Adrenaline First Impressions on the game:
We don't always have time to play games over and over again. So, sometimes I like to look over a game to see if I want to get it to the table again or banish it from the glorious tabletop.
‘Adrenaline’ from CGE (the master’s behind Codenames), is a first-person shooter board game for 3 to 5 players. “What?!?” I hear you say. Yes, they have done it, this game feels like the classic first-person shooters of the 90’s and early noughties like ‘Doom’, ‘Quake’ and a bit of ‘Halo’. So, how does it feel like that, I mean it is a board game, right? And, is it any good? Will I play it again?
This game has a lot of rules, this is not for new gamers by any means. However, as it is true to its origin material, it is easy to pick up if you are familiar with hobby board games and video games. On a turn, a player can take two actions from a selection of three. They can: run around, grab stuff or shoot stuff (that’s what Adrenaline calls them), then they reload. Players do these things with the goal of scoring the most points. You score points by shooting your friends, when a player dies, whoever has inflicted the most damage scores the most points. They then respawn and run back into the fray. Once 5 to 8 players die, the game is over, final points are scored and whoever has the most points wins.
The theme is perfect. Everything about ‘Adrenaline’ screams Ameritrash (games where fighting and elimination is usually involved). However, ‘Adrenaline’ is actually a Euro (games where points determine the winner with no player elimination) in disguise. When a player dies, they are eliminated from the game. The first time a player dies they give the player who hit them the most 8 points, then the player with the second most hits, 6 points, etc. When they come back, the most points a player can score from them will then be 6. This is excellent because the game encourages players to target other players over the course of the game. Players will also become more powerful as they take more damage which is exciting when you may be feeling targeted. Of course, a final mention is the graphic design which is perfect for the theme and the guns are brilliant, really adding flavour to the game.
There was not much bad that I could see in my first game of ‘Adrenaline’, however, one thing did pop up. Players seemed scared to get hurt or die. This is the point of the game, you should want to be hurt so you can get stronger and so players stop targeting you. There seems to be a tough balance with getting ‘hurt’ and giving other players points, some struggled with this in our first game. I would also say that, whilst awesome, the number of guns needs to be more (expansion maybe?).
Will I play ‘Adrenaline’ again:
You better believe it. This game hit me in my nostalgia bone, taking me back to playing video games with my friends in primary school. Not many tactics, just running around shooting each other with flamethrowers, heat seeking missiles and chain guns. If you or your friends enjoy first-person shooters, you owe it to yourself to try this one. Big thumbs up.