Nuns on the Run Board Game
by Gary Sonnenberg
Nuns on the Run Board Game
Nuns on the Run
Board game manufacturer:
Number of players:
Nuns on the Run is a game that could be a lot of fun, but suffers from a poorly written rulebook and several fiddly mechanics that make the game feel more like work than play.
The game and gameplay
In Nuns on the Run board game, you can play on one of two sides. You can either be the guards or the novices. The goal of the novices is to sneak out of their room, get a set of keys, and use the keys to obtain the item on their Secret Wish card. After they obtain this item, they must sneak back to their room. If a novice manages to do this before any of the other novices, they win.
The goal of the guards is, obviously, to catch the novices. A guard player can win by catching novices equal to the number of players or by preventing the novices from fulfilling their Secret Wish within 15 turns.
The problem with this game comes in the exact mechanics. There are two mechanics in particular that are more trouble than they’re worth. The first one is “hearing” the novices. At the end of a novice’s turn, they roll a die and apply a modifier to see how much noise they are making.
If there is a guard within that number of spaces, they must place a noise marker. At the end of a guard’s turn, they also roll a die and novices must see if they are within that many spaces. The biggest problem with this mechanic is the amount of exceptions to the rule. If you simply rolled the die and counted spaces, it would be easier.
However, the hearing is affected by modifiers on the novices’ movement cards and by the guard’s movement card (they can’t hear anything if they’re running).
The second mechanic is “seeing” the novices. First of all, the rules are fairly unclear about how and when to reveal if a novice can be seen.
Secondly, as a guard moves, novices must check after each space of movement to see if the guard can see them. There are a great number of places where this is not immediately evident. The game provides a few charts to help handle the more complicated places on the board, it also provide a ruler than can be used to see if there is a wall blocking the line of sight.
However, these methods are time consuming and really cut into the flow of the game. It should be fairly obvious if a guard can see a novice or not, but it isn’t.
All in all, Nuns on the Run is a game that could have been fun, but isn’t.
Pros and cons
Pros: Fun, well-integrated theme, supports up to 8 players, nice artwork.
Cons: Fiddly, poorly written rules, feels more like work than play.
I went into Nuns on the Run board gameexpecting a fun game of hide and seek with a few interesting twists. What I got was a frustrating experience that could not end quickly enough. The mechanics for hearing and seeing novices are complicated and cut into the flow of the game. While the game may get easier to play with more experience, I had no desire to get that experience. This game may work for some people, but I can’t really recommend it.
If you’ve played Nuns on the Run, please leave a rating and comments using the link below.