What's Inside the Box
I have been a fan of the From Software games ever since my brother introduced me to an imported copy of Demon's Souls. This love has not dwindled right through Dark Souls to Bloodborne and the recent Déraciné on the Playstation VR. This coupled with my enjoyment of table top gaming, it should come as no surprise that Bloodborne the Card Game would be perfect title to add to the gaming shelf. That said I am a little late to the party, but I am glad I have it now and the purpose of this post is to share my thoughts on what comes in the box.
Firstly, I was very impressed how nicely everything sits in the box. Not only does it look fantastic with how it is organized so neatly but it also all goes back in the box with no trouble at all, which is a huge plus for me. There is nothing worse than a board game that does not pack away easily.
No Aldritch horror surprises just yet, as one would expect, the rule book is inside the box. The rules are very clear and well written with clear examples that give the rules meaning.
Like all new games there is a lot to learn and in this case there are 8 steps to each round. Which at first is a lot to take in, but once you get a few rounds under your belt it flows nicely and is a nice quick game to play.
These player boards are used by each player to track the blood Echoes earned and points won through slaying monsters. By doing damage to a monster or Boss in the round it is killed, players are rewarded with one or more trophies. There are 3 types, Humanoid, Beast & Kin. Having the most blood echoes and trophy points is how you win the game. A nice touch is the turn order list on the bottom right of the Hunter Board.
Before playing there was a lot of cardboard tokens to pop out (which I always find very satisfying). This includes 15 Trophy Tokens, 5 for each type, Humanoid, Beast & Kin. The Trophy Tokens are used to track the trophies received during a game. The really cool part is the Hunter Rune HP wheel as this is one of the coolest methods that I have seen for tracking HP in a board game. It is simple to use, when you take damage simply turn the wheel to show the new total HP that remain.
Next item in the box is the Blood Echo Tokens. The creator of the game could have easily just done plain red tokens or cardboard cut outs with an image of the Blood Echo Items from the Video game. I really like the marbled or liquid congealed blood look to these tokens and it is nice to have plastic and not just cardboard. Blood Echoes are banked once you visit the Hunters Dream, so don't push your luck for too long or all the hard work may be undone.
Monsters, Bosses and Weapons
As cards go, these one is all printed to a high standard and the art is very good. The boss cards are larger than normal cards the normal monster cards and the weapon cards are normal playing card sized.
There are 5 bosses to choose from with each having a unique affect on the game. Each game will end when the Chalice Dungeon Boss is defeated after progressing through all the other monsters in the Dungeon.
Each enemy has a number of Blood Echoes that are ready to be collected by brave Hunters.
Everyones favorite Hunter Tools can be found in the Hunter Dream Workshop. From the Kirkhammer to Bolt paper you will find a tool to use to your advantage. You start with 5 cards but can add to your playable deck by visiting the Hunters Dream. What I really like is even though you may lose some Blood Echoes from dying you can return from the grave better equipped to fight once again.
All Weapons do the number of damage indicated by the number in the blood drop (as seen on the card to the right). The Hunters are rewarded with Blood Echo Tokens for each point of damage done but only if there is any left.
Each monster in the Dungeon (including the final boss) will specify which dice to use. The colour indicates the strength of the encounter, with green being the less risky and the red more likely to deal larger damage in one round. The Dice are only used to see what damage is done to the hunters.
Last but not least, you will find a Hunter cut out in the box. This is used to identify the lead hunter in each round who attacks first followed by the hunter to the left. The cut out is perfectly fine but I so happen to have the Totaku Hunter Figure. So I use that instead.
The game is recommended for ages 14+ but My 6 and 9 year kids both were able to play without too much trouble. Odin (9) was fine and has learnt a few tactics that has served to well and Aria (6) even won her first game. However, I am not sure if it is a good thing that she won her first game. It could be good that the game is simple enough that a child can play this game and succeed. Or it could be that there is just too much luck involved that let her win. Or most likely the reason is that I am very bad at games.
As mentioned earlier this is not a full review of the game, however, I am happy to give it my tick of approval (for what it is worth). It is a good adaption of the original video game into card game form so it will appeal to any Bloodborne fans. Ignoring the Bloodborne skin, I also think it is a well done card game in its own right and could be enjoyed by someone who is not familiar with the original media.