A Game To Kill For?
Tripwire’s contributing writer Patrick Kennedy takes a look at game 10 Minutes To Kill…
10 Minutes to Kill
Nothing can be more exciting than being an assassin right? Well, how about a furry assassin who’s been tasked with killing a number of targets in a short space of time? Exciting! Well, if that sounds right up your alley then maybe you should check out 10 to Kill. Well, since you’re here you might as well read my review!
Players will take on the role of humanoid-animal assassin, who has been tasked with killing a set number of targets. The aim of the game is to kill all your targets without raising suspicion and remain undetected until the end. Once the game is over, you tally points depending on your actions and declare the winner with the most points.
The setup is incredibly easy and it won’t take long at all to pick up and play. The game consists of 16 tiles representing the game world, 16 characters, a bunch of police officers and some tokens (which aren’t all that useful really). All the tiles are laid out in anyway the players deem acceptable, so long as all tiles are connected with another tile and to avoid any empty spaces if possible.
Once that’s done, all 16 characters are randomly placed on the tile, one per tile. Next, each player will choose a character at random and then pick another 3 tiles (or more, depending on how many people are playing) to declare that players targets.
Now the hits can begin! This is definitely a game anyone can pick up and play with setup taking a couple of minutes at most, once you understand how it should be. Meaning you can setup a game quickly and repeated plays are not a hassle to do. Everything is nice, easy and clear on what to do when setting up the game.
10 Minutes to Kill is extremely simple in nature when it comes to gameplay, so the artwork would need to interesting and eye catchy. While it’s nothing excitingly new or original, I would say the artist(s) has done a great job at creating some visually interesting characters that are quite memorable. That’s good because you’ll need to do a fair bit of remembering when it comes to who you’re killing in the game. Everything else is fairly straightforward and doesn’t leave a massive impression on first glance. The character art is very nice with the game pieces all being quite solid and visually pleasing.
Once everything has been set up, each player can perform two actions on their turn. Players can either:
Move: A player can move their character or any other character from one tile to another. There are two styles to movement with characters being moved anywhere on the board or simply moved to the adjacent tile. Personally I found the latter to increase the tension but you can get some fun results with the former.
Kill: This action means that a player can take out their target (or someone else) via either the GUN, the SNIPER RILFE or with the KNIFE. Each choice has a number of advantages and requirements to perform.
For example the Gun can only be used if your assassin is in the adjacent tile to the target. It cannot be done in the same tile or from too far away. Plus, you can’t have anyone else on the same tile as your assassin.
The Sniper Rifle can be used from long distance but only from tiles with a Crosshair icon on them and the player must be again, alone on that tile. And the Knife can be used up close and personal with players having to be on the same tile as the target. But the knife is discreet meaning if another character or characters are on the same tile, the kill can still be done. The only thing to stop a Knife kill is if a police officer is on the same tile.
While it might seem like there’s only a couple of methods to murder, you can have a lot of fun and with the right planning, you can make it difficult to determine who the assassin is and how they did it.
Once a target is killed, all characters on that tile are scattered across the board and replacing them is a police officer. The police will investigate any murders and can be moved by players to hunt other assassins. Players will need to deduce who another player’s assassin is and move a policer officer onto the same tile and inquire if they are right. If that player is right, the assassin is removed from the board. They also prevent murders from happening, so if a police officer is on the same tile as your assassin, you basically can’t do anything.
So overall it’s very simple mechanically but there are quite a few aspects which make this a thrilling experience. You have some planning and strategy elements in play, along with deduction, sleuthing, an nice bit of rising tension as players will do their best to keep their assassin hidden while maybe hunting others. If another player uses a police officer and catches another assassin, that player’s assassin is off the board. However that player is not out and can use the police to hunt other assassins or simply disrupt another player’s action by moving other characters.
You can even kill another player’s assassin if you’re wise on who they are. These types of actions make for multiple ways to approach the game and have fun. You can either go straight for your own targets, or mess with other player’s hit list and even try to get rid of their assassins.
At the end of the game, it all works on a points system. So it goes as follows:
Kill a target – one point
Survive the game – one point
Arrest another player’s hitman – one point
Kill another player’s hitman – 3 points
Kill an innocent or another player’s target – minus 1 point
Kill a police offer – minus over a 1000 points – Yeah don’t do that!
So while there are repercussions for killing innocent, you could win big by identifying another player’s assassin or targets and arrest them, move them or more boldly to kill them. It’s about quick thinking and deciding on what is the best course of action. Either with disruption, deduction or plain and simple murder. It’s pretty excellent the complexity of gameplay styles there are with such simple mechanics.
As mentioned previously, while the game is mechanically simple, there are so many different angles to come from. You can play it straight and kill your targets while remaining hidden, or you could go one step further and kill the targets or hitmen of other players. The police is a nice dynamic and I do like the level of strategy needed and the rising tension which comes very quickly into play.
The game is incredibly easy to setup and play straight away and the artwork is really nice!
What doesn’t work?
This is a game for 4 players, or more so to really enjoy the game you need more than 2 players. What I found is that if you have two players, chances are they’ll just go straight for the kills and with at least three or four, there were more chances of deception, other player’s targets and hitmen being killed and much more sleuthing and deduction. It’s very quick and easy for two players and if you’re someone who enjoys or are really good at chess, then you’ll most likely pick this up quickly and just dominate the game.
This is a very simple and easy game to play, but with the right number of players, this can be a thrilling and intense battle of wits. The artwork is really nice and I do like how easy this game was to set up. But the simple mechanics really do lend well into a complex game of cat and mouse, with deception, strategy and deduction, which you can approach with a few different play styles. I really do recommend this but with at least three people to play and maybe tweaking some of the base rules to enhance or pro-long the game’s play time.