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Android: Netrunner» Forums » Reviews

Subject: [Late To The Party] A Hobby rss

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D. R.
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The sole purpose of this review is to present my own opinion of what I think about this game. I'll try to steer away from the explanation of the rules, unless there are some serious flaws that need to be examined. Most of the time, they are perfectly presented by other contributors on BoardGameGeek, hence why I've started these series of reviews called "Late To The Party".

I'll be honest - Netrunner requires devotion. It's not a game. It's a religion. Question is - have you accepted Netrunner into your hearts?

In the name of the Father Jackson Howard,
and of the Son Eli 1.0,
and of the Holy Spirit Kati Jones.
End of Run.


The elegant design of mechanics. The range of actions you can choose to do on your turn. The warm feeling you get when a poor soul says to you "In response I'll..." and the joy of pointing out that only a couple of cards could do that. Netrunner is everything I had wanted from every card game I have played in the past.

I have literally spent hundreds of hours on this game. That's why I now call it my other hobby. Because in Netrunner, you either keep up with everyone or you get left behind.
News articles, subscription to forums, discussion of new spoiled cards, deck-building and netdecking, strategy and whine articles, wine and cheese radicals, live and online play streaming, tournaments and regionals - and for the love of Jackson Howard - video replays of best of the best at work.

And I feel like I've only hit the tip of the iceberg of this game. Although, I have to admit, I've only started playing it by the time Spin Cycle* had finished. There's so much to learn! Like, is The Professor really that bad? How many people out there always bid 0 on Psi-Games? Why does Exile wear a hoodie under his clothes? So many questions, so little clicks.

But I have to agree on one thing everyone points out - it has barrier to entry**. Economically speaking, this game costs a lot to be able to play competitively. But then again, you can also browse for thrift purchases. If you just want to play it casually, then you are still going to face two problems - one it's not easy to learn and two - you need people of similar skill level to feel satisfaction.

Speaking of satisfaction, I must mention how stunning and interesting Android universe looks. Just by reading flavor text and looking at the artwork was enough for me to get hooked and start reading everything I can find on this piece of work. It's funny, when you play
Android: Infiltration and see Gabe or Android and see Noise. I am also planning on reading the rest of the books, having finished the first one!

So what makes this game so great?

* Asymmetrical gameplay
* Information IS power
* Bluffing
* Ice
* Nicely written rules
* Good FAQ
* A variety of identities to choose from
* You get a number of clicks(actions) to use to your heart's content
* Clean and eye pleasing look of the game on the table
* Artwork
* Theme
* Requires a lot of practice to pilot a new deck (very important)
* Easy to take with you anywhere

I can't see any flaws with this game. At least speaking about it from a design standpoint. Even if I had a limited budget, I would still enjoy playing the heck out of it even with just the core set.

I would like to address two final points. The meta and the card pool. Both of these things are highly variable and unstable to be able to hold an opinion of - let alone express it on a review. In meta, there will always be the decks that dominate and then the rest of them. It's inevitable. As for the card pool - there will always be useless cardboard. That is also inevitable. In a nutshell, both of these things are driven by the community of players. If I only play this game with my girlfriend and both of us build something totally random and then keep playing those decks - that is a meta in our apartment. If somebody would come in and start playing with us, they would see how highly we value Foxfire. In the end it's all about having fun. Right? I rezz my case.

So come my children, rejoice with me. May you Jack-In and never Jack-Out from this cyber-heaven.


*for those of you who are reading this in 2017+, it's an old and mystical asset from the past that was trashed by a megacorp
** Or a code-gate or even a sentry - it really depends what kind of icebreaker your still missing.
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MGS
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I think your opinion is excellent. I really enjoy this kind of review. When I listen to a podcast, I always skip forward any rules and component breakdown. I always skip down to the conclusion in any long drawn out review. Yours, I read in its entirety. In the end, what really matters for me in a game is what experiences it delivers and what feelings it elicits. Otherwise, I can't praise the integration of theme and mechanics enough.
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