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Game Review

Vampire Hunter

Ages 9 and up
Milton Bradley
Game © 2002 Hasbro
game setup
Uncle's Games link

2-4 Players30+ minutes


The master Vampire has been tracked to a remote island -- players assume the role of vampire hunters and race to kill the vampire before his escape ship arrives.


Players choose a pawn, and the ship pawn begins at space 8, 9, or 10 depending upon the number of players. Turn cards are placed on the corner of the board.

Players are given a garlic token. They must find a stake and a sword on their journey. The board is a series of grids with a bridge (gateway) between sections. On each section are special tiles: gravestones, ravens, skulls and bats.

A player's turn goes as follows:

  1. Flip a card -- the card will say "change to night" or "change to day". If you need to change from night to day (or vice versa), press the turret on the tower to change the color of the light.

  2. Check to see if your hunter is on a trap. If you are on a trap, you are sent back to the beginning of that section of the board.

  3. Roll the movement die. You may move your pawn up to this number of spaces.

  4. Reveal any tiles that are adjacent after movement stops. Tiles may reveal weapons, monsters, or nothing at all.

  5. Battle any monsters: roll the hit die for each monster, if you roll the word "hit" the monster is defeated -- if you roll a skull, you are sent back to the entrance (gateway) to that section.

  6. If you are next to the final coffin, you may battle the master vampire.

To battle the master vampire, you must fight him and win three times: once with each weapon. To do this, you pick a weapon and roll the battle die. If you win, place the weapon tile on the vampire. Then choose the next weapon and try again. If you lose, you are sent back to the entrance to the section. The master vampire keeps his wounds from previous battles, so any player may finish him off by battling with the remaining weapon types.

For each "change to day card" revealed -- the ship moves closer to the vampire. If the ship reaches the end of it's journey before the master is killed, then all players lose the game.

Tiles that reveal weapons may be collected immediately, however if you already posess the revealed weapon, you may not pick it up.



Winning Conditions:

  • The player who kills the master vampire, wins.

  • or
  • All players lose if the vampire escapes.

cards & dice

Our Opinion:

Thumbs Down!As board games go, this one is a simplistic walk around the board with a special gimmick. The lighting change functions adequately, but doesn't save the game from being merely eye-candy.

As gimmick games go, this one's choice of gimmick works pretty well. Other games have cheesier gimmicks, but the lighting effects and changes make this game at least look cool. We found that in order to honestly get the lighting effects to work, only the tower light on the game could be in use -- nothing else, no matter how dim, could be lit. But, it was impressive when the board elements changed with the colored light.

The game itself lacks the player interactivity that allowed us to enjoy The Omega Virus. In this game, players race each other, but hardly have any effect upon the other players' strategies. The game feels forced to let the players at least get one shot at winning before running our of time. Players can't duel each other, or really compete with each other. As long as players like to work together, this is okay -- but after you've tried this game once, there is no more thrill in it. In short, this had a lot of production funding, and too simple of a game design.

There are two other flaws in the game design, first it's way to easy to win a fight with a monster or the final vampire -- you have a 4 in 6 chance of being successful during the day, and a 50/50 chance at night. In our games, we never lost a fight. The second flaw which will become insignificant if you play more than three times is that you can't refer to the rules once you start the game because it's too dark to read! You better have the rules memorized when you start to play, because if you have to refer to them, you'll lose the atmosphere of the game.

This game was released in 2002 for Halloween.

I bought this game on a clearance rack for about $8... it might be worth that much money to see the lighting change gimmick in action, but the $30 cost is way too high for this game. It's pretty to look at, even cool to watch the board change, but it'll hurt your eyes to play it often -- you can't play it during the day (unless you like sitting in a closet.) Replay value is severely limited.

Where to buy:

Any local toy or game store. It costs about $25 - $30.

Uncle's Games link

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