Review – Rhino Hero: Super Battle
|Scott Frisco, Steven Strumpf
Rhino Hero: Super Battle is the sequel to the hit children’s game Rhino Hero. This time around, the titular character is not working alone, but instead, each player controls their own hero in a king-of-the-hill battle! Let’s check it out!
Rhino Hero: Super Battle is a game of tower building and card stacking. Like the original Rhino Hero, it uses folded cards as the different levels of the tower, with flat cards in between for the floors. This time, however, the tower is larger, new obstacles are introduced, and players can fight each other!
To set up the game, players place three large tiles in a row on the table, to act as the base of the tower. Each player chooses a hero and receives a hand of three floor cards.
On a player’s turn, they begin by selecting a floor card to use. Each card shows one or two wall symbols, and may show a spider-monkey as well. Walls come in two heights, so the player takes the walls shown on their card and adds them to the tower, placing the floor card on top of them.
Then, if the floor card shows a spider-monkey icon, the player takes a spider-monkey token and hangs it off the floor they just placed.
If the structure has not fallen by this point, the player then rolls a die to climb the tower. Based on the result, the player moves their hero piece up or down that many levels.
Next, the player checks to see if another hero is on the same level of the tower as they are. If so, the players battle! The active player gets the red attack die, and the player who was already on that level gets the blue defense die. (The red die has an advantage.) Both players roll, and the player with the higher result wins the battle. The losing player has to move their hero down to the next-lower level. If that level is now contested, those players resolve a battle, and so on.
If the active player’s hero is now higher on the tower than anyone else’s, they claim the superhero medal token. This token will change hands throughout the game as players grapple to be king of the hill. Then, to conclude their turn, the active player draws a new floor card.
The game ends either when the tower collapses or when the floor deck runs out. At that time, the player who holds the superhero medal wins! (As an exception, if the player with the medal causes the tower to fall, then all other players win.)
I thought the original Rhino Hero was decent, but nothing to write home about. Rhino Hero: Super Battle, on the other hand, is fantastic. This game completely replaces the old one for me.
The original game is pretty limited in the way the structure grows. It is very linear, as players stack one floor on another in a single, vertical column. The additions in Super Battle take this core system and make it far more dynamic. Now, the structure can take on all kinds of shapes with cool bridges, spires, etc. The tower base is also significantly larger, which gives the building a sizable footprint on the table.
On top of this, new challenges like spider-monkeys and hero battles inject much more laughter into the game. Obviously, there is a helping of dice-luck in moving about the tower and fighting opponents, but for me, this unpredictability enhances the experience.
I have two small negatives about Super Battle. First, it feels like a missed opportunity that this game does not integrate with the original, and second, the box is far larger than it needs to be. These issues aside, however, the production of this game is top-notch, and it’s great fun to play.
Rhino Hero: Super Battle takes a game that was decent and makes it superb. Playing this game is a blast, and I recommend it for kids and adults alike.
A review copy was provided by HABA.
The Bottom Line
Rhino Hero: Super Battle completely replaces the original Rhino Hero for me. It takes a game that I thought was only okay and significantly improves upon it, resulting in a fantastic experience for kids and adults alike. Highly recommended.