SNEAK PEEK SUNDAY – Slip Strike – Junk Spirit Games – Preview

Slip Strike will offer a fast-paced think - double think - triple think - all the way out into donkey space style card game you should check out immediately.  

Joseph Summa

MeepleGamers

9/10

Theme and What is it?

10/10

Who doesn’t want to be an assassin?  Who doesn’t want to be able to teleport?  Who doesn’t like time travel?  Who doesn’t like dimensional shifting?  Who doesn’t like fast playing card games where you are playing your opponent just as much as the game?  Alright, if you said yes a bunch, go away and don’t bother.  Otherwise, Slip Strike will offer a fast-paced think – double think – triple think – all the way out into donkey space style card game you should check out immediately.  

The Kickstarter goes live 2/10/2020.  For now, here is the link from BGG forums for the early promotional page.

Gameplay Mechanics

8/10

Each turn, the competing assassins place two of their cards face down in front of them to program a first and a second action.  Then the first actions are flipped over simultaneously.  If any movement cards were played, they take effect immediately.  After movement, any weapon/attack cards are used to attempt to strike each other.  If a strike card is in its effective range, the other player must burn a teleport card from hand to instantly slip to that location and avoid the damage.  Repeat this process with the second programmed card.  

If a would be ninja gets caught with an incoming strike and they do not have a teleport card left in hand to slip out, they are eliminated and lose.  It is possible for both assassins to do the deed on the same action.  Sadly, killing your opponent isn’t enough for a win.  Being dead, both players lose.  With good reason.  Predict and fight better!

Initial Impressions

9/10

Slip Strike isn’t so much about just using a weapon that shoots where you currently see your opponent.  It isn’t just about moving so that the obvious weapon will fail.  It is about predicting what your opponent will do so you have the right movement and the right weapons at the appropriate times.  It is possible for this to feel random, but that probably means you or your opponent isn’t thinking critically enough.

We found that taking risks and using the information available made it so one of us usually predicated appropriately to do some damage or avoid the pain for the round.  It was quite a good way to play the player during each programming step.

Game Build Quality

10/10

This copy is a prototype.  The final product will be something to look into through the Kickstarter campaign and their possible stretch goals.  As the bulk of the game is cards and only the assets ever need shuffled briefly, it should be a quality production with long play life.

Artistic Direction

7/10

Slip Strike has simple artwork with weapons, simple location imagery, and darting assassins holding weapons.  There isn’t anything here that makes me rave incoherently about the pretty.  But, I rather like the aesthetics and simple feel to a game that is ultimately just a solid 2 player filler.  

Fun Factor

9/10

Each player gets a random asset at the start of each game.  These are usually weapons that can make the difference between a win and loss when used correctly.  Sometimes, it is best to hold your secret weapon until the game is well under way so your opponent has NO IDEA how to avoid the pain.  Other times, it is worth using it quite regularly.  

Each attack card and teleport card has a cooldown.  This determines how many rounds of play you must go without that card as an option before it returns to your hand.  Taking advantage of which cards your opponent doesn’t have available right now is a perfect way to trap them into a losing battle.  But knowing your own weaknesses leaves ways to do the unexpected and set yourself up for the next round when you get that weapon back to hand.

Age Range & Weight

10/10

10+ is actually too high of a number!  Slip Strike would be completely playable with a 7-year-old.  It actually will probably work out well with a young audience as they try to plan and predict.  It will feel totally different from the cold, calculating way my friends execute their devious plans.  But the game takes 2 minutes to learn give or take how many assets you add into the mix.

Conclusions

9/10

Slip Strike is an excellent filler for 2 players waiting for others to show up, at the end of a game day, or to decide which spouse should cook dinner tonight.  It has exactly the right kind of almost rock-paper-scissor feel to the actions you take and how they will determine who gets the advantage.  But an advantage isn’t enough.  You have to follow through in future rounds and can take some serious risks (like using your last teleport as a movement to set up some extra attacks rather than holding it to make sure you don’t die).  These risks might sound really bad, but it is super satisfying to land 2 hits before getting hit once because you did something that might sound insane at first.

The Kickstarter goes live 2/10/2020.  For now, here is the link from BGG forums for the early promotional page.