Friday the 13th Horror At Camp Crystal Lake is a push your luck board game based on the Friday the 13th horror movies. Players need to collect supplies while trying to avoid the masked killer, Jason Voorhees.
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The rules for Friday the 13th Horror At Camp Crystal Lake are incredibly simple. Players spend 5 nights gathering supplies, returning to the safe cabin each night to trade in their supplies for points. Each night is a turn of alternating player actions, where players can draw supply tokens from a bag, play a fear card from their hand, or return to the cabin.
The supply tokens that players are looking for are various items with different values. Frying pans and torches are common but are only worth 1 and 2 points each respectively, whereas the elusive hatchets are worth 8 points. Players take turns drawing tokens from the supply bag until they decide to return to the cabin. Jason is out to stop the payers though, and the supply bag also contains Jason tokens, and drawing a second of these makes you lose all the supplies you've collected that night, and forces you to return to the cabin in terror.
Each turn, there is a critical supply bonus for the first player choosing to return to the cabin with the tokens indicated on the critical supply card. Players also get a bravery bonus depending on how long they stay out collecting supplies. Supply combination bonuses help to increase your score, if you can find the right combinations, like returning with 1 of each of the 6 supply types, which gains you an additional 12 points, or trading in 3 of the same supply tokens to double the value of another token type. It all works together to create an interesting gamble of trying to stay out collecting more supplies for points rewards or returning before Jason causes you to lose them all.
Players have a backpack, which lets them store 2 supply tokens to trade in on another night, if they're working on a combination bonus, and protects them from Jason's appearance. During the turn, instead of searching for supplies on their go, players can play fear cards for unique effects. Supply Run for example lets you draw 3 tokens from the supply bag, and return any Jason tokens you find. I Need That More lets you take a supply token from another player, and Not A Chance stops them from using that action on you, and lets you take a token from them instead.
Friday the 13th Horror At Camp Crystal Lake is a solid game mechanically. The push your luck element works very well, and it's a lot of fun. but for a game based around Friday the 13th, it's lacking in terror. Pulling out your second Jason token is more disappointing than scary, as you simply return to the cabin and try again the next night. This element of it is clearly to avoid player elimination, but it takes away the essence of the franchise. One of the characters is even called The Final Girl, but everyone survives. It's a shame because it really is a solid game mechanically, and the fear cards are a lot of fun, but the fundamental missing of theme has a big impact, despite the components being on-point thematically.
The Bottom Line
Friday the 13th Horror At Camp Crystal Lake is a great push your luck game mechanically, the fear cards are particularly well done and a lot of fun. Yet while all of the components are thematically awesome, in trying to avoid player elimination, it misses the core of the theme. If it had been aimed at a higher age group, with player elimination, and bonus points for the brutality of the death, it would take it from simply good, to an awesome game.
Get This Game If:
- You're a Friday the 13th superfan, but be aware of the lack of theme.
- You want a great player elimination game and don't care about the theme.
Avoid This Game If:
- You came here for murder death kill.
- You don't want a push your luck game.
The copy of the Friday the 13th Horror At Camp Crystal Lake used to produce this review was provided by Asmodee UK.