That’s right folks! Today is a bit of an event, as I get round to one of those games I’ve been writing about for a while now: the DC deck-building game!
DC deck building game is pretty much your standard type of deck-builder, very much in the Dominion mould as opposed to Marvel Legendary. That is, you use weak cards to buy better cards that are worth points, and whoever has the most at the end of the game is declared the winner. It’s really that simple!
You start out as one of the classic DC superheroes, with a hand of punch and vulnerability cards that you use to buy better cards from a central line-up.
It’s not just about buying cards of course, as there is also a deck of Super-Villains you have to defeat. Remember when I said it’s not really like Marvel Legendary? Well, this is as close to that game as this one gets.
The Super-Villains each has a First Appearance-Attack ability that triggers when they appear from their deck, but if you can generate enough power you can defeat them for Victory Points. Marvellous!
Something I really like about this game is the theme that can come out by collecting all of your hero’s stuff. Each Super Hero has an ability that works off certain cards – so Batman above gets +1 power for each Equipment card he plays each turn, Superman get +1 power for each different Super Power card, etc etc. There’s also a Hero version of each Super Hero – such as Batman and The Dark Knight. I kinda like getting “myself” in this game 🙂
There are also Villains in the main deck, which have Attack abilities you can use for player interaction – this is actually the only way players can interact, at any rate.
The DC deck-building game is a nice little game, with the added awesome factor for folks if you’re a DC fan. I have a moderate interest, personally. I do enjoy the game, though, it’s nice to break out every so often when you want a quick game!
But wait – there’s more!
Heroes Unite is effectively a second core set, with more Super Heroes, more Super Villains, and a new main deck.
Very much more of the same, anyway, though with some more Attack cards to aid the player interaction – not many, but some. Well, anyway. If you like the first, you’ll probably like this one as well.
This year has also seen two new games, the Crisis expansion, and the Forever Evil variant that I guess does for this game what Legendary: Villains does for Legendary. The former has been sat on my shelf since it arrived on the doorstep; the latter is in transit to me as I type. Both I hope to get out and take a look at in the very near future, anyway! Upcoming expansions include yet a new standalone game for the Teen Titans, along with a Crossover Pack that seems designed to better integrate these standalone games. I’m assuming, as the Crisis expansions mentioned earlier calls itself ‘Crisis Pack 1’, there’ll be another on its way at some point, too. But anyway, lots of stuff available for this one!
The inherent problem with deck-building games like DC is that they tend to be good games, but they can be pretty stale very quickly. Marvel Legendary has overcome that by having an almost prescriptive flow for the game, where you buy heroes but fight villains – in DC, you can buy villains, and it all just seems a bit weird when you use them to generate your power. There’s also a sense of tacked-on theme sometimes: DC feels almost exactly like Street Fighter, and Naruto Shippuden, and Ascension, and Dark Gothic, and they all feel quite strongly like Dominion. Normally I like theme over everything else, but with deck-building games, there’re a very limited number of mechanics that you can use, which means you’re inevitably doing the same thing time after time. Deck-builders can be lots of fun, but I usually need some time between plays.
But anyway, such are my vague thoughts on the subgenre! Don’t let me put you off, of course – if you’ve never tried a deck building game before, and if you’re a fan of DC Comics, then this game is great to get into your collection!