What is it?:
Evil Spares None is a cooperate horror board game that I helped Kickstart a few years ago.
It's based on the typical “slasher flick” type movie we remember. You take on some high school students trying to get away from the slasher while trying to who's behind the mask. The victims, I mean students, are forced to flee , running through the town, passing by those killed by the Psycho and those yet to be killed. and collect evidence to discover who the killer is.
The system is a bit of a mess. At the start, you get 2-3 characters to start with. But, you can only activate one to begin with and hope you get the chance to put the rest in play. Or just activate them as your other characters die. During your turn, you get three actions with your characters, but you have to burn an action to switch to another character if you have more than one in play. Characters have a Health stat, a Combat stat, and Brains stat, in addition to a special Active ability and a special Stand-by ability. They seem to have a huge amount of variance between them and I haven't played enough to see how balanced they are.
In between player turns, the Psycho gets to move one space and draw cards. These cards usually let him move more, so he can catch up with you before you get a chance to even move your first character.
When it comes to drawing Action cards, you have to be in the right spot on the board to get the chance to draw them. And you need those Action cards. You also need to make it to the right spot to reach a Stranger before the Psycho gets there first. Strangers can become Townies, who you can sacrifice to save your own skin, or can become another Character. And, for even more fun, you need to reach the bits of Evidence left around so you can solve the mystery... And hopefully use it to survive when the Psycho comes calling.
When it comes to placing new parts of the board, you're suppose to do it randomly, but that's really hard when the tiles are double sided. Draw the wrong one, and everyone is fucked. Hard.
The one thing that goes smoothly is combat. It's simple dice rolling and comparing Combat stats between the Characters and the Psycho. Weapons and other Action cards can help the players, and Evidence and Townies can be “thrown at” the Psycho to avoid the combat. But, as the Psycho increases in power, he becomes harder and harder to defeat... Well, slow down, really, in combat.
As you play the game, there are a few score boards you have to keep track of. The first is the Stalk-O-Meter, which tracks who's the Target of the Psycho and who's going to be next. Being the Target is bad. Very bad. Then, there's a Psycho score board and a Player score board. The Psycho score moves up based on what the Psycho cards do. And some Psycho cards are conditional upon the Psycho score is. The Player's score moves up by finding Evidence and hurting the Psycho. Thankfully, it's pretty easy to get those all figured out.
Is it worth it?:
I hate to say it, but...
I paid $25 for the game and I don't know if it's something I really want to play again. As one of my friends who played with me said “These rules are way more complex than they need to be.” That sums up my feelings. I think it could have used a bit more playtesting to simplify it. The idea is sound, but the execution was fumbled. Now, I do feel like I got a good amount for what I paid for, but I wouldn't have bought it blind like I did.
While I did have to put the game pieces together (which means putting stickers on things), I didn't mind that. My only real compliant was that the character pieces are wooden things with “Minecraft Avatar” versions of the characters. Why not just have a profile picture or just name instead? Minor, but not something that really sold me.