No Funny quote from me this time. This is serious business. - TGB
In Hostage Negotiator, you play the part of a law enforcement agent responsible for negotiating the release of hostages taken by an unscrupulous figure hell-bent on having his or her demands met. There are multiple paths to victory, but the hostage taker has other plans. Will you try to calm him and get him to surrender? Will you stall and bide your time before sending in the team for a major extraction? How many hostages will you save.....If any.
Each turn in the game represents a conversation between you and the hostage taker. You'll play cards and roll dice to increase conversation points, decrease the threat level, and release hostages. Hostage Negotiator uses a unique "hand-building" mechanism that puts cards you purchase directly in your hand for next turn rather than leaving you wondering when the cards will show up like in deck-building games.
The standard components for the original and crime wave are the same, both are excellent quality on the dice, cards, and meeples, etc...however Van Ryder really stepped up on this expansion as far as the box is concerned. Before you had to put everything in the original box and maybe bag each scenario to keep them together (at least that's what I did). This version has divider cards for each abductor, escape demands and all the other parts of the game (including a divider card for promos and blank dividers for however you wish to sort it). And on top of that, they made a spot for the original game so you could pack up some scenarios and go if you did not want to take the everything somewhere. So many boxes have gotten tossed aside when combining expansions, this was a nice touch.
This game is 15+ on the side of the box for a reason. The subject matter may not be suitable for everyone. Having said that, I feel this game is the best one player game on the market. The stress level when you play this game is real. You may start off just trying to plan your way through the game, but as the terror cards get flipped and your hand dwindles it just gets more and more intense. There are so many choices to make on which cards to buy. Do you build slowly and try to work your way up to better cards? Do you save your points and hope you can buy the more powerful cards, or maybe go all out and just try and take your shot? If there's a one player game in your collection, it should be this hostage negotiator.
The Gentlemen Blogger
Jim is a lifelong gamer. He will play any game at least once. You will see a wide variance in the games he reviews.
Halden is our war game correspondent. He is on the front lines for skirmish game reviews.
Chris Globus is the newest member of the blog team. He is on a personal quest to fine tune his collection at all times.