Posts Tagged ‘Deck Building’

Puzzle Strike

Tuesday, March 12th, 2013

puzzle strikePuzzle Strike: Bag of chips is a deck building game. Except instead of cards, you use “poker” chips. The nice thing about this is that you don’t really have to shuffle, instead you just toss them all into the bag and shake. This game simulates a puzzle game (that doesn’t actually exist) that simulates a fighting game (that also doesn’t exist.) If you’ve played Super Puzzle Fighter you know what’s what. If not, imagine a mix of bejeweled and tetris as a multiplayer game. You can combine gems, and then crash them to send them over to other players.

At it’s heart though, this is still a deck building game. You buy chips, they can give you various actions, or let you trash chips from your “deck”, or you can buy better money. There’s a few dozen different possible piles of chips, so every game is different.
One key thing that is unique about this game is that each player’s starting deck is dependent on what “character” they pick to play. So each starting deck is 3 unique chips, a crash gem (used to send crap to other players) and 6 $1 gems.

Once you know what you’re doing, the game is pretty quick. The only complaints I have are that it can only support 4 players at a time. Of course with an extra dice bag, we could probably do a bigger game. The other complaint is that it can be confusing to keep your hand/in play/discard separate from your gem piles. Apparently the 3rd edition of this game does resolve that issue, but I picked up the first edition at a con for half off, so can’t really complain. In fact, what I may do, given time is make a bunch of them, one for each character, maybe even put a little “Agrajag’s playstyle is:” blurb on each of them to help new players pick.

Miskatonic School for Girls

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

miskatonicSo as part of one of the many Kickstarter projects I’ve supported I got Miskatonic School for Girls. I love Deck Building Games, I liker player interaction, and I’m a fan of the Lovecraft Mythos. So here’s the premise, each player represents one of the Houses at girls preparatory school. The twist is that the teachers are all Eldritch horrors from beyond time and space. As with many games with a Lovecraftian theme, the goal isn’t so much to win, as to be the last person to lose, or in this case go insane.

Each turn you buy two cards. One is a student (that will generally be in your next hand) and one is a Faculty card, which goes to the player on your left. This is an important point, as long as your opponent is still sane, you are ruining their deck every turn. I bring this up because every card generates Nightmare points (to buy Faculty), Hearts (to buy students) or Either. That is to say a card might have both Nightmare AND Heart points on it… but you only get one. The reason this is important is if you concentrate really hard on hosing the person to your left, you’re going to neglect your own deck, and unless it’s a two player game the person to your right will probably end up winning because you’ll be an easy mark. However if you solely concentrate on honing your own deck you’ll also probably end up going insane, because you won’t be messing with your opponents enough.

One thing this game lacks is one of my favorite things to do in Deck Building games, which is deck thinning. Okay, there’s like 2 cards that do it once per game … which means I stand by my original statement.

On the other hand, this game also has another “game mechanic” which I love, though I use the term in the loosest of all possible senses. See your sanity track is split into 4 colors. When your sanity drops to a new color you have to laugh or cackle crazily to represent yourself going insane. The punishment for failing to do so is to be taunted by the other players. That’s it, the reprobation of your peers is the only enforcement of the rule.

Legendary lives up to its name!

Tuesday, December 25th, 2012

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So one of the newest games I’ve picked up is Legendary. It’s a semi-cooperative Deck building game, set in the Marvel Universe. This is definitely very excellent. First off is the fact that it is semi-cooperative. That is to say either everyone wins (if you defeat the mastermind) or everyone loses.  In the event that you do manage to win, there are victory points for defeating villains and saving bystanders, so one person can be the clear “hero”… the biggest winner. This makes for some interesting dynamics…early on you’ll want to cooperate, work together and try ensure everyone is making progress, otherwise things can quickly get out of hand and you all lose. Later in the game though, you may find yourself wanting to try and hose the other players so you can do all the good deeds yourself.

So far we’ve played approaching a dozen games, and lost three times. All three times have been to Loki, who is admittedly the toughest of the masterminds, but even still it’s been more to bad luck… the heroes all end up being too expensive or the Scheme Twists come out too fast. The fact that almost a third of the games I’ve played have been lost actually is pretty awesome in my mind… there is little more boring then a game that you can always win… and coop games that can be even more true, even if there is an “overall winner” as is the case here.

I certainly hope we get some more copies in stock at Fun-N-Games, because I will not hesitate to recommend this game to anyone (unless they love DC and hate Marvel I guess), and no one who has played it with me has had less than a great time.

Complaints:

  • The game is a little confusing to setup/put away/store.
  • The dividers are very nice, but it’d have been sweet if they were pre-labeled.
  • Needs a “setup” app…
  • Needs expansions so bad… Where are the FF? I really want Nightcrawler (my favorite Marvel character) and Dr. Strange.
  • Doc Oc shoulda been a mastermind, not just a Spider-Foe.

Also to anyone looking to sleeve the game, I’d suggest 2 or 3 colors of sleeves. The Heroes all need to be the same color, as do the Villains, Bystanders, Twists and Master Strikes… The Schemes and Masterminds could probably stand be be a different color (and TBH, you could put each Mastermind and his 4 cards in different sleeves if you have a few extras handy.).

Get Bit

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

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So I got in several new games this week: Get Bit, Legendary (a cooperative Deck Building game set in the Marvel Universe), and 7 Wonders: Leaders, but we ended up only playing Get Bit of my new games. We had several people who hadn’t played 7 Wonders at all, and I didn’t want to toss them into the middle of a big expansion w/out them knowing how to play. We did get a game of 7 Wonders in, and a little bit of Dominion as well, but the highlight was probably the game we spent the least amount of time playing, namely Get Bit.

So here’s the deal, each person takes control of a brightly colored robot, and you’re all out for a leisurely swim when a shark, excited by the electrical signals in your metal bodies decides to try and eat you. Each player gets a hand of 7 cards numbered 1-7.  Each turn everyone plays one card face down, and then all the cards are revealed at the same time. The objective is to pick a card no one else picks. Everyone who plays a unique card moves to the front of the line (low numbers first, so high numbers are generally better) and everyone who ties, stays were they are … effectively falling behind due to all the people who move forward.

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Cards you play stay visible, so if you can tell that everyone else has already played their 4, then you know it’s a safe play. On the other hand, if you can tie with someone who is behind you, they’re more likely to get bit … so that can be a strategy as well. Each round (excepting the first) whoever is in last place gets bit and loses a limb. They then go to the front of the line and pick up all the cards they’ve played. I haven’t won a game yet, but I’ve enjoyed all of the games of it I’ve played. Plus it’s exceptionally quick. Expect it to be 20 minutes if people haven’t played before, but more like 10 if everyone knows how to play and stays “on task”. I could certainly see playing this to see who gets to go first when we play some other game where turn order might be important.

I’m also pretty sure that younger kids could have fun with this game, even if they don’t understand the exact strategy of the game. If you can find a copy, I highly recommend you pick it up!

We also played Shadows over Camelot, but that really deserves it’s own post, so I’ll cover it next week!