At a Glance: Squirmish is a crazy card battle game with some humor and fun illustrations.
Squirmish is a game for 2-4 players that has a fairly simple idea. Battle your opponents’ creatures and be the first to knock out 3 of them. You start with a hand of cards with “beasties” on them, and you play them down on the board oriented toward yourself and adjacent to other cards. All creatures on the table are in the same big melee (aka Squirmish). Each creature card lists different types of attacks or actions depending on what you get on a single die roll. On your turn you pick one of your creatures to attack with and choose a target. Then roll the die and attack and depending on the roll, you generally deal damage (in the form of little googly eyes) to an opposing beastie. Many times, if you roll a very high number, this unlocks an ultra special move that can result in a lot of damage dealt or some other cool action. Each creature also has an extra special action or two that they can trigger, and some also belong to groups/clubs and if there are more than one of their group in the fight, a special ability is unlocked. Also, and I would be remiss to not mention this, but each creature has a goofy Battle Cry shown in quotes on the card. If you say the battle cry aloud the first time you use it to attack, you deal 1 extra damage. In summary, there are a lot of abilities, dice rolls, movement, and damage going around. If a creature’s damage equals its hit points, that creature is knocked out and claimed by the opponent who attacked. First person to knock out 3 beasties is the winner.
This is a fun, crazy, card battle game that exceeded my expectations. There are so many abilities on the various beasts on the board, especially in a 3-4 player game, it can get really crazy. I usually am not a big fan of games making you say things aloud, but I actually like the added flair of the battle cry bonus, only because I feel it fits the tone of this game 100%. You know, it is kinda funny and hard to explain, because there are aspects of the game that are normally potential detractions for me: cards are text-heavy, gameplay is luck-heavy, and saying a phrase or word aloud as an actual mechanic. However, for what it sets out to be, the formula comes together in an appealing way to equal FUN.
Components are good, and there are 70 great, linen-finish cards. A BIG kudos goes out to the game designer Steven Stwalley, who also did all of the funny little illustrations of each creature. You hardly ever see that kind of care and involvement from start to finish. You won’t hear about this game much elsewhere, and it may never sell very much, but I love that I came across it and decided to try this goofy-looking game with googly eyes and silly battle cries. It’s just a really good time. If it looks like it’s up your alley, give it a chance!
Check it out: https://amzn.to/2RxA1zd