Final Review: Don’t Turn Your Back

I got to throw down with a friend in Don’t Turn Your Back, by Evil Hat Productions. Its on kickstarter for just a couple more days, so if the sound of this game intrigues you, better go check it out now. Its close to its funding goal.

I like the graphic design of the board and the cards. It is actually really easy to see if cards have been played in a legal spot and quite easy to not screw it up. My friend picked up the game from a quick 2 minute explanation very well.

Essentially, each player starts with four cards from their deck each turn. You each take turns playing one card each onto the board as “workers” and go until all players are out of cards. The smart way about how the game works is that individual cards can only be played in a few of the spots, not just any spot. So there is some variance to the game to work with. I didn’t quite grasp just how interesting the various spots on the board were for laying out a solid deck building mechanic. You can go for victory points early, in the high school, which reminded me a lot of how Race For the Galaxy can play out. There is a City of Slumber section, where, the points you play there let you buy better cards later. The Encasing area is where you can destroy cards.

Don’t Turn Your Back has no wasted turns. You know when you play a deck builder and you have a few turns where you really don’t get to do much of anything? You know when you just can’t find a way to buy any card that will help your strategy? Well this game skips over that with each card having a good value to it.

Also, the speed of play is aided by all the cards only getting to use special abilities if played in the Bazaar section of the board.

Finally the Warehouse section of the board adds laws every turn that give variable benefits. This is a GREAT way to have variance and make the game not have a single winning strategy each time.

I am so excited to try this game out with four players, as I think that the competing for various spaces on the board will be a lot more interesting.

If you like light worker placement games, games with direct competition, or deck building mechanics put in to non-pure deck building games, this is a game you really need to try. Alternatively, if you like darker themed games with very intriguing artwork, this game may hit the spot for you as well.

About dhunterphillips

Visit my Facebook Fan Page to connect: While not working as a GeoInt Analyst in the Washington DC metro area, D. Hunter Phillips enjoys a life-long love of sci-fi, fantasy, role-playing games, and a great many other nerdy things that he explores through writing and games. D. Hunter regularly writes board game reviews at Through his writing, D. Hunter hopes to inspire and speculate on the future and the past. He seeks deeper meanings within pulp genres of fantasy and sci-fi. D. Hunter enjoys the tales of John Ringo and Charles Stross. D. Hunter's readings lead him in a never ending cycle of sci-fi, history, physics, and psychology. D. Hunter enjoys going to DC area Goth clubs and seeing some of his favorite bands, such as VNV Nation. He also loves his home life with his partner in crime and several pets.
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