2 Chits, 3 Giggles
We all have bad days, even dark overlords. The Master is feeling very blue for some reason, maybe his world domination just isn't working out or perhaps someone ate all his custard creams. Whatever it is that's bumming him out, it is your job to raise his spirits. What better way to do this than to put on a fabulous demonstration of minion acrobatics! As a lieutenant in the Master's army (the fore-minion) you will command the other dim witted, murderous creatures to create a tower of cheerleading wonderment and get Master back to his old self. Lovely!
Who will put on the best display? You'll need to be cunning, vicious and have eyes in your feet to beat the other lieutenant's in order to become Master's new favourite fore-minion. Three Cheers for Master is a brilliant game and is easy to learn; you are trying to earn the most victory points by creating the most impressive minion tower and getting your fore minion as high up the tower as possible to score you extra points at the end of the game. The fore-minion tokens are especially brilliant and full of character.
The art in this game... OH MY! It is possibly my favourite art in any game ever. It's part Edward Gorey, part Limbo the video game, all incredible. Every card is a treat to look at and read. The humorous text on each card is brilliant and you'll be entertained just looking through your hand as you wait for your turn to come back round. This is an excellent and stand out feature of this quirky little game. I say little, this game takes up an insane amount of space as your towers of minions grow and grow. I love it!
So how does it play? You have a hand of three cards and you play two per turn. There are two types of cards; 'minion' and 'order'. The former can be added to your own or your opponents towers, and they can be nasty. They love to fight and their strategic placement in an opponents tower can be their downfall. You are trying to fit minions around each other in your own tower so that they support each other instead of kill one another. It is like fitting together a very bite-y jigsaw puzzle; put a piece in the wrong place and it will kill the other other pieces. You have to make the tough decision between which minions you think will help make your tower more impressive or which ones will help destroy your opponents. They also have a point value which will be added to your score at the end of the game.
The 'order' cards can be insanely destructive or wonderfully defensive. They let you move minions around your own tower or your opponents. They can also make fights break out in your opponent’s towers. Scuffles also occur throughout the game when the 'Big Hairy Fight' cards show up in the deck. This means that everyone has to check their tower for outbreaks of punching, crunching and munching. It can get messy!
When the 'Master is coming!' card is revealed from the draw deck then you know the game will soon be over. This is usually the part of the game where everyone gets extra nasty, doing everything they can to destroy each other's towers. Minions will tumble, crushing those below or falling to their death. Hungry minions will be played and gobble up the weaker minions minding their own business. Finally, the 'Master is here!' card shows up and three final fights break out. If any minions remain then you better score them, before Master notices those custard cream crumbs at the side of your fore-minions mouth.
I have really enjoyed my games of Three Cheers for Master. It has a great tower building mechanic but the real heart of the game is in the time that has been put into the theme. The art is fantastic, the humour is fantastic. I guess if I was to describe it in one word, I'd say it was... fantastic.
If you don't like “Take that!” kind of games and don't like being a meanie to your friends then this game probably isn't for you. It's definitely fun but it's also vicious. There are some devastating turns where half the minions in your tower can die and you feel like you have to start all over again. If you're willing to embrace the chaos, you'll have a great game.
Review by David Murcutt