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RHINO HERO
Published by HABA
Design: Steven Strumpf & Scott Frisco   Artist:  Thies Schwarz
Players: 2-5 Super-Heroes aged 5-99       Game Length: 5-15 Minutes
From your local game store it retails between £8.00 - £10.00

   

Components:
31 Roof cards (aka Action cards)    28 Walls  (cards specifically creased down the centre for bending)
1 Building Foundation card  and  1 Wooden Rhino Hero Meeple

 

The idea is to build a House of Cards as high as possible using the walls as specified by 'V' shapes on the previous rooftops. Players are dealt 5 Rooftop cards or 7 Rooftop cards if only 2 players. How the Foundation card is laid determines the difficulty of the game; there are two Wall-marks on one side (normal play) and just one Wall-mark (note: not Walmarts ©) on the other (harder play).

 

Some of the Rooftop cards have special symbols on them which can alter the basic way of playing. One (Purple symbol)  allows for the play to reverse direction order, going from clockwise to anti-clockwise and possibly from anti-clockwise to clockwise and so on - this causes the younger players especially to have fun at their parents or older siblings expense - of course those older folk may use these cards to wind-up the young'uns by preventing them from playing - one card = lots of fun on its own and there are still others to mess with the flow.
The 'Take A Breather' card symbol (Blue) means that the next player misses a Turn (young players like games with this action in, but of course not when it is played against them ☺.  
The Green +1 symbol tells the player to draw a second Rooftop card. The Red '2X' allows a player to place a second Rooftop card onto a previously played Rooftop card. 
The final card symbol the 'Rhino Hero' has to be moved from where he is onto the Rhino symbol latest Rooftop card.

 

RHINO HERO takes the 'House of Cards' building to a higher level - literally. The wall cards can be folded, in fact should be folded as sharply as possible - though be wary not to bend them backwards for you don't want to damage them - so that you can get them to hold the best and strongest position. If you do not crease them strongly enough they will move and not support the rooftops placed on them. 

To build the tower you may use both hands at the same time if you wish. You may also steady the tower as you build. The walls have to be placed as near to exactly where the marks are for them on the rooftops and also in the same orientation as shown. 

 

Building a tower in RHINO HERO differs from building a House of Cards in as much as you don't bend cards to make walls in a House of Cards. It also differs with the introduction of the Rhino Hero himself, for like King Kong he is trying to reach the very top of the tallest building. 

The components are of strong laminated card and highly colourfully shows various 'through the window' scenes - looking into the tenants homes through windows they have chosen not to close with curtains or blinds, even though (pictorially) both methods of privacy are visible. 

The RHINO HERO himself is another 'spanner' in the works of general tower building, for each time a rooftop is placed with his picture on it the NEXT player has the dubious honour of having to pick him up from his current location, which after the first time he appears, having been lifted off the table, is now on a low level of the tower, and place him safely on the Rhino space of the just placed higher level rooftop.

Placing the rooftops onto wobbly walls is a nervous enough action - everyone gets the shakes once the tower has been raised beyond the third level - but having to move the Rhino Hero and pop him on the top of the tower is even more nerve-wracking, and is usually the point where the tower comes tumbling down, losing the game for the unfortunate player who caused the crash-down.

If you bring the tower, or even part of it, down, then you lose and are out of the game. If playing with more than two players then the others can continue from the collapsed tower (as long as it isn't levelled totally) and play on until there is only one player remaining. It's as much fun as JENGA® and just as nervy, but it takes less time to set up and play as you are building it up as you go, rather than building it higher from an already built tower.

My family, grand-children, friends, gamers, all enjoy spending a few minutes regularly playing RHINO HERO. 
Note: Do NOT play it on an uneven surface or a wonky/wobbly table. We have a glass table that pulls open to make it longer and thus there is a join in the centre where the two halves meet. If you push down on one side (ie lean over from one end) then the join lifts up. Our 5-year old Grandson worked this out pretty quickly and was sneakily doing it when others were taking their turn. So I'll just reiterate the first part of this warning to: Do NOT play it on an uneven surface or a wonky/wobbly table, or with sneaky 5 year olds☺.

I was introduced to this game about 18 months ago at a small but friendly and fun convention in the North-West of the UK (Telford) by some wonderful old friends during a break from Zombicide®. It's a kids game, but like JENGA® it's a real fun game for adults (according to their age) to blow off some steam - it's an all fun, nothing serious (until it gets serious) entertainment that brings wide grins and bright smiles to players of all ages.

© Chris Baylis 2011-2015