Game Review: Laser Khet 2.0

You know how you’ve always thought chess could be so much better if they just added lasers? Well, the psychic geniuses at Innovention Toys have delved into the pulpy recesses of your mind, scanned that thought and, in response, crafted a game that is one part chess, one part lasers, one part ancient Egypt (obviously, the next logical step when combining chess with lasers), and all parts glorious duel-to-the-death action!

KhetBox

What, you think this is some kind of game? This got REAL LASERS, son! You aint seen nothin’.

Laser Khet 2.0

Laser Khet, unlike chess, is totally rad. Review done.

Nah, chess is alright in my book, even if it is a little stuffy for my tastes. You see, Laser Khet is a head-to-head dueling game where two players channel the power of the gods into a concentrated beam of light, bounce it down a corridor of strategically placed mirrors, and attempt to turn each other’s pharaohs into smoldering piles of ash. Pretty exciting stuff. To accomplish this task, each player has an assorted army of ancient Egypt-themed defensive and offensive units. Here, have a look:

KhetArmy

These bad boys gonna come knock down yo door!

The basic units consist of pyramids, scarabs, and Anubises (Anubii?). The pyramids are your basic troops, they’ve got a mirror for reflecting the laser beam and two non-reflective “soft” sides that are weak to all laser attacks (yeah, even your own. So be careful with your god-given laser powers, kid!). The scarabs are your sneaky, immortal, assassin units. They have two reflective sides, and can forcefully switch positions with friendly and enemy units alike. The Anubiseses have three soft sides and one laser-proof hard side in the front. They typically act as the personal honor guard of the pharaoh.

KhetPharaoh

Check out the pharaoh’s eyes. Zeta Reticuli, represent!

The pharaoh is your main dude. He’s a big softy with no hard sides, so any laser attacks immediately turn him to dust. Your goal in Laser Khet is to protect this little chap from the hellfire spewing forth from your enemy’s Sphinx, while simultaneously trying to beam heavenly laser-light directly into the soul of the wicked enemy pharaoh with your own Sphinx.

KhetSphinx

Indestructible, laser-emitting, badasses with surprisngly large ears.

The sphinx is the indestructible weapon of mass destruction in your ancient arsenal. Unlike all of the other pieces, which can move or rotate in just about any direction on the board, the sphinx is planted firmly in his base and can only rotate in two directions. In order to use his power effectively, you need to move your pyramids and scarabs into crafty positions until you’ve got just the right alignment to take out the unsuspecting (or hopelessly cornered) enemy pharaoh. This is more difficult that it sounds, as most players tend to find balancing offense and defense (and mirror alignments) somewhat difficult when the pieces are scattered across the entire board at the start of the game. Oh yeah, you don’t start Laser Khet on nice, clean, sides with an open field separating you from your opponent. You start right in the mosh pit and can get shot in the back before you can blink.

KhetBoard

Depending on your opponent’s opening moves, you could blast the enemy pharaoh in as little as 2-3 moves. Your opponent would either have to be really new to the game, or be a chimpanzee, but you could do it!

Like any great head-to-head dueling game, the rules of Laser Khet are easy to learn and kind of fade into the background, allowing you to focus more on your opponent’s play style. The game accommodates offensive and defensive play styles pretty well but, as far as my experience goes, early aggression and blitzkrieg tactics lead to victory more often. It’s certainly possible to turtle up and make a pretty impressive fortress around your pharaoh, but you’ll still want to keep pressure on your opponent so you don’t lose all that protection to a sneaky scarab assault.

When both players play aggressively a round of Laser Khet can go very quickly, I’m talking like half a dozen moves and it could be over. When you combine the relatively fast gameplay with the option to create your own starting configurations for the pieces (so long as the configurations are symmetrical/logical) you’ve got a game with incredible replay value.

Fit and Finish

Freakin’ gorgeous! The ancient Egyptian theme, the nicely detailed pieces, the magnificently sturdy board and, of course, the lasers, make Laser Khet one of the most visually impressive games you’ll ever have the privilege of looking at.

Everything, including the box and board, is well designed and feels sturdy. Seriously, the board could probably be used to shield you from a charging moose.

Happy About

  • Lasers
  • Component quality
  • Presentation
  • Gameplay
  • Pretty much everything about it

Sad About

  • Not having the “Eye of Horus” expansion

The Gist

Laser Khet is marvelous. I’m of the opinion that it’s the perfect dueling game because you can teach anyone how to play it in a matter of minutes, the gameplay is fast and fun, and it’s got one of the best and most coolest features of any board game: LASERS! The lasers might seem gimmicky at first glance, but they are actually integral to gameplay and make for some very interesting and impressive strategic scenarios. If you’ve never played Laser Khet, you need to do yourself a favor and change that situation, pronto.

 

 

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