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Card Game Review: ‘Army of Sloths’

Army of Sloths from DoubLLe Games is a versatile game for players who love to throw down masses of cards. The adorable art will first catch players’ eyes, as sloths rank with whales, penguins, and foxes as some of the most picturesque animals. In Army of Sloths the slow, cuddly creatures have taken up arms to battle for precious leaves, putting them in costumes of medics, bomber pilots, and even pirates. Even beyond the fun art, Army of Sloths is captivating as it serves as two games in one.

In both versions of Army of Sloths, players draw a handful of sloths to battle over leaves. Each sloth is designated with a power value, ranking from generals at ten and tanks at nine all the way down to babies at two and bless-his-heart Cody, the sloth sitting on the railroad tracks with a bucket on his head, at a value of one. There are also numerous special Action cards with unique powers, and a Nuke that defeats all others, except Cody, who despite his failings is a genius at disarming bombs.

Army of Sloths uses this same deck to offer two completely different modes of play. The first version is for masters of attack and defense. Players draw a very full hand of ten cards to build a defensive “wall” of sloths by matching suits or values to protect three leaves laid out before them. After the initial building phase, players take turns sending sloths to attack and repairing their defenses. With reinforcements being limited to obeying matching suits, players gradually wear each other down or expertly conduct a vicious attack with a Nuke or key Action card to take the lead. When the three columns of the wall are destroyed and the three leaves are gone, that player is eliminated, leaving the others to battle until only one remains.

The second version of play in Army of Sloths is a much faster-paced, trick-taking style of game. Rather than being passed out before the game, they are made into their own deck. Each round, a leaf is drawn, and players play Action cards for power-ups and sloths facedown to bid for victory. The sloths are revealed simultaneously, and the winner gets the leaf. The last leaf is worth five points, so players will have to determine the proper balance in their strategy of grabbing early leaves for less points or saving up their most powerful cards for the final battle.

Army of Sloths is a game for two to four players. Its straightforward gameplay is suitable for younger players, perhaps ten to twelve depending on one’s gaming maturity, while the complexity is rich enough to keep older players coming back again and again. With its two ways to play, game time will differ, with the fast-paced second version battling for leaves lasting fifteen to twenty minutes while a wall-building game with a full foursome could last as long as forty-five minutes. Each player may have a different version as their favorite, making Army of Sloths a fun combo game for everyone.

About Jeff Provine

Jeff Provine is a Composition professor, novelist, cartoonist, and traveler of three continents. His latest book is a collection of local ghost legends, Campus Ghosts of Norman, Oklahoma.

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