Hecho Review

Another game that I played after it was mailed to me as tornado relief (thanks!) was Hecho.

Hecho is a real time game that I find to be somewhat similar to the classic game of Pit. In Hecho, there are six different piles of buildings that the players are attempting to build. They "build" the building by allocating the necessary resources, represented by cards in their hand, to that building. There are six different kinds of resources, and each building will have a different mix of exactly how many of each kind they need. Anytime a player has enough resources to build one of the buildings, they take the card, yell "Hecho", put the used cards with the constructed card, and draw two new cards from the middle (everyone else draws one). At any time, players can also take two cards from their hand that match numerically and throw them into the middle, thus replacing them with two other cards. They can also trade cards with each other, but are only allowed to indicate the size of their card, not the material. Play continues in this manner until one of the six piles of buildings is empty - at which point whoever has the most points from building buildings is the winner.

The first pro to Hecho is that there seem to be enough different types of materials and enough buildings that you are trying to construct at any given time to keep you somewhat frantic. It is quite challenging to pay attention to all six piles at the same time - and of course, if you don't pay attention to them, you may trade away the resources that you need in order to complete those other buildings (and worse yet, you may trade them to your opponent who is paying attention to them)!

In addition, the fact that you can always trade matching pairs with the bank and that you can trade anything with other players keeps the game flowing. If either of these rules were missing, there would be far too much down time while waiting on someone else to realize that they had the correct materials to build a building.

The third thing I like about Hecho is that there are some buildings that can be constructed using only a single card. This also helps the game flow by putting more cards into the players' hands. Yet, these buildings (since they are so easy to construct) are not worth very many points, thus keeping the balance of the game intact.

However, Hecho has some definite cons. First of all, though the game says that it can be played with 2-6 players, in my opinion, it is pointless to play with 2-3. You simply don't draw cards often enough in 2-3 players to keep your hand flowing so that you can continue playing. Here's an example - I was playing a three player game, and I was doing well, so I wound up using all of my cards. I drew two new cards after constructing another building and I looked and realized that all of the available buildings required at least three different types of resources. I was able to teach someone how to play the game and help them join into it while I was waiting to be able to do anything. Granted, I don't think this is the norm, but every three player game I have played has been incredibly slow.

The other thing that I would consider a con about Hecho is the number of different values on the cards. I realize that this is a major aspect of the game and it's design, but the fact that you are just as likely to get a "Metal" of value 2 as you are of value 8 seems odd to me. This also heavily favors the person that draws the value 8 card. If you draw mostly cards with high numbers, you will be able to construct the same buildings as someone with low numbers while using less cards. This means that you will have more cards than they do after a Hecho - which gives you a major advantage when trying to construct the next building.

Overall, I give Hecho a 7.0/10. I think it is a decent game that I would recommend to people that enjoy the frantic real time trading nature of games like Pit. However, due to the number of other games available to me, I went ahead and passed my copy along to another tornado victim. (And thanks again to all who sent me Hecho and many, many other games for both my collection and for others in Joplin after the tornado. I did my best to make sure that they all found great homes!)

If you like real time games, you might also check out Jab, Wok Star, and (the less good) Frenzy.

1 comment:

  1. Terrific write-up. I'd say this is not my style of game but I can see the merits and fun in the real-time play.