Hiroshi has always been a spindly, never-noticed outcast as long as he can remember. Until he hits his senior year of high school. Now something weird is happening. All the girls that have ignored Hiroshi for years have all started to notice him in a big way. They are all infatuated and are competing for his attention. They all have one school day before Hiroshi takes one of them out on a date. This is going to be a day of tons of awkwardness and hormones.
Love Battle! High School is a hand management/worker placement game for 2-4 players.
Love Battle! High School is played over seven rounds. At the beginning of the round one, players each make a vote on which female character(s) they think will end up going on the date with Hiroshi. These votes are hidden until the end of the game.
Players then take turns performing two phases each round. One phase is the Hero Phase. During this phase the active player moves Hiroshi up to two spaces and can perform one action. Either drawing a girl’s card, performing the room action or kicking a girl out of his current room. The other phase is the Girl Phase. During this phase, players can move a girl by discarding one of her cards, they can also play cards if the girl is in the same room with Hiroshi. They can flirt with him, punish him and seduce him. Other players can respond with jealousy cards. All of these cards increase and decrease the girls’ love tracks and earn the players Ki.
Each room has a different action and each girl has unique cards and abilities. The players move through the seven rounds of the game and at the end of the game the girl(s) with the highest love track total win a date with Hiroshi. Players who voted on that girl(s) win bonus KI. The player with the most Ki is the winner of the game.
Learning to play Love Battle HS was not terribly tough. Teaching it was a bit of a challenge. It seems like there are lots of options and very limited time to do anything. Maybe the game was designed to feel that frantic. It is a game about high school. Also, it was a bit weird teaching Ally how to play. Explaining that all the girls want Hiroshi’s body and discussing the different card types got plenty of eye rolls. The game does not take itself seriously and the cards are over the top sexual awkwardness.
The game didn’t really work well for us. Neither of us are into this style of anime and neither of us are 15-year-old nerds. All the seduction and weirdness of having multiple girls trying to shove their breasts in Hiroshi’s face just felt forced to hit the harem style anime genre.
The build is fairly decent. I think the cards could be a higher quality with a less glossy finish. Besides that, the cardboard is top notch and the box and board are well made. The insert is nice and everything has a place of its own. Overall, people should be happy with what they get in the box. The cardboard standees are a nice addition to give the board a bit of a 3D feel.
All I can really say about the artwork is that it is what it is because it is trying to match a certain genre. All of the girls are overly proportioned in all the right places. The Girl Cards feature highly seductive poses and card names.
Maybe the best way to explain the art is to tell you about a couple of reactions. When Ally saw it she laughed and thought it was ridiculous. When my daughter sees the box cover, she is disgusted and all angry that they depicted women that way. She is only 11 and feels that strongly about it.
The best part of Love Battle HS is the “gotcha” moments. Players are able to raise and lower the love track scores of any girls. You can quickly guess which girls each player voted for and after that you can start messing up the other players strategy. The game can quickly descend into a world class cat fight.
Love Battle! High School is recommended for 13+. I would not play this with my kids. It is very sexual and some of the room actions are kind of pervish (is that a word?). Hiroshi can peek in the girls’ locker room and can roll the dice. The higher the dice roll the better the view. Same with the pool. You can do some serious underwater perving there.
I would say this easy 15+. And the 15-year-old male gamer is probably the target audience of this game. I can see post pubescent boys eating this up. I guess people who enjoy harem anime will also like this game.
For reasons stated above, Love Battle! High School did not work for me. While I loved the meanness of the game and the ability to mess with other players, the theme steamrolls any fun I might have had. I am sure it was done this way depending on the humor of it, but I have a daughter and I have always worked to let her know there are very important things in life and impressing a boy is not one of them; she has wonderful qualities as a human being and large boobs doesn’t need to be one of them.
There may be lots of gamers who disagree with my viewpoint on this game. I am OK with that. Everyone has the choice to choose what they play and what they enjoy. And it appears that many people disagree with me since this game currently has a 7 on board game geek.
I regret that there was real potential here. I love mean games and games where I can mess with other player’s strategies. But the overall theme is not something I enjoy or one I can recommend.