn you’ll be playing 1 or 2 wall sections, which come in the form of V-shaped bits of folded card. Then you’ll place a roof card on top, each roof card has 1 or 2 spaces on it that indicate where the next player must place their walls, and may also have a special power. Most of these are quite typical of a kid’s game, so you can expect the gambit of drawing extra cards, changing direction, skipping turns, all quite Uno-like. The most fun power is, of course, the Rhino Hero himself! When you play a card with a picture of Rhino Hero on it the next player must pick Rhino Hero up from where he previously was and place him on the tower where the picture is. Rhino Hero is sensitive about his weight, so please don’t blame him if he knocks the tower down, he can’t help being an adorable wooden meeple!

It’s difficult not to compare Rhino Hero to Jenga, while Jenga probably has a higher skill ceiling I would say that Rhino hero is more fun, you will find yourself building different shapes at your opponent’s whim which does add some needed variety to your actions. Also Jenga is a series of plain looking wooden blocks, while Rhino Hero does nail the aesthetics. The wall cards all have internal and external sides which cute artworks of pigs bathing and cats walking on windowsills and the like. The special powers also add some vindictiveness, you become quite aware which way the tower is likely to fall and can choose which way round to put your roof tile, so it’s easy to ensure that Rhino Hero has to be placed on the unstable side!
Rhino Hero fell down, and took most of the apartment with him. I guess that's why the higher rooms have cheaper rent?
I can’t honestly bring myself to rate Rhino Hero too highly, it’s a children's game and you’d be hard pressed to get a group of serious gamers to even look twice. But as quick filler it isn’t bad, and perhaps most importantly for a game designed to be played with kids, it is fun for adults to play! If you are willing to be seen building a paper apartment block covered in cartoon animals then Rhino Hero is well worth a play.


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