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Hogger Logger

Just when I think I’ve played them all, something like “Hogger Logger” comes along that reaffirms my faith in the gaming community.  While it might appear to be a simple “High-Low” card game on the surface, it has some really creative mechanics that gives the game enough oomph to set it apart from the rest.  I know of at least 341 Kickstarter backers (who raised $12,279) who would agree with me.  Before I go any further, I’d like to quickly thank Ryan Shapiro from Hogger Logger LLC for reaching out and providing me with a free press copy for review purposes.

 

Hogger Logger

Hogger Logger: 2-6 Players, Ages 7+, Average Play Time = 15-30 Minutes

 

Components

The game includes 75 Number Cards, 7 Heroic Victory Cards, 25 Action Cards, and 1 Instructions Manual.  All of it comes in a typical (but themed) playing card box.

Setup & Gameplay

The game is played over a series of rounds until someone gets enough victory points to win the game.  For the very first round, players will shuffle the number and action decks separately, drawing four number cards from the former face-down onto the middle of the table.  One number card is dealt face-up either above or below the four face-down number cards.  Each player receives three number cards to form their starting hand.  The first player (who becomes the “guesser”) is chosen at random.

On a guesser’s turn, they’ll take a look at the face-up card on the table and guess either “hogger” or “logger”…”higher” or “lower” respectively.  If the guesser (or any other player for that matter) wishes to play a card on top of the existing one to change the number showing, they can…though the guesser has the right to change their answer.  When everyone is done playing cards, the guesser reveals one of the four face-down number cards.  If they guessed right, they keep going.  Otherwise, the next player clockwise becomes the guesser.  The revealed card goes on top of the existing number card.

Some cards have text on them (all the eights and one number card from each set) that allow you to either draw action cards or extra number cards from their respective decks.  Any time a player plays a card from their hand and “matches up”…that is, play a card of the same value as the one currently revealed, they get to draw an action card.

When the guesser correctly guesses the last face-down number card, they draw a victory card and a new round begins.  If the guesser incorrectly guesses the last-face-down number card, then one card is drawn face-down from the number deck so that the next person can attempt to win the round. At the beginning of a new round, everyone’s hand goes into the two discard piles…that is, number cards go in one while the action cards go in the other.  If any of the decks should run out, simply shuffle the discard pile and use them as the new deck.

 

Hogger Logger

This action card could have turned the 10 to a 13, making the “logger” guess correct.

 

The first player to receive so many victory point cards (based on the number of players), wins the game!

Editor’s Note: The above doesn’t cover all of the rules found in the manual, but should give you an idea as to how the game is played.

The Review

“Hogger Logger” struck me as a “beat the odds” the kind of game, though the action cards and the fact that anybody can play cards on the guesser’s turn keeps things fresh and interesting.  The latter mechanic goes a long way to ensure that everybody playing is engaged, even when it isn’t their turn.  This is a welcome change compared to other games like “Alhambra” that feature a lot of downtime in between player turns.  On the downside, if someone has to take a quick bathroom break, everyone will need to wait.

The cards themselves were of good quality and the art was both flashy and good.  I had no problems reading the numbers on the cards (I have poor eyesight) nor did I find the rules to be confusing in any way.  There’s a lot of things going on at once from an “if-then” standpoint…that is, if someone plays this card when “X” is showing, then this happens.  As a result, some of the chaining the results from multiple cards being played that have special effects might confuse new players…though the chaining isn’t nearly as complicated compared to some other games I’ve played.  On the plus side, missing a free card draw won’t break the game…you probably won’t even notice until you examine the rulebook again at a later date.

There’s “High-Low”, and then there’s “Hogger Logger”…at least, that’s what I initially thought after taking the game through its paces.  The latter is like a steroid-induced version of the former, though it remains to be simple enough for players of most ages.  I personally recommend this one, especially if your family or gaming group enjoys activities or games that require all involved to interact and be relatively social.  I’ll say this much, you’ll need to pay attention from start to finish to keep up with the cards being played!  To top it off, the preorder price on the official website (linked below) is $14.99, which is fair for what’s being offered here.

Final Verdict: 8/10

You can learn more about and purchase “Hogger Logger” by visiting the following website:

http://www.hoggerlogger.com/

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