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One Hit Is All It Takes

Today we are looking at One-Hit Heroes from Wiggles 3D, the publisher of 5-Minute Dungeon, which launched on Kickstarter on Tuesday, April 16 and will be live until May 14th.

One-Hit Heroes
Image source: BGG

The story is that there are bosses (big, evil, mighty) and a bunch of heroes to fight them. You play as one (or several) of these heroes. Games are supposed to be fast and snappy, and always on the edge of defeat due to an instant death mechanism: one hit to any hero of the team, and it's a loss already. Hence the title.

Each round, you play up to three cards from your hand to damage the boss or activate a variety of effects. Some cards are more powerful than others and require you to spend energy, a drastically limited resource that does not regenerate all by itself (hence the other cards' effects). At the end of the round, you draw back to a hand of five.

One-Hit Heroes: player board
Image source: BGG

And then the boss activates! You know before your round starts what the boss will do: sometimes they regenerate, sometimes they do some nasty evil bossy thing, sometimes they attack, depending on your level of "aggro". For every time you damage the boss, you put the life tokens you chipped away on a track above your player board: they fill up to increase your aggro level. Some boss attacks will only trigger if one of the heroes has enough aggro (e.g. you filled the track up to the red zone and the boss only attacks if a hero is in the "red" zone or more).

To attack, the boss simply rolls a die. It may show one of the four aggro track symbols, a hit, or a miss. The boss scores a blow whenever the aggro symbol is covered in one of the heroes' aggro tracks (or if it rolls a hit). You still get a chance to survive that, either by playing a reaction card to block the attack or by blocking with an item that you discard. And if you don't, you die.

The game is played across three independent campaign arcs called "Episodes". Across the different chapters of an Episode, you get the opportunity to upgrade and customize your decks each time you defeat a boss.

To play solo, you can either go two-handed or play "true solo" with a dedicated expansion that adds a companion to help you.

Personal opinion: The game reminds me a lot of RWBY, a game I'd be very excited to try if only I had the time. Every time I read about One-Hit Heroes, I think about RWBY waiting for me in my basement and I long for it.

I am both enthusiastic and skeptical about the game itself. Enthusiastic because it looks fun. Skeptical for a myriad of reasons: I don't care about the theme, I can't relate to the heroes, I don't like the increasing pile of risks (if you have high aggro, the boss attacks more often and you have a greater chance to be hit when they does), and I'm not fond of opening booster packs (it feels like waste). I'm also unsure about the solo mode. So far though, I'm backing it.

Just for notice: Wiggles 3D have this infuriating habit to make the final chapters of their games KS-exclusives. This happened to me with 5-Minute Dungeon where the most difficult bosses are not in the retail box, and holds true as well in this case, for the Epilogue add-on that delivers the final chapter is a KS-exclusive. Unfortunately, this typically makes the Kickstarter the best option to get their games (and since they are usually short, you do want the additional content to stretch them for a while longer).

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