Hunt or be Hunted - A Beast Review


Very often, the art of a game alone is enough to grab me. Beast is one of those moments. I'm sure we all know the burden this bears, however: A beautiful game to look at is not necessarily a fun game. But I wouldn't be here, talking about it, if that were case now would I?

The moment I could borrow our rental copy of the game from the store I brought it home to play with my fiancé. We found time to play, just the two of us which sees one player controlling the monster and the other two of the hunters. Later on we would play a full four player game, which sees three hunters trying to bring down a single monster.

Before I get into my gameplay breakdown, I'll give the quick verdict. I love the game. The all vs one format CAN be stressful for the one, as it feels like everyone at the table is out to get you (they are) and that you're struggling the whole time (you also probably are). But, the same sentiment was found across the table, as the hunters felt they were struggling to keep up with me in both instances. Which is, inevitably, a well designed game. If one side feels too strongly like they're winning constantly, that's not a good thing necessarily. Both teams should feel like they are having to put everything into the game to win.

So yeah, I love it.

Beast mixes a few mechanics to make everything work. To start the game, you pick a scenario/map based on your player count. 2-3 uses the same ones while 4 uses a larger map and longer scenario. There are 6 unique monsters for the Beast player to pick from, and the same for the hunters. Each Beast moves, fights, and manipulates the map differently, while each Hunter specializes in a different thing such as laying traps, discerning the Beast's actions, and so on.

The round starts with a draft from a shared action card deck, and then moves to play. The Beast goes first each round, and moves around the board in secret with a number of cards placed face down on the side of the board, to track where they are. The hunters move openly, and have to try and guess where the beast could be. They can only attack the beast if they're able to discern and reveal its location, or if the beast reveals itself to attack something.

But what's the goal? Each scenario has a slightly different goal, mostly dependent on how many villagers the beast can kill OR the Hunter's capacity to slay the beast. However each scenario has a concrete end point, where either the hunters or the beast will win if the game goes too long. As the nights progress, there are goals to complete which grant you rewards to help with the rest of the scenario.

You even get to make upgrades, with points called Grudges you collect for doing various things. These upgrades come in the form of new passive augments to different aspects of your character, typically making them better at what they do or giving the beast player more options and abilities.

Smart player is a big deal in this game, and making a move too early as the beast can cost you. You've only got so much health, while the hunters will return to the fray on the next day if they should be defeated.

I've only played as the beast so far, but look forward to taking the role of hunter. With so many character options, and everyone having a different way of going about such a game, there's a lot of replay value.

I highly recommend giving the game a shot of you're a fan of Betrayal or other hidden movement style games.