Chainsaw Warrior, the classic board game from Games Workshop, is getting the digital treatment from Auroch Digital who have just launched the game for iPhone and iPad. As a person who loves board games, but didn’t get the chance to play the original, I was extremely curious to check it out. And since I’m not one to keep opinions to himself, I’ll share them with you in this Chainsaw Warrior review.
You are a tough as nails genetically modified soldier who has 60 minutes to save New York from an invading horde of creatures of the dark. We call them zombies and they call you food. You must prove them wrong. It will be extremely difficult.
I was proven that during my three attempts to beat the game. It managed to beat me on Normal mode every time and every time, despite the different strategies that I tried each time. The nice thing about Chainsaw Warrior is that, just like any successful board game out there, this is made in such a way that no new game will play like the previous one, even though the mechanics and enemy cards are the same.
Every time when you start a new game, you must roll the dice for establishing your character’s stats, like health, marksmanship, hand to hand combat and so on. You also roll the dice to decide how much equipment you can carry and you can choose that randomly to save some points or know exactly what you’re choosing, but lose some precious points in the process. It’s always about the choices that you make and even though some are more obvious than the others, you will always play a different game.
However, no matter how different your game is, the gameplay will be the same: you draw an event card and you roll the dice to resolve the instructions on it. From fighting zombies and rat packs to avoiding traps or blasting away locked doors, anything can happen and there are multiple approaches: save ammo and go straight into hand to hand combat which is dangerous, try to hide from the enemies if you have the skills or try to take them down with a well placed bullet to the brain… it’s up for you to decide how you manage your resources and your actions, and it won’t always happen as you want it to happen.
Because, just like every other board game out there, Chainsaw Warrior has a random element that can turn the easiest task into an impossible one and the most difficult into one easy as pie. By rolling the virtual dice, you count a lot on Lady Luck and she’s not always on your side.
Gameplay wise, Auroch Digital’s title is very easy to play: you just have to hit one button to roll the dice, tap the cards to draw one and choose a button to tap from the options that you have. Minimal interaction is required and even though at first things might be a bit confusing (I was like “wtf???” after reading the instructions), soon everything will make sense and you will see that the concept is really easy to understand. And, to use a cliche, difficult to master.
I can’t say that I completely loved Chainsaw Warrior but not because Auroch Digital have failed to create a solid product. The original concept itself is not one to tickle my fancy even though it features zombies and chainsaws. For some reason, the limited number of action cards (just a few types of enemies, just a few types of traps) don’t offer a ton of variety from game to game even though, just as I said, every time you play it will be a “new” game. However, if you have played the original board game and liked it, you will most likely love the digital version as well and if you are a fan of board games in general, you will find this single player experience at least decent. So go ahead and give it a try. See if you can save New York – I couldn’t!
Final rating: 6.8
iTunes link: Chainsaw Warrior