Skulk Hollow: My Kids are Killing me!

My Foxen army were no match for Raptra.

Game: Skulk Hollow

  • Publisher: Pencil First Games
  • Designed by: Eduardo Baraf, Seth Johnson, Keith Matejka
  • Illustrated by: Dustin Foust, Sebastian Koziner, Keith Matejka and Helen Zhu
  • Ages 8+
  • 2 players
  • 40 minutes
The battle is about to begin…

“Get off my back!” I yelled as Elijah started stabbing away at me.

“Bwahahahahahaha!”

“Alright, time for me to throw you. Wait. Did you stop me from throwing?”

“Yep.” “Bwahahahahahaha!”

“Noooo!!!!!”

The Foxen reside in the land of Skulk Hollow. I am curious about these other possible races of creatures that live in this vast world.

Skulk Hollow is a 2 player assymetrical game. What does that mean? Well it means that each player has different conditions to winning the game. You either play as the Guardian, a creature made from the creator protecting the land that was made long ago, or you play the Foxen Heroes, the civilization that has now occupied the land and are destroying some of the land to provide for their own. The Guardians have awoken from their slumber and it’s up to the Foxen Heroes to stop them.

Choose your character. Will it be the Foxen Heroes or the Guardians protecting the land?

There is something beautiful about the story of the Guardians and the Foxen Heroes. What has been created here is a universe of balance over the land and who lays claim to it. As the Foxen Heroes your goal is simply to kill the Guardian. This is done by deploying allies, leaping up onto the creature and dealing damage, firing arrows and moving into position to stop them at all costs. The Guardian’s conditions are different. They simply want to take the royalty out of power. There also are other conditions for each of the four Guardians to win.

“My Lord, there is a massive creature ahead. Shall we call in reinforcements?”

Each player has a set amount of cards they can have and so many actions they can play. Some cards for the Foxen Heroes may have movement, power cubes which will help individual actions for certain characters, melee to be done on the guardian, leap and missle attacks with their bow and arrows. The Guardians may have attacks on them, or other actions that can help towards the winning condition. Some cards have two available options, letting the player choose what to do.

Apoda has killed the Prince of Guile.

The Foxen Heroes go first. They play three actions and then refill their hand. Then, it’s the Guardian’s turn. The game ends when either player completes their winning condition.

Components
Each character has it’s own box filled with goodies.
The board is easy to grasp and there is another side to make it easier to understand movement.
Power cubes give players a chance to do additional actions.
Relics can be a handicap for a player new to the game. They can be spent for additional actions.
The mini expansion continues the use of relics by placing relics on the board for players to collect.

This game is beautiful and full of life and detail. If you have ever seen Disney’s Robin Hood, you will see a comparison with the Foxen Heroes and the beloved classic animated film. My kids pointed it out as soon as I took the cards out of the box. Did I mention that each Guardian has their own special box, filled with their own large meeple and cards? Also, card is vibrant in color and detail.

The Foxen Heroes have symbols to match with their player cards.

The Foxen Heroes’ meeples are adorable and the other wooden pieces have such detail. What I like is that the Foxen Heroes symbols match the heroes on the cards. This makes it easier to differentiate who is taking damage and who is in a particular space.

Choose one of four Foxen Heroes to lead your army into battle.
Each Guardian has its own special board for Foxen to leap on to.

The board has two sides. This is helpful when teaching the game to younger kids like Elijah. The one side has dotted lines on the 3×3 grid, while the other doesn’t. This makes it easier to help understand movement.

When damage is dealt to a specific area, it can paralyze that ability of the Guardian until they can mend their wounds.

This was well put together.

Larger than life, the Guardian Meeples are well made.
Our Family’s thoughts on skulk hollow

Abigail, 12: Its fun because it uses strategy and you can mix things up so that it’s not the same thing. I like the artwork. It’s a good deal so Buy It! It’s a lot in the game. Recommendation: Buy It!

Beth: I have only played as the Foxen and they put up a good fight against the Guardian but definitely have their work cut out for them. It’s a tough battle. You can change the game around in so many ways and can try different cominations which really appeals to me. I look forward to trying again with one of the other royalties with different abilities.

So who will you choose?

Chris: I love this game. The art drew me in and the story discussing this conflict is well put together. I almost want to root for the Guardians and their quest to protect the land that was created. Looking at balance, I like that there are ways to help others with small handicaps with relics. The relics could be given to a player to use as an additional action in the game and this is helpful when playing with the kids. I would love to see this lore continue with other races and maybe even a 2v2 game where the Guardian’s and animals co-exist, competing against other guardians and their animal counterparts. I look forward to what Pencil First has next in line for this series. Recommendation: Buy It!

Daniel, 11: So I like how you can be different Guardians. I like how they have their own statue like thingys, and I also like the little meeples for the foxes. I like that there are different abilities for each Guardian. I like how the little foxen came straight out of Disney’s Robin Hood. The artwork is fantastic and I would say Buy It! Recommendation: Buy It!

Elijah, 8: I like Tanthos and that he is an octopus and he has tentacles that he can put in different places. Recommendation: Try it.

Skulk Hollow is a Buy It! The art, gameplay and ease of play makes this a game worthy of being on your table. The assymetrical nature of the game and the variety of Guardian’s and Royalty make for a great 2-player game that kids and adults will enjoy.

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