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Insured: The First Realm

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Product Details
Publisher: RES Design
Designer: Roger Elias
Ages: 10+
Min. Players: 3
Max. Players: 8
Duration: 20-60 min

Insured is a new card game by RES Design, a 3-8 player battle royale game where players fight, claw and rend each other to bitter death.

Except, that's really not the case. Think of battle royale games and you think of fierce firefights, or skating under the radar until you unleash a combo that you've been building all game. Although there are some character classes in Insured that do directly harm other players, most of the abilities involve trickery, sacrifice, or even actually helping other players... but sometimes at a cost.

This card game brings some truly unique mechanics to the table. Essentially, each player is to try staying alive against the multitude of natural disasters that the main event deck provides. Although there are some positive cards, majority of them are detrimental. Each disaster consists of various combinations of five different elements, and to block them, you either need to purchase Shieldstones, or be deemed unaffected by a Fate card. Otherwise, the player takes damage and runs the risk of death.

The main game play revolves around managing both your resources - hearts and coins. Coins buy you Shieldstones, which in turn give you hearts when blocking damage. Unlike many games where equipment is permanent, Shieldstones in this game are limited by durability and time. After a certain amount of turns, your Shieldstone expires, sometimes returning your investment in purchasing them.

If you haven't guessed by now, Insured is heavily influenced by the concept of insurance, and by the creator's focus on unique personalities. To win, one either has to accumulate either 20 Hearts or Coins. To that end, one could use the Extremist, a high risk high reward character that doubles your damage and when you gain hearts; or the Puppeteer, which allows you to swap your fate cards and tempt the oracles. Or you could get down and dirty with game play and use characters like the Angel and Demon which heal and damage other players directly.

Many edutainment games fail because they lean too much on the educational aspect, and forget entirely about entertainment. I mean, if I wanted to learn via a game, the main point is that I'm playing a game! Insured expertly navigates that common trap, combining unique roles and well thought-out mechanics that ensure the game is actually fun, even for those with absolutely zero interest in insurance.

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