Chainsaw Warrior is hard. Chainsaw Warrior may be the most hilariously, frustratingly, randomly difficult game that I keep coming back to. Chainsaw Warrior is a digital port by Auroch Digital of the 1987 Games Workshop card game of the same name. It is essentially a roguelike in card form where the player will be racing against the clock in an attempt to save the city from Darkness.
[caption id="attachment_26206" align="aligncenter" width="529"] Make no mistake, this game is difficult even on the Easy setting. More accurate names for the difficulties would be"Difficult", "Nightmare" and "Lolwut".[/caption]
You begin each game by rolling for your stats such as Endurance, Hand to Hand skill, Marksmanship etc. You will also make rolls to determine which skill is your specialty and how many points you have to spend on equipment. Bad rolls in any of these areas can doom you before you even begin the game. Considering the difficulty, using a poorly rolled character until they meet their inevitable death can be as entertaining as a well rolled character.
[caption id="attachment_26382" align="aligncenter" width="660"] Nothing speaks to the difficulty of the game quite like the Implosion Vest. Ending the game via a draw can be seen as a personal victory.[/caption]
Once created, the player will flip cards one at a time and face the obstacle shown. Each card represents 30 seconds of time and the player will need to survive long enough to locate the Darkness card while ensuring that the clock never reaches 0:00. Adding to the challenge is the fact that the Darkness card will never appear before the first half of the deck is completed and once 30 minutes have passed the sun goes down, making the challenges faced more deadly.
[caption id="attachment_26211" align="aligncenter" width="660"] Without save-scumming, even getting to the Darkness card is unlikely. Surviving long enough to face the Darkness and defeating it can be a monumental task.[/caption]
A note on game length: A successful run of Chainsaw Warrior usually takes about 45 minutes. Most games of Chainsaw Warrior end in failure and are far shorter.
A note on “chrome”: The music in Chainsaw Warrior is serviceable and ultimately forgettable. The sound effects are rather bare bones and could be considered adequate at best.
The bottom line:
Chainsaw Warrior is random and the difficulty is steep. Nearly everything in the game is determined by a die roll and there are many different ways in which the player can lose. This game is not for everyone but gamers seeking a steep challenge or those that just like to laugh at their own misfortune should give it a try, especially considering the low price point.
Get this game if:
You enjoy rougelike games with a heavy element of randomness.
You enjoy a steep challenge.
Avoid this game if:
You want more than a loose sense of control over your own fate.
You want outcomes to be determined by player skill more than luck.