Hey everyone! This week’s Hidden Gem is definitely a game that deserves to be seen. We Care: a Grizzled Game is from the creators of The Grizzled, another hidden gem we’ve featured in this space before and this particular variation is notable for being perhaps one of the first board games to come along that has been directly tied into the ongoing pandemic. There are games that share a similar theme to be certain, but none of those have referenced the pandemic on the box itself as is the case here.
Before we get into the details, it’s worth mentioning that every copy of We Care sold results in a donation to Doctors Without Borders, so every purchase contributes directly to the brave medical professionals around the world who are striving to save lives, often under less than ideal conditions. That being said, why else would We Care be worthy of your attention? Firstly, having its grounding in its predecessor, The Grizzled, already provides We Care with pedigree. The Grizzled was an emotional and touching tribute to the sacrifices and tragedy suffered by the men who fought in WWI. Here, more than a century removed from that period of history, we find ourselves embroiled in yet another far reaching threat, and heroes have once again risen to meet the danger head on, only this time their enemy isn’t an army of combatants, but something arguably more sinister. Disease, misinformation, ignorance and politics are the four horsemen of this particular apocalypse and We Care gives players the opportunity to work together to save lives and hold off the worst effects of the pandemic, buying time for a vaccine to be developed.
Whatever your viewpoints are on the current state of affairs, We Care provides a compelling card game wrapped in a grounded medical theme. 2-5 Players attempt to discard one stack of cards to reach a favourable end game before an opposing deck is exhausted resulting in a total loss for all concerned. The artwork by Étienne Le Roux strikes a difficult balance between the grittiness of the real world and the sense of fun players seek to evoke while gaming and the card and component quality is solid blending functionality with playability and, thanks to the aforementioned art work, provides a pleasing visual treat.
Remove the references to the current pandemic and We Care remains a solid tribute to the day to day challenges of medical professionals everywhere. The game resists the temptation to elevate these individuals to the point of being infallible superheroes and instead reminds us that they are very much human, the stress of what they face each day and their struggle to resist burnout contributes to the tension in the game. Oftentimes, a character will be forced into quarantine or need to sit out a “week” in the game if they’ve pushed themselves too hard in order to recover. At the end of the day, We Care is a high stakes cooperative card game incorporating a worthwhile theme presented in an inexpensive, yet high quality production.
Thanks for joining me again this week. Are you keen to try your hand at We Care: a Grizzled Game? I welcome your thoughts in the comments below or feel free to participate in our fantastic community on the Game Kings Gamers page. Until next time, to quote Bill and Ted, be excellent to each other.