Those Pesky Humans

From: Minion Games
Reviewed by: Barry Lewis

“Those pesky humans are always trying to steal my treasure!” and that sums up the game Those Pesky Humans.  Thanks for reading…

No, no.  Come back.  There’s more I promise.  Basically you’re a dungeon overlord who has worked hard for his ill-gotten treasure and humans are always showing up and trying to take it.  The nerve of some humans!  As you have gleaned from just these couple of sentences this is a typical player(s) vs. GM/DM game.  This game definitely takes its cue from past games such as Hero Quest and more recent games like Descent.   The objective of the game is for the human team to find the three legendary gems hidden in the dungeon and escape with them.  The Overlord’s objective is simple, stop those pesky humans.

Just looking at the art on the box of Those Pesky Humans you can tell it doesn’t take itself too seriously.  The art work is cartoony but fits the game’s overall feel.  There is plenty of clever and funny flavor text spread throughout the rule book and on the game cards as well.  The game does use card board standups instead of plastic miniatures for the humans and the monsters.  The only real “problem” I had was with the cards themselves.  The ink looked to have faded some and the ink had peeled off just a bit when I first took them out of the plastic wrap.  Also the cardboard they were printed on seemed to be a lower level of quality as well.  These are two very minor problems and do not take anything away from the game.

The game setup is quick and simple.  Each player will take on the role of one or more of the human avatars and one player will take on the role of the Overlord.  The players then take their corresponding character card and pick 3 special ability cards.   The character cards tell the players the avatar’s movement, attack strength, defensive rating and hit points.  Also characters have an “innate ability” which can be used once per round.  Once characters are set the Overlord will select 10 random room tiles.  These tiles will make up the dungeon.  The Overlord will then place doors, which could be locked or trapped, on the connecting dungeon tiles.  Then 10 treasure tokens will be pulled, 3 of which are the legendary gems, and placed strategically within the dungeon by the Overlord.  Now you’re ready to play.  If you would like a shorter game you can use 7 dungeon tiles and only place 2 legendary gems inside the dungeon.

The game has 3 phases: the draw phase, the movement phase and the combat phase.  Each player will draw a number of “human” cards depending on how many are playing.  These cards will either help the players or hinder the Overlord.  Be careful though, the Overlord has “monster” cards at his disposal as well.  The Overlord can summon creatures to help protect his dungeon as well.  A problem with the original rules was the Overlord could summon 2 monsters per round.  This led to the humans getting overrun before the game really got going.  The new rules, which are found on the Those Pesky Humans website, now have the Overlord being able to summon only 1 creature per round.

The game mechanics are simple.  You can move up to the number of spaces that are listed on your character’s card unless there is a card effect in play that modifies movement.  The combat is very basic as well.  You roll your die and add your attack strength along with any modifiers to get your total and if your total is higher than the monster’s total defensive rating than you have wounded the monster.  You only do 1 point of damage per attack regardless unless you play a card that allows you to deal extra damage or allows you to have a second attack.  To move from one room to another you will have to open doors.  To open a door you will have to use your movement.  You will move up to the door and as long as you have 1 space of movement left you may open the door.  If the door is locked you will need 2 spaces of movement to open it.  Some doors are trapped and if any character, other than the thief, opens a trapped door they will take damage.  If the thief opens a trapped door then the thief automatically disarms the trap and takes no damage.  The thief also only needs 1 space of movement to open locked doors.  Once a door is opened it remains open unless the Overlord plays a card closing the door.  Obviously monsters may move freely through doors.

As you can see those are the basics of the game.  There are a few other little rules, but it’s extremely easy to learn.  I would strongly suggest downloading the new rules off the website, though.  I do like this game.  It doesn’t break any new ground, but it doesn’t destroy any either.  It is a solid, light dungeon crawler and is especially good for kids.


Product Rating: 11


Product Summary

Those Pesky Humans

From:  Minion Games

Type of Game:  Board Game

Game Design:   James Mathe

Writing, Layout and Additional Design:  Clay Gardner

Artist: Chuck Whelon

Retail Price: $ 49.99(US)

Number of Players:  2-4 players

Player Ages:  8 and up

Play time:  90 minutes