Attacking Ships and Collecting Gold: A Review of Loot by Gamewright

Loot

Don your pirate hat and sword, in this light, family-friendly card game. Team up with a fellow pirate captain or fight for yourself, as you capture gold and sink ships.

Gameplay

The entire game is made up of a deck of 78 cards. These include merchant ship cards, pirate ship cards, four pirate captain cards (one in each of the four pirate ship card colors) and one admiral card.

The game may be played either by 2 to 5 individual players or as a partnership game for 4, 6, or 8 players. After players decide on the type of game, the deck is shuffled and everyone is dealt six cards.

On your turn you may do one of the follow actions: draw a card; play a merchant ship in front of yourself; play a pirate ship on any merchant ship on the table; play a pirate captain card on any merchant ship which you are already attacking with a pirate ship; or, you can play the admiral on one of your own merchant ships.

Each pirate ship has an attack value and a color. Combining ships of the same color adds their attack value together. Each merchant ship is worth a certain number of gold. The player who collects the most gold at the end of the game (which occurs when the draw pile is empty and a player runs out of cards) wins the game. You also lose gold for any merchant ships still in your hand when the game ends.

Players battle over merchant ships, trying to capture them. In order to capture one, you must have the highest attack strength and keep it until your next turn. If you play a pirate captain card whose color matches your ship that is attacking the merchant, then it is automatically considered to have the strongest attack value. The admiral is considered to have the strongest attack value when played on a merchant ship you yourself have played onto the table.

Once you capture a merchant ship, you place it facedown beside you.

Loot Components

Review

It’s hard to go wrong with a fun pirate theme and even harder to go wrong with Gamewright, and Loot certainly doesn’t disappoint.

The rules are simple and straightforward and the game plays quickly. It’s flexible in its player count and works well both for families and for groups that want a light, quick, strategic card game. There’s a lot of luck of the draw involved, but it’s nicely balanced with some tough choices and strategic thinking. But it is possible to draw badly enough to be at severe disadvantage. There’s not much you can do if you draw too many merchant ships.

It doesn’t work great with two players, but it is fun to be able to play the game both with teams and without them — both play slightly differently, which adds some variety to the game.

The game looks fantastic, plays smoothly, and features pirates! You just can’t go wrong with that. So deal the cards and prepare for a swashbuckling adventure!

Pros: Includes team play, great production quality, easy to learn rules

Cons: Not great for two players

Disclosure: we received a complimentary review copy of this game.