The Cohort by Jeremie Kletzkine and Carrotia by Malte Kuhle by Mage Company
These are two of the games we picked up at Essen last month, and we've had chance to play these, and even played the second of these with Geoff's daughters to get their impressions.
The Cohort is a fun little game that’s very easy to play and is your standard set collection card game with a twist. The idea is that the first player to complete three cohorts wins the game. Each time you complete a cohort, you turn the cards face down so they no longer affect the game. Incomplete cohorts have different effects depending on the type of cohort they belong to. For example, the Centurions demand you play with your hand face up. These effects can complicate your attempts to complete cohorts and the more cohorts you have that are incomplete, the more the round descends into chaos. While there are a lot of cards in the box, there’s not enough variety in the cohort types, and unfortunately, this limits the game’s replayability. The box is slightly bigger than it needs to be as well, and there’s no mitigating card insert to limit the way the cards rattle around in the box if you stack it sidewise on the shelf. However, if you’re looking for a quick game to pass the time this one is not too bad. There are better games out there, but the artwork is fun and colourful, and will appeal to children familiar with Horrible Histories because it’s done with similar aplomb. This makes it a good choice to get out and play with your nephews and nieces.
Carrotia is a pretty little game where players work together to move their rabbits around a maze that they construct co-operatively, collecting carrots as they go and avoiding the birds in the maze. Once they’ve got through the third maze they calculate how many carrots they’ve picked up and if they have enough they win the game.
Mazes are built by co-operatively, with each player laying tiles so that they meet the requirements of the maze before the time runs out. If the maze is incomplete or you’re unable to place the items in the maze, then additional birds are placed onto the maze. Birds are to be avoided and some will eat the carrots they move onto. Once the maze is constructed each player takes turns to rolls the dice to determine how the birds move before moving the Rabbit. Each player has a special rabbit ability which can only be used once per maze and during their turn unless stated otherwise. Once a rabbit has moved through the exit of the third maze the game ends and players have to count their carrots to see if they have won.
The co-op element to maze creation is ok, but in practice it suffers if you’re playing with younger children with the timer. The artwork is nice but not exceptional and sometimes the rules can be a little bit woolly when it comes to choosing additional birds and how to use certain abilities. The different bird abilities and one-off abilities of the rabbits add a little bit of fun and uncertainty to proceedings, but overall it is not a game I feel has too much replayability either.
The Cohort retails from Mage Company’s website at $14.99 and Carrotia retails at $19.99