This review is going to be a two-part review. Two times the review in two times the clicking. I’m going to review the DC Deck Builder Games two releases and give you a little heads up about play style so you can decide which one to buy first. Spoiler, you should just buy both regardless because they are awesome.
So, without further ado: DC Deck Building Game (The Original!) by Cryptozoic Entertainment.
I’ll start with a little run down about play numbers.
2-5 (I think the 3-4 is optimal, but it’s still really fun with only two.)
30-45 minutes (Setup doesn’t take long, but the first time you play takes a lot longer because you are reading so many cards, “Wait, Suicide Squad does what?”.)
15 & up (I think younger could play it, they just might not see the strategies appear as quickly as others.)
List price: $40.00 (Price varies a lot depending on where you get it from. I recommend your local table top hobby store or comic store. Keep them alive with your money!)
Okay! On to the guts! (Box contents)
7 Super Hero Cards (Big cards that show your new super identity and super power that will help you win the game.)
Super Villains (These are the cards you fight against to end the game. Darkseid, The Joker, etc.)
4 types of main deck cards: Hero, Super Power, Equipment and Villains. These are purchased or gained every round to make your deck and give you power to fight.
Location Cards (Permanents that help with certain card types. Fortress of Solitude, etc.)
Starter Cards: Punches and Vulnerability (These combine to make your starting deck.)
Kicks (Low cost Super powers that help generate more power to fight)
Weakness (Negative cards that steal victory points from your score at the end!)
So now I’ll introduce you to how the game is played and how fun the world thinks the game is.
The Objective: Your ultimate goal is to empty out the Super Villain deck while being a more awesome super hero than the other players by having more victory points in your deck at the end of the game. Simple enough. You do this by using power (listed on each card) in your hand of cards to obtain more cards from the playing field. More power = better card = more victory points in a not completely accurate nut shell. Things get complicated because some cards are worth more if you have more of them. Some cards attack the other players and weaken their deck. Some cards make your hand bigger and bigger. While some cards (Super Villains) attack everyone when they first appear!
Find a strategy! Buy more cards! Attack your friends! Defeat Super Villains! Protect your stuff! Don’t forget about your Super Ability!
THAT is what makes this game so fun.
Okay, here’s a quick guide on how you play.
The playing field is first created per the game instructions and each player then randomly picks a Super Hero to play as. Each Super Hero has a specialty that helps them fight; some are basic and some are advanced when it comes to play style. A couple of examples are:
(Basic)Batman: What does Batman love? Equipment! That’s right. So his power is to strengthen equipment cards when you draw them.
(Basic) The Flash: He’s fast right? Right! So he always goes first at the start. He also helps your draw more cards.
(Advanced) Green Lantern: He’s got imagination and so will you need to in order to use him. The more variety you have in your hand the more power you get.
Each player then gets their starting deck of 10 cards of mixed punches and vulnerabilities. You draw 5 cards each turn and use them all to buy, attack, defend, and create the most powerful deck. Everything you played goes into a discard pile until you run out of cards to draw, then you shuffle and start your deck again. You don’t get to hold on to any cards at the end of each turn so keep that in mind. Rinse and repeat. Once the Super Villain deck is done, the game is ended and everyone counts up their victory points. Highest score wins.
There are a lot ways to win the game and a lot of different strategies. You really need to plan around your character to figure out what will work. It’s easy to spam power or spam card draws if you play things right. Sometimes it’s hard to get the game to end because people are too busy making a powerful deck and buying more cards and not Super Villains. The game is really fun when everyone has a powerful deck that is working to generate surprising hands. It can be easy for the game to become really one sided and then everyone is waiting around while one person finishes their super turn. However, it all really depends on the luck of the draw. It’s important to try new tactics and new ways to score and play in order to keep this game fresh and fun. It’s great when someone wins by surprising everyone because they had a bunch of “if you have blank, then this card has X victory points” and they have a huge score at the end but didn’t do much during the game. It’s a social game and it’s a blast to nerd out while playing it. You will find Super Heroes you like to play as and it’s a fun challenge when you get the one’s you are bad at. Cough Aquaman Cough Cough. I love Wonder Woman and my wife loves Batman.
So I give the game an A+. A is for Aquaman who no one wants to be. He’s pretty good though if you figure him out.
Great replay value, great nerd value, great social value! It’s just a great game.