Squire for hire
A small review of a microgame
Hire my What?
Jon Merchant’s Squire for Hire, published by Letiman Games, caught my eye on Kickstarter for a couple of reasons. The first, as always, is the artwork. Hard to imagine a game getting traction on KS nowadays that doesn’t look good and Squire for Hire looks adorable. Anthropomorphized forest creatures, dressed up in their finest adventuring gear each with their own backpack crammed full of gear, and snacks.
The second big Kickstarter win for me was the price point. $13 with FREE SHIPPING to Canada. Free Shipping? On a Kickstarter game? That’s almost unheard of. Shipping on KS games is often the thing that kills it for me. When shipping costs the same or more than the game I just slowly back away. Here was this great looking 18 card microgame boasting a low cost and free shipping. I was in. I no longer even cared what the game was.
From the Publisher Letiman Games
Your day has finally come – a famous adventurer has hired YOU to be their Squire! When your hero completes quests, defeats baddies, and takes all the credit, they also earn loot – which you get the great honor of carrying!
Squire for Hire is an 18 card, tile-laying inventory management game for 1-2 players that takes about 15-20 min to play. Players compete to get the highest scoring bag of items for their hero by the end of all the story deck.
Art & Production
The game itself is 18 cards in a hook-box cleverly designed to be a little backpack. The cards shine and the art pops. The whole game is a really nice little package. The fantastic woodland creatures vying to be hired squires are illustrated by Jon Merchant himself. Jon’s artwork does a great job bringing life to this tiny game. The illustrations of loot and garbage strewn about the cards add enough flavor to tie the theme to the game.
Yes, it is an abstract game. Yes, you would never pack your bag this way. For me, theming is about picking your setting and finding a way to tie the elements together. The more you can make the mechanics functional within that theme and setting the more immersive it might get. Me, I am happy when a game finds a way to take even a light abstract puzzle and wrap it in a story and a setting. The story cards that drive the game offer a little more of that theme the way they present each next step of the puzzle.