Theme and What is it?
It takes a seriously wacky mind to come up with a card game that involves teddy bears butchering each other with all manner of weapons and gadgetry … and I like it… I have no idea what that says about me.
The game comes straight out of the box pretty much ready to play which is always a massive plus.
In each round you draw a Bear (unless it’s your first turn and you draw two) to represent you, there’s no limit to how many bears you can have in front of you but, trust me when I say, keeping them alive is the biggest challenge.
You then draw two cards from the draw deck each turn (unless it’s the first turn and you draw 6 cards), the draw deck consists of Weapons, Defence and Event cards. The weapons and defence card can be equipped to your bears to make the stronger.
The events are insanely powerful and can completely change the swing of any game. In one game I ended up with zero bears in front of me and my opponent had four… two of which were mine… fully loaded with weapons and defence cards. Needless to say, it didn’t end well.
The game ends when there are no more bears to draw and then you count how many dead and live bears you have in front of you and the person with the highest number wins.
I’ll be honest, I really liked the look of this game from the second I pulled it out of the little deck box. I quickly flicked through the cards and read some of the caption and just literally laughed out loud at most of them eg Heather in Leather “Heather Doesn’t care what you think; Stockholm syndrome or not, friendship is friendship”.
The picture that goes with this is a bear dressed in dominatrix clothing. How can you not find that funny!?!?!
Senile Sally “All Sally’s friends are dead. Fortunately, she hasn’t realized yet.” I mean, that is dark and funny on so many levels!
So, yeah, Lonely Bears had my interest from the get-go.
Game Build Quality
This being such a small card game there isn’t much to say about the build quality. The cards are a standard card stock with a nice gloss finish. Without sleeves they will probably wear pretty quickly, thankfully there isn’t much shuffling in Lonely Bears.
The deck box it comes in does not accommodate sleeves so you’d have to re-home this one if you want to sleeve it… and I know a lot of you will. It’s an addiction, I know.
The artwork for this game is so simple, it boarders on childish, but that is far from an insult!
The art works so well in the context of the game. If this had been done with ultrarealistic art then cards like Bear Arms “Every bear has the right to bear arms, right?” could not have been done in the same way. The image that goes with this is a shocked looking teddy bear holding a pair of bloody bear arms.
Using the current art style its hilarious, any other art style I think it may have changed the age range of this game.
We played a few games of this in one sitting and absolutely loved each one. I still don’t think we’ve seen all the events in game yet meaning there could still be various tactics that we don’t even know about yet.
Using events to steal or kill your opponent’s highly equipped bears is brutal but so satisfying. Its fun to see a smile turn to a frown in the space of about 5 seconds.
However, I can also see this as being a downside for players out there who don’t like take that mechanics in games. This element would seriously turn them off. The one saving grace that might suck those people in is the humour aspect of Lonely Bears.
If you can take this game with a pinch of salt, I think anyone could enjoy it.
Age Range & Weight
11+… hhhmmm… That’s a tricky one.
This is the first time I have thought the age range should possibly be higher. There are a few cards that are truly side cracking for me, but I think they may raise a few questions for an 11yr old. For example, there is a Stripper Bear card or a Pile of Dead Bears card. Maybe I’m being a snowflake about this one, but I would possibly tread carefully with the age range.
Game time wise, I think 20-40 mins is spot on. 10 mins per player max. Makes it great filler game.
Lonely Bears is a fast paced, crazy game with a fantastic sense of humour. As filler games go this does exactly what it says on the tin… or box in this case.
The rules are nice and simple, it’s easy to explain and even easier to play.
Like I’ve said previously, the take-that element may not be for everyone but as gripes go that’s a pretty small one.
The box doesn’t accommodate sleeves… again, I can forgive as I have forgiven the other card games in my collection. It’s a nice to have but not necessarily a requirement. Well, not for me anyway.
This a just minor niggles, overall if you are looking for a filler game and a few chuckles this is an excellent choice. Pick up a copy now.