Despite all the great reviews, I could never quite grasp the appeal of the original Rhino Hero for adult players at family time. The original is a quirky but simple card stacking game and I was worried we would quickly outgrow it. Then Rhino Hero Super Battle came along and the addition of a dice battle was enough to make me take a second look. We picked it up for N’s birthday over the summer and are so glad we did! Rhino Hero Super Battle is a fantastic little game for the 4/5+ age group that’s very different to anything else we own. Players compete to stack wall and floor cards on the central tower and get their hero higher up the building. It’s a battle because now if there’s someone on your floor you go head to head in a dice roll to see who stays or goes.
How it plays:
At its core Rhino Hero Super Battle is a card stacking game. Players are dealt three floor cards and must decide which they want to try to lay to build the central tower. On each floor card, symbols show how many walls can be used to support the floor and of what size (one or two, tall or short). Occasionally they are accompanied by a monkey symbol which means players must also hang a monkey from the floor without toppling the tower.
Players then roll a dice to determine if their “hero” will climb up or down and carefully place their character on the correct floor. If when they get there another players is already occupying that floor level, players battle each other by each rolling a dice – the highest stays and the lowest descends to the next level. If another “hero” is on this floor they then battle to see who remains and so on.
At any point in the game if the tower falls, the person who was highest up the tower (determined each round and marked by a token so no one forgets), is declared the winner as long as they didn’t knock the tower down.
The game accommodate up to 4 players and the cards and wooden figures are of the sturdy quality you’d expect from Haba.
What we love about this game:
Rhino Hero Super Battle is a really fun physical dexterity game. The towers can get really tall, which feels like an accomplishment in itself. Because of this it’s best played on the floor or low table where everyone can move around to get the best angle for laying their cards, but because Little Miss 17 months is quite the Godzilla we’ve had to play on a high table.
Because the game is simple to follow and there’s no reading involved, it could easily be played with ages 4+ if they are competent at building/stacking. The instructions also include suggestions for simplifying the game for younger players by taking out the floors which require both a short and tall wall to be used at the same time.
That said, even though it appears simplistic, there is enough here to challenge the 6+ age group and I can see us playing this on and off for at least another two years. The starting base can be flipped to only allow a minimal number of walls to be used at the foot of the tower, and the more we play the more familiar we become with how to lay floors in such a way to make it tricky for others. Floors can be balanced on single tall walls or placed off centre, and short wall/floor combos can be played to increase the numbers of floors between the highest player and those trailing behind.
The dice battles also give it an edge because it includes a directly competitive element without being too confrontational. Admittedly a lot of player success is down to a roll of the dice, and usually I’d find that tedious, but it’s great for kids in that it keeps the possibility of winning within reach even if you do get left behind at the start. One unlucky roll could send the leader climbing down three spaces, losing a battle and descending some more!
Rhino Hero Super Battle is a perfect light, fast and fun family game that’s great if you’ve got kids that occasionally need to move around and play. I challenge anyone not to enjoy themselves while building and knocking down these towers! And I haven’t even mentioned the fabulous wall cards, which are full of quirky little pictures of the inhabitants of the tower going about their lives. Definitely a game for everyone to have in their collection for younger players.