One day I will make an attempt to cover a heavier game but right now I wanted to go over a gem I recently picked up that I think would be great during the Holidays. It’s easy to pick up, brings tons of fun and laughter, and should appeal to almost anyone, gamer or otherwise. I am speaking of the game Rhino Hero.
Originally titled Super Rhino, Rhino Hero is published by HABA games (known for their “kid” games that appeal to all ages). In the game players are attempting to build a tall, house-like structure using their hand of roof cards. All the while they are attempting to stack these cards according to varying requirements and at times are even trying to place the Rhino Hero (a small wooden token) at the top of their card, before passing to the next player. The first player to get rid of all of their roof cards, or those who didn’t knock down the tower, win the game. In a nutshell the game can be considered one part Jenga, one part Uno, and one part Rhino. Let’s start with Jenga.
Everyone is dealt a hand of five roof cards. In the center of the table is the foundation. The foundation (no matter what side is up) will show an outline on where the wall cards must go. Like so:
The first player then picks up the appropriate number of wall cards (located somewhere within easy reach on the table) and bends them according to the outline before placing them on the foundation. Once the walls are placed that player picks a roof card in their hand and places it flat on top of the walls, essentially mimicking the foundation on which the game started. Then it’s the next player’s turn. And so goes the Jenga portion of the game. In general, players will be taking the wall cards, bending them appropriately before having to place one of their roof cards and passing the turn. Now comes the Uno part, which spices things up.
Most of the roof cards have different symbols on them. One symbol, for instance, skips the next player. This may seem as a reward rather than a punishment but one must not forget the goal of the game (aside from not knocking down the building) is to lose all your cards first. Another symbol reverses the turn order, potentially sealing another player’s fate and ending the game when the tower is at precarious heights. The various symbols take a game that would seem to be a Jenga-esque knock off into something more and frankly, something way more intense. Then there’s the symbol with the Rhino.
Some of the roof cards have a symbol with the Rhino Hero on it. After a player plays their roof card and passes the turn the next player must (if the roof card contains the Rhino symbol) take the Rhino token wherever it last was (often somewhere else in the building) and place it on top of the roof before doing anything else. Though the token is light, it stills weighs differently enough from the cards to warrant a heart pounding wobble or two of the building at best. In my brief experience in the game this is often what knocked down the building, and it was the most satisfying. If you’re the player who has to move the rhino, it’s also the most terrifying.
And that’s pretty much the game. Simple right? It’s a kids game, but one that is definitely fun for everyone. I played this at a game night at my FLGS Alternate Worlds and everyone who played was at least in their mid-twenties, yet we were laughing and stressing while the building reached several stories in height.
If you’re looking for a game that provides a lot of laughs, easy to teach, and is a departure from the typical party game (I wouldn’t call this a party game but it would still do well in that environment) then I highly recommend Rhino Hero. If you’re looking for a last minute gift, this is a small and inexpensive game that many would love. Go ahead and try this and I know you’ll love it!
Thanks for reading!
The Secondhand Took
WHERE TO FIND RHINO HERO