Take one of the few adult animated shows on the air out to just write witty scripts and have a good time rather than satirising and being topical; then take a card game that manages to be one of the most long lasting in depth games for under a tenner and what do you get?
‘Archer: Once you go blackmail’ is a game for two to four people where you play the characters from the hit FX show ‘Archer’ as they attempt to get the dirt on big boss Mallory Archer. Played in rounds of pick one, play one you will thus only ever have two cards in your hand at any one time or one if it isn’t your go. The aim is to knock the other players out through the cards abilities printed on the bottom but there is the hanging knowledge that should it come down to the end of the round when the deck is dry the point will go to whoever has the highest pointed card.
So do you play Lana now to scupper someone else’s chances or do you hold onto her and hope to just out point everyone when the time comes.
The game is really that simple. Those who have played Love Letter before may at this point realise that the game is just Love Letter. Now that’s not a problem per say as Love Letter is a very good game after all; but I couldn’t help but feel a bit cheated when they promised me a game based upon Love Letter. When they moved the game to the ‘Tempest’ universe they called it Love Letter. When they moved it to the DC universe they called it Love Letter, when they moved it to Middle Earth they called it Love Letter so I have to ask why when they moved it to Archer it became a game “inspired by Love Letter”. We have seen that there is wiggle room in the Love Letter formula as with games like ‘Lost Legacy’ or ‘Cypher’ so why not use some of that room here, or was it simply so they could make room for their punny title?
If you’ve never played Love Letter before I recommend giving it a go, you get a good few miles out of a game made of 12 cards and a handful of cubes. If you don’t own a set and are a huge Archer fan then there are worse things to spend you money on. But if you’re an Archer fan and already own the game I’m not sure there is anything here to cause to sploosh out.
The counters have been replaced by Pam’s dolphin, the cards now carry a quote from each of the characters and that’s about it. The prize for best cash in mash up Love Letter probably still goes ‘Adventure Time’ for at least sprining for original artwork on the cards but this easily sits in above ‘Hobbit: Battle of the editor’ and Batman which cut and pasted random images from the books and called it a day. Each of them have a few unique angles to bear in mind with sometimes unique abilities for certain characters but nothing that could warrant owning more than one set and with the premium edition on the way it may be as wise to hold out for that. Though of course that defeats the ten pound price tag so maybe just buy the base set and wait for the expansion.