In between my summer research projet we have been playing a lot of games over the summer, many of which I have written about. I thought now, right before school for the entire house starts would be a good time to do a review session. What do you think? That’s what I thought.
The most popular game over the summer by far was DC Deck Building Game by Crypotzoic. A fast paced, easy to learn, and best of all fun for all ages (5 to 40+ in this household). Every weekend at least one person suggested the game. What was nice to see as a parent was that both children could learn how to win and our boy even learned a couple of strategies to win or come very close to winning.
A close second to DC was Magic the Gathering. Now while our girl couldn’t play she did start watching games and is taking an interest in the images on the cards-always a first step towards wanting to play. Our boy went from his all spider deck to a vampire-ish deck and has a strong desire to build a third yet to be determined deck. While his play didn’t improve a lot, it remained consistent and he never got frustrated.
Third place is a toss up between The Star Trek Deck Building Game by Bandai or Marvel Legendary Deck Building Game by Upperdeck. Based on appearance and lack of frustration having to search the internet for the complete rules I think that Marvel Legendary wins out, but based on ease of set up Star Trek wins.
Star Trek has a quick set-up that with our house rule leads to some fun games. The scenarios provided are a mixed bag ranging from okay to outright depressing and that applies to all of them equally because of the random nature of each of the scenarios. The designers of Star Trek could learn a few things about deck building game scenarios from AEG (see below). We have had a few close games, one blow out, and in general have fun, but for whatever reason the game is not as popular as I thought it would be.
The only reason Marvel is not the number one game in the house for the summer is because of the set-up time which is also one of the game’s biggest strengths. We have played five games now and none have even been close to the same. Different villains, different scenarios, and different heroes each time create a new game. However setting up a game can take some time. Usually we set-up the decks the night before we plan on playing that way the next day open the box, unfold the board and go.
Finally, while I was away in Ann Arbor (which I still need to write about) I ordered Thunderstone by AEG (Alderac Entertainment Group). The premise is that a player builds a deck of heroes and support to go into a dungeon to defeat the evil near the end. Our first game was slow, ponderous, but entertaining. Since that time I ordered the Advanced Set Towers of Ruin which provide a game board, more varied cards-the new starter set is good, but lacks in fun like Towers of Ruin and does not have the game board which makes the game a lot better-thankfully the starter set and Advanced sets work together without any problems. More review to come as we explore the game more.
P.S. I ordered the Star Wars LCG (Living Card Game) by Fantasy Flight Games which has yet to get played but for those familiar with card games has elements from the following card games: Magic the Gathering, Legends of the Five Rings, and Vampire the Masquerade. It certainly looks good, reads like it should be fun, but is complicated. Will let you know how that goes.