Today we are gonna talk about one of my new favorites, “Samurai Spirit” by Antoine Bauza and Fun Forge.
This is a co-op tower defense game inspired by Akira Kurosawa’s “Seven Samurai”. Every player takes one of seven samurai each with different special abilities, and special powers called a “Kiai”.
On your turn you choose to fight a raider (and either confront or defend), support a fellow samurai with your talent, or pass for the round.
If you fight, you must choose to either Confront the raider by placing the raider card on the right side of your samurai board and altering the battle track accordingly (a 3 would move your samurai meeple up three places) or Defend against the raider if it has one of the three symbols in the top right corner (hat, house, or person). This keeps bad things from happening at the end of the round like losing barricades, farmsteads, or helpless villagers.
You must keep the delicate balance of battle though. If your battle track ever reaches the fire symbol you are knocked out for the round. While you are knocked out bad things can happen to the village.
Also, if the raider you confronted last turn has a symbol in the bottom right corner you must suffer the penalties of confronting them before you do anything else on your turn (like gaining a wound, burning a barricade, or worse…).
Supporting your fellow samurai can be just as important as fighting. By lending your special talents to the other players you can avoid having to meet certain requirements (like suffering penalties of raiders, passing undesired cards to other players, or even discarding raiders entirely).
The game plays over 3 rounds and becomes more difficult each round by adding Generals in round 2 and Bosses in round 3. If you survive round 3 with at least 1 family and 1 farmstead remaining in the village, you win!
What really makes this game stand out is the artwork by Victor Perez Corbella. The art is beautiful! From the samurai human and beast forms to the raider cards, even the board is pretty.
The game plays 1 to 7 players, with adjustable difficulty, and retails for the low asking price of $29.99. I give it a 5 out 7 honorable samurai.
-Trevor L. Cooper is an avid board gamer. When he is not gaming he can be found at Zia Comics, home of all things awesome.
Buy your own copy here