In Eye for an Eye, players take control of a single combatant in a real time fight to the death. Each round is played to a soundtrack that goes for no longer than five minutes. Eye for an Eye is played in real time. There are no turns, it is constantly every player’s turn.
The frantic positioning and the back and forth attack and defence of characters is controlled by speed rolling and dice allocation. Players roll and reroll dice, allocating what they want without waiting for other players.
How to Play
Eye for an Eye is played in real time. This means that unlike regular games, players do not wait and take turns. They instead all play at the same time as fast as they can.
As soon as the game begins, players may start by rolling all their DICE.
Rolling and Allocating Dice
After each time you roll your DICE, you may choose to allocate none, some or all of those DICE to places that match the icons showing on your PLAYER BOARD or TRIBAL cards. You must always fill the places that have flourishes of vegetation first before allocating to other places within that ACTION. After allocating any DICE, you may either resolve an ACTION or continue to reroll your DICE. Any unallocated DICE must be rerolled when any DICE are rolled, they cannot be held off to the side until you need them. This means that every one of your DICE will either be allocated, or unallocated.
DICE can be allocated to any ACTION that its icon matches. This can include ACTIONS on both the PLAYER BOARD and TRIBAL cards. At any time, you may pull any number of DICE off your PLAYER BOARD or TRIBAL cards to reroll if you get stuck or want to change your tactics.
Resolving an Action
You can resolve an ACTION at any time by:
- Calling out the exact name of the ACTION
- How many DICE you are spending if it is applicable (any DICE spent must have already been allocated).
- Who the target is (if there is a target)
- It is also considered polite to announce how much damage it will do (in unblockable and blockable) to allow for players unfamiliar with the different TRIBAL cards to respond in a timely manner.
The ACTION is then carried out and the DICE are then removed from the applicable part of the PLAYER BOARD or TRIBAL card. If the name of the action is not called out correctly, it is null and void and the dice are spent with no benefit.
If a player is attacked and loses HEALTH, then that player must remove the applicable number of HEALTH TOKENs and place them into the attacker’s VP CUP before resolving any of their ACTIONS (unless they could resolve a Defensive ABILITY to cancel some).
Tribal cards always start the game with their UNREADIED side faceup. To be able to use the ACTION on the READY side of the TRIBAL card, you must first READY it. You do this by allocating the correct number of DICE showing a matching READY icon to the card.
Once all of those places are filled on a TRIBAL card, the DICE are removed and the card is flipped to its READY side. To then use an ACTION on a TRIBAL card, it is the same procedure as using one of the ACTIONs on your PLAYER BOARD.
Some special attacks do hits that count as UNBLOCKABLE hits. An UNBLOCKABLE hit is one that cannot be cancelled or ignored by any means. Those hits must be taken.
Gaining and Losing Health Tokens
When resolving a HEAL ACTION you may immediately gain 1 HEALTH TOKEN from the general supply and place it on your PLAYER BOARD. You cannot do this if it would take your total HEALTH TOKENS to above your CHARACTER’s starting Health statistic.
Each time you get hits that you cannot cancel then your CHARACTER takes damage. Remove a number of HEALTH TOKENS from your PLAYER BOARD equal to the number of uncancelled hits and place them in the attacker’s VP CUP. If you ever lose all your HEALTH TOKENS, your CHARACTER is KO’d and you are out of the ROUND. Give your CHARACTER to the player that caused you to lose your last HEALTH TOKENs.
How to Win
When playing ‘Every Eye for Themselves’, players will play three ROUNDS. They total up their points across all three ROUNDS to see who the winner is.
At the end of each ROUND, total up your points. To find out how many points you have, total up the following:
- 1 point per HEALTH TOKEN in your VP CUP + 5 points per CHARACTER you KO’d during the ROUND.
- Only CHARACTERs that are not KO’d when Chief Eucalypt calls ‘Yarra Bung’ at the end of the SOUNDTRACK (or if they are the last CHARACTER standing in the Arena before the SOUNDTRACK ends) counts their points.
After playing three ROUNDS, total up your points. The player with the most points wins!
As a Warhammer 40k and other wargame player, I was excited to see what this arena style game played. I think the only way to describe this Eye for an Eye, is it is like drinking a six pack of redbull and playing a game of Wargame. It is the most intense an insane 5 minutes of your life, then you do it twice more.
So last year at PAX Australia, I got to set down with Ben and his family and play Eye for an Eye. Ben and his wife, Shae was amazing; being talked through the design process, discussing the miniatures and how they had been hand sculpted. As a side note, these miniatures are stunning. I had such a great time chatting to him, it took us about 30-40 mins to actually sit down and play the game.
I didn’t really know what to expect. Having played several real time games before and love the idea of them but never played one that really clicked with me. Yet Ben and Shae passion had made me excited to play. It was this moment that I realised, this had been an act. Ben wasn’t really nice at all, but a smiling assassin.
He spent the next 15 minutes destroying me! No mercy. It was so brutal and so much fun. It was at this time that I got a message from Oz, a friend of mine. I begged him to come play it, firstly because I need a partner to help take down Ben and secondly, Eye for an Eye was insane and I thought he would love it. So with Oz by my side, we told down the smiling assassin….. but only just. Ben is amazing, he knows all the tricks and just playing against him helps you learn so much.
As I said, all the miniatures were hand sculpted by the great Bob Olley. If you have heard of Bob Olley, you need to google him. The man is an amazing sculptor and I love that he still hand sculpts everything. But as if that wasn’t enough, Darwin Games have not stopped there. To do their additional art they got one of my favourites; the man, the myth, The Mico! I could write a whole review on Mico, but I won’t, but know he is one of the best in the business.
Darwin games have made an amazing game, that is super fun, surprising strategic and have gone far beyond my exceptions of what a real time game is. Something I must add to, is this is Darwin Games First Ever game. It is an adventurous and bold first game, but they have knocked it out of the park.
If you love real time games, this game is a no brainer. If you hate really time games, I would recommend having a look at this game. It is intense and fast, but there is actually a lot of strategy. There lot more going on than just roll dice for 5 minutes and just hope you roll right. I will give you a word of advice, movement in this game is key. Ben moved just has he noticed I had 4 attacks about to go. I missed with everything because he was out of range. So so clever!
If you would like to back Eye for an Eye you can find their Kickstarter preview here