This is a prototype version of the game and does not represent the final quality or look of the game. The game is coming to Kickstarter soon. You can find more details of that here.
Bad Trevor is the brainchild of first-time designer Mark Hurdle, who, despite a background in video production, teamed up with his long-time friend Steve Penfold, a professional comic book artist. The result is the prototype version that currently sits before me, and I must say, I've had a blast with it.
The game operates on a remarkably simple premise. Players are dealt cards evenly, and whoever receives Kamikaze Kevin must declare it, place the card in the centre of the playing area, and become the first player. Any pairs of Civilian cards in players hands can be discarded now, or held onto to use in the game.
Turns then unfold as players select three cards from their hand and lay them face down in front of the player to their left. The recipient must then choose one of these three cards to pick up. If it's a villain or hero card, they read the actions and execute them before discarding. A Civilian card is added to their hand. If it's Bad Trevor, they must pick up the remaining two cards and add all three to their hand.
If a player accumulates pairs of civilian cards, they can play them in front of them and either continue as usual, reverse the order of play, or request a specific civilian card from another player. These powers are why you may want to hold onto some during the opening phase. You do not get to use these powers if you discard them before the first turn. If you are successful in obtaining the requested card in this way, you are allowed to play a second match and make another choice or continue with your turn as normal by playing three attack cards against the next player. Failure to receive the requested card results in forfeiting their turn.
Certain cards offer assistance, while others pose challenges. The game progresses until only one player has cards in hand, inevitably holding Bad Trevor, the one card that cannot be discarded. That player loses, and the remaining players emerge victorious.
An additional card in the game, Kamikaze Kevin, adds an interesting dynamic. When a player passes Bad Trevor to another, everyone knows if the next player picks it up, they'll have to pick up the other two cards as well. Only Bad Trevor possesses this power, making its location generally known. However, when a player suspects Bad Trevor is placed in front of them, they have a choice: take one of the cards, risking picking up Bad Trevor, or use Kamikaze Kevin to detonate Bad Trevor.
The Kamikaze Kevin play involves slapping the card down on the suspected Bad Trevor and shouting "Take that, Bad Trevor!" If correct, the player gives all their cards to the one who placed Bad Trevor, who also reclaims the placed cards. The Kamikaze Kevin player is now out of the game. If wrong, the player who had Kamikaze Kevin played on them gives their cards to the Kamikaze Kevin player, and they exit the game.
Kamikaze Kevin can be used by anyone at any point, but only once per game, adding a significant risk factor. Once it has been used, it is out of the game for all players. As the game progresses, players find ways to mitigate this risk of playing the card incorrectly, increasing their odds but you will never be certain. You can never play Kamikaze Kevin on just one attack card. It's a thrilling gamble that keeps players on their toes throughout the game.
Some of the Villain and Hero cards offer some very interesting powers, forcing players to play reduced hands, mitigate affects of hero cards, miss their turn, or even be forced to take Bad Trevor from whomever currently holds him. Outbursts of much hilarity is a regular friend in this game.
The hero cards in the game add a dynamic twist, allowing players to influence others either negatively or positively. For instance, these cards empower you to pass on Bad Trevor to another player, provided you currently hold him.
One personal favourite of mine allows you to force the next player to only lay two cards on their following turn, effectively making the odds of a successful Kamikaze Kevin victory 50/50. If they choose to play Bad Trevor of course. The game's ongoing bluff and double bluff elements consistently bring laughter to the table, enhancing the overall enjoyment of the experience.
The rule book is a thing of joy. It looks great. Is easy to read, and learning and teaching this game is a breeze. Game sonly take a few minutes too. For me, games often fall into clusters. One is never enough. It is so simple, but so fun, and if you lose, you just want to play again to try and change your fortune. There is a wonderful how to play video you can see here, and I must commend the card art. It is stunning I hope you would agree. I really hope this game finds a welcoming audience during the funding. It deserves a lot of love. I am a big fan, as our my children.