Hooyah

From: U.S. Games Systems, Inc.
Reviewed by: Tony McRee

Hooyah is a new co-op card game from U.S. Games Systems, Inc.

In this co-op card collecting game, you and your team are a bunch of Navy Seals that are trying to complete five operations so that you can go on one of five missions that are based loosely on real-life Navy Seal missions. While this game is very similar to other co-op games that are based on card collecting to defeat your opponents, the addition of specific roles or functions adds a different element to this game. Hooyah is a very easy game to learn and teach and fills a nice void that is missing in the current co-op games, a co-op game that is fairly quick, avoids the majority of analysis paralysis by players and still maintains the suspense of not knowing if you have won until the last card is played.

 “No man left behind”

As I stated, Hooyah is a very simple game to teach and play. The object of the game is to complete five operations and one mission to win the game as a team. Failure to complete the final mission or if one player looses all their health tokens, hence being left behind, then everyone loses the game. So how do you complete an Operation? The team must collect the shown number of the color shown on the Operation Card. For example, two cards make up an Operation. On these cards is a number that has a color background behind it.  For example, the number three with a red background on one card and the number four with a purple background means the team must now put together a set of three red cards and four purple cards to complete the Operation.

They do this by going through a Preparation phase which is taking cards from the Skills & Equipment deck. These cards have the same colors on them to match those found on the Operation cards. Each player may take two cards on their turn.  Once the players believe they have collected enough cards, the leader announces “Hooyah” and they see if they can meet the results of the Operation cards.

There is a catch, however.  During the Preparation phase, there is a timer that is passed from player to player and when that timer gets to zero and if it is passed, a player losses a health token. The timer is set based on the sum of the numbers shown on the Operations card. So in our example, it would be set to seven giving the players the ability to collect up to fourteen cards hoping to get the right combination to complete the Operation. On the Skills & Equipment cards, there are various special abilities that can help the team if they want to play them while they preparing for the mission. But by playing these cards, you may possibly be giving up a color you need to complete the Operation. This really provides the players with a tough choice at times.

If the players believe they have enough of the right colors between themselves to finish the Operation, they can go on the Operation, but before they can do that, they have to face events. The Operation cards also have events on them and the number of events you face depends on the number of players in the game plus the number of the Operation in which the players are in. This is where the suspense of the game can shine. Players may think they have enough cards to complete the Operation, but events can make you discard cards or do Skill Checks which is matching colors needed to complete the event, or even loose health. Keep in mind that events are faced by individual players and not by the group, so if one person was holding all the purple cards in our example and they had to discard two and this forced them to discard one of the purples, the group fails the Operation, so players really need to balance out the colors in their hands.

 “Congratulations Seal Team, Mission Accomplished!”

If the players successfully complete the mission, they are allowed to keep their remaining cards in hand and start the next Operation by flipping over the next set of cards. This keeps going until the players have completed their fifth operation. Once the fifth operation is complete, the players immediately go into the Mission.  Completing the Mission means victory for the players. What is really interesting here is that players will not get to prepare for the Mission like they do in earlier operations; they get no more cards, they have to do it with what is left and this can get intense near the end.

The game includes a total of five missions, each with various difficulties. While this doesn’t seem like a lot on the side of replay ability, the varying of cards that appear will keep the events leading up the mission fresh.

In conclusion, this game really surprised me in the suspense it brought to the table. It is a very good filler game because other than shuffling cards, there is hardly any setup to the game. If there is one bad element to the game that always got on my nerves was that we always lost because of bad luck during the events. We learned to manage our health tokens, but it seemed that once in awhile, the same player would draw the events that would take the health away and there was no recourse the group could do to prevent it. Now there are some cards that cancel events, but as our luck would have it, we seem never to have those when needed. Even though this bothered me, it wasn’t enough to distract from a very solid game and at the price point it is worth considering as a very nice filler.

I will say that most co-op games tend to have you play open handed with the cards, but in this game, it is recommend in the rules not to and I would completely agree. Be sure to check at the FAQ over at the Hooyah website for other ways to increase the difficulty of the game.

For more details on U.S. Games Systems, Inc. and their new Co-op Card Game “Hooyah” check them out at their website http://www.usgamesinc.com/Hooyah-Navy-Seals-Card-Game, and at all of your local game stores.

Codex Rating: 17

1 Critical Fail
2-5 Very poor to moderately poor
6-10 moderately fair to fair
11-15 fairly good to good
15-19 pretty good to very good
20 critical success

 

Product Summary
Hooyah From: U.S. Games Systems, Inc.
Type of Game: Co-op Card Game
Game Design by: Mike Fitzgerald
Art by: Joe Boginski & Jody Boginski-Barbessi
Game Components Included: 10 Navy SEAL Cards, 75 Ops/Events Cards,  1 Insertion Card,  75 Skills & Equipment Cards,  5 Mission Cards and Holder, Time Counter Device, 30 Health Tokens, Turn Sequence Card, HOOYAH Instruction Manual
Retail Price: $ 24.95
Number of Players: 1-4
Player Ages: 10+
Play Time: 45 Minutes
IBSN: 978-I-57281-717-3
Website: http://www.usgamesinc.com/Hooyah-Navy-Seals-Card-Game
Reviewed by: Tony McRee