Hotshots Review

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Hotshots will have players battling a forest fire in a cooperative, push-your-luck dice game.

 

 

 

Gameplay

The game board is made up of 18 randomly placed tiles, each of which has a specific scorch limit that players must be aware of. To combat the fires, each player will control a firefighter with a special ability. During the game, a player’s turn is 3 actions.

 

 

Each player will have a special ability that they can use as long as their home tile isn’t scorched.

1. Move – A player may move up to 2 tiles.
2. Fight the Fire – Roll all six dice and attempt to match as many symbols shown on the tile as possible. Any matched dice can be set aside, but at least one die must be matched after a roll. Any remaining dice can then be rerolled. If a player isn’t able to match a symbol after a roll, the attempt fails and a flame token is added to the tile.

If a player stops rolling before failing, they gain a number of benefits depending on how many symbols they matched (a minimum of 3). These involve removing fire tokens, gaining reward tokens, or installing flame breaks on the tile.

3. Draw a Fire Card – The fire card will determine how the fire spreads. Some burning tiles may gain additional tokens, or adjacent tiles may catch on fire depending on the direction of the wind marker. If a tile ever has enough fire tokens equal to its scorch limit, the tile becomes scorched and is flipped over.

The players win when they’ve put out all of the fires, and lose when 8 tiles (or just their Fire Camp tile) are scorched.

 

 

That’s pretty much the game, in a nutshell, you are moving around the board, fighting the fire and hope that you can stay ahead of it, as you will soon learn that the fire will fight back!

Components

The board game is colorful and captivating, with a layout containing multiple hexagon terrain tiles depicting forest locations. Locations include such things as the airport, log cabin, radio tower, the lake and the logging site. The artwork style is very pleasing to the eye, it looks like your looking at a forest, the colors will pop.

 

  

 

The flame token is amazing little pieces of plastic. I love these, this was a very nice touch.
The cards are small, that was my biggest complaint with the game, I wish they would have been bigger cards, small nitpick I know.

 

Instruction Booklet

The book is an easy read and laid out well. The game is easy to pick up, I did find my self-referring to what a few of the symbols meant on the tokens a few time, but after a few plays, I’m sure you will remember what they are all. Overall good book with easy to learn instructions.

 

 

Final Thoughts

Rolling the dice with the press-your-luck mechanic creates fun, dramatic tension. There is more strategy here than people might think because there are a variety of ways to fight the fires. Bonuses are given when players work together on the same tile. Therein lies the biggest problem with the game, if you are playing with someone who suffers from AP (Anylzis Paralysis) you will not have a good time at all. This happened to me when I attended the “Smash and Burn tour” at my FLGS. One of the people we were playing with, just took FOREVER to make his mind up. Justin DeWitt (The designer) said the game we played was the longest game he has ever seen, at the end my friend and I was just pushing our luck in hopes we would roll bad and lose. So if your playing with the right people the game can be amazing, I’ve played several times after that happened, and it’s been an amazing play each time, so I would say it depends on the group your playing with.

The variety of tile layouts creates a different game each time, there are different options in the book to mimic national forest and some of them are very challenging.

Hotshots make a great family game as well, and a great game to break out when you just want to have some dice pushing fun.

 

 

In case you missed it, we did an interview with Justin Dewitt of Fireside Games, where we talked about the games and it’s design among other things.

 

Hotshots can be found at your FLGS or Amazon.


 

 

A Big thank you to Fireside Games for providing our review copy, this as always had no effect on the outcome of the review.
The above Amazon link is an AFFILIATE link, DDOPlayers will get a small percent of your sale, this is another way you can help to support the site.

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