Kulkmann's G@mebox - www.boardgame.de



Filip Neduk

Czech Games Edition

No. of Players:
3 - 5



Gamebox author Doug Adams writes about the game:

Adrenaline is a board game released at Essen in late 2016. The game is published by CZECH GAMES EDITION, which means it is worth a closer look. In these modern times of ubiquitous, crowd funded games, it's easy to get lost in the myriad of new releases. I had never heard of the game before, and when a review copy turned up, it was a nice surprise.

The game comes in a compact, rectangular box, exactly the same dimensions as their new edition of Through The Ages. The cover features a rather violent shoot-em-up scene, where various characters are romping around a futuristic factory setting, blasting away at each other with oversized weaponry. The rather happy looking robot gives a hint that things may not be as serious as they appear.

The game is designed by Filip Neduk, a name not known to me. It is for 3-5 players, ages 12 and up. Playing time is listed as 60 minutes, and having played the game five times, this seems accurate. The game is an unabashed "first-person shooter" that encourages you to "grab some ammo, grab a gun, and start shooting". To a point that feels accurate, but perhaps surprisingly, this game makes you think a little.


The contents of the game are typical of CGE designs. Attractive components, of excellent made-in-Europe quality. You get five miniatures, plastic cubes, plastic "blood drop" hit markers, various player boards, decks of weapon and power up cards, and a modular game board. The game board can be configured in several ways depending on how many are playing. My review copy came with a separate Chainsaw weapon card, which is not included in the rules. I suspect this is a promotional item.

The game comes with two rulebooks - the standard rules, and a weapons guide. The rules are an easy read, lavishly illustrated with clear examples, and are excellent. CGE are known for adding a light layer of humour to their rulebooks, and they haven't disappointed here. The weapons guide carefully explains the various weapons cards in the game, and after a few games you barely need to refer to it.


When assembled the game board depicts a factory or possibly a space ship, made up of various different coloured rooms. Each room made up of 1 or more spaces. Spaces can feature doors, leading to other rooms, and some of them depict "spawn points" where characters reappear and weapons can be found.

The object of the game is to enter the playing area via a spawn point, and begin gathering ammo, power up cards, and weapon cards. And of course, you wander around blasting away at your opponents in first-persons shooter style. Actually, the rules aren't much more complex than that.


On your turn you get to take two actions, from a choice of three possible types. Firstly, you can move up to three spaces through the factory.... easy! The second action is you can move up to one space, and then grab stuff. This means either picking up an ammo cache from the space you are located in, or picking up a weapon in a spawn point space. The last action is to shoot at a target, or targets. Let's talk about that a little more...

Shooting is easy - you drop a loaded weapon (from your hand of weapons) onto the table and target one or more other players. The weapon indicates the potential targets, and the damage inflicted. Targets can be in the same space, the same room, or in the case of the Heat Seeker, somewhere else out of sight. Most, or all, weapons can be powered by spending ammo cubes/power up cards up to do more damage, or unlock special features. Damage is recorded on the player boards in the form of plastic blood drops in the shooting player's colour.

Several of the weapons, and one of the power up cards, have the ability to "tag" a player, which is represented by placing damage tokens in a different area of a player's board. If that player is damaged by the tagging player in the future, those tags are additional damage that is recorded. "The target has been painted", so to speak.

At the end of the turn, players can "reload" weapons by spending collected ammo cubes to pick a weapon card back up into their hand. Power up cards can be discarded for their ammo cube effect here as well.


When a player takes enough 11 (or more) damage, they have taken a "kill shot" and are temporarily eliminated. All the hits on that player's mat are tallied and the player that hit the deceased character the most receives eight victory points. Second player gets fewer points, and so on. Bonus points are awarded to the player who recorded the first hit on the victim, and if the player scored two kill shots in the turn. At the end of the turn, the eliminated player re-spawns with a reset board, and the action resumes.

As you may be able to see, this is a cleverly disguised area majority game - not that far removed from El Grande, really - except here the areas are romping around the board shooting back at you! It works very well, and some nice touches prevent this becoming a brutal experience for targetted players.

First off, players that take kill shots receive a skull marker that covers their most valuable scoring space, making them a less desirable target in the future - you receive less points for targetting them. Second, as the characters take hits and their player board fills up, it unlocks enhanced actions - the adrenaline in the title kicks in and allows them to do a little more on their turns.

There isn't much more to the game than that. It will end after eight kill shots have take place, or five in the short game. Players tally their points, with bonus points awarded to the players who achieved the most kill shots. The game comes with variant play modes, including Domination Mode and Turret Mode. These tweak the rules and scoring parameters slightly. The game also includes a Bot character, when you need an extra player.

For what it is attempting to do, Adrenaline works, and works very well. There are genuine decisions to make, and you don't want to waste your precious two actions per turn. I found myself constantly torn between gathering and replenishing ammo cubes, or acquiring a new weapon, or moving. Of course, it's all pointless if you don't shoot, as that is where the points come from. And what do you target? If I shot at this player, I get x points, but that player gets me x-2 points, but I earn a kill shot and overkill bonus. However, that player with this weapon earns me 2 tag tokens, which will give the lead on that score track if I hit them again with my Chainsaw. What to do?

I found this actually turns what appears to be a breezy, mindless blast-them game, into quite a thinky Euro game. This very fact may disappoint some gamers who were expecting a breezy, mindless game, and suddenly find themselves having to think!

Adrenaline is a lot of fun with tremendous crossover appeal. My nearly eight year old son loved the look, simple mechanics, and the fact I can go around "shooting mum and dad". My wife enjoyed the subtle decision making that would allow her to maximise her points. Personally, I found it delightfully, refreshingly easy to learn and teach, and have really enjoyed my games of it.

I think CGE have done a tremendous job with this game, which shouldn't be a surprise, and I have no hesitation in recommending it. I'll leave the final words to my son ...

"Adrenaline is awesome. 7 years olds can play it"

I'll just add ...

"I love Whisper"


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Copyright © 2016 Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Essen, Germany