“No Mercy” from BeanLeafPress is a fresh take on the classic card game “War.” I ran into the game’s creator and artist Travis Hanson at Phoenix Fanfest 2016 and he kindly provided a copy for review.
“No Mercy” is a two to four player card game based on “War.” Players take turns flipping cards and the lower number loses his card to his opponent. However, “No Mercy” add an additional deck of “Modifier Cards.” When two players face off, the loser has the option of flipping a modifier card and enduring the result. I say “enduring” because sometimes they provide a boon (+2 to your card), other times they do random things like “Reshuffle the top five cards from every player’s deck and then random re-distribute the cards.”
And occasionally, the do something so vile, so evil that you would rather accept defeat than use the card. Behold the nastiest thing ever deployed on a game table.
I played with Werlen and we both took a turn losing rather than sing. That said, the game is a lot of fun to play and the leader position switches back and forth even more frequently than a regular game of “War” with the modifier cards. In fact, I eventually won due to some luck on the draw that involved swapping decks.
I played a two-person game and it was fun, but I believe a four-person game would be more fun as the modifier cards come into their own and the benefits and risks go up. Sometimes it is better to lose than face the modifier deck…
The game art deserves a separate mention. Rather than a standard deck, the cards are themed with Cats and Aliens. Here are a couple of my favorites, even with the awful pun on the cat card.
Every time “Scantron” popped up I felt the urge to color in small bubbles with a number 2 pencil….
The bottom line is “No Mercy” is a fun family game that deserves a look.
Oh, almost forgot! BeanLeafPress is running a Kickstarter for a “No Mercy” expansion called “Vikings versus Penguins.”
Check it out!
Trask, The Last Tyromancer