Primal: The Awakening is a 1-4 player cooperative hand management game in which a team of hunters is fighting against giant monsters. It will launch on Kickstarter on January 19.
The game can be played either as a campaign or as standalone sessions. When you play solo, you have to control at least 2 heroes. Each session plays out like a boss fight: the monster miniature will be placed at the center of the board, with the hero minis facing it. The board is divided in 4 parts (front, rear, and flanks), and, on each turn, you will decide where to position the heroes so that they can attack or avoid the monster. If you play in campaign mode, you will be able to collect parts from the monsters you kill to craft powerful weapons which you can use in subsequent scenarios.
Each hero has their own deck of cards, their own weapon and special ability. Their helm and armor cards determine the number of health points they have. At the beginning of a hero's turn, you will draw a hand of 5 cards. These will allow you to either Attack, Maneuver, or Defend. For a card to be played, you have to pay its cost in stamina, which means you will discard cards from your hand equal to that stamina cost. Some cards cause an effect only when they are combined with other cards, so you have to figure out the right sequence in which to play them. Movement costs one stamina too.
Monsters don't exactly get their own turn but instead immediately react to the cards you play. Each monster has a deck of Behaviour cards with icons that match the Attack/Maneuver/Defense cards of the heroes. You will place 3 cards face down on the monster board, and, after a hero has performed an action, you will flip the associated monster card to see how it reacts. Monsters also boost their reactions through the use of tokens, and further damage the heroes via Attrition cards if the heroes didn't attack on their turn. Every time a monster receives a certain amount of damage, it changes its stance on the board. If you manage to kill it in the course of 10 rounds, you win the game.