I have been thrifting quite a lot recently. I have a friend who is a Buffy fanatic, so I picked this up to give to her. And hey, it was only $1!
Anyway, I showed it to my wife, Tricia, who is generally a non-gamer (I think this has to do with my hauling in piles of games over the last six months). I was surprised when she enthusiastically said we should play. We ended up playing four games.
We set up the board and flew through the rules, which were a good mix of informative and simple. There were a few omissions, but overall it was a good effort.
The quick rundown is this: one player is evil while the others are good. The good team controls four characters--Buffy, Xander, Willow, and Oz--at the beginning of the game, and the evil controls three minions and a Big Bad Villain. There are four different major evils, making for four different games with different victory conditions for both sides.
We played through the Big Bads in order, with me always playing Evil and my lovely wife always playing good.
In the Master's game, evil wins with the Master siring Buffy or the Master being killed. Tricia did a great job early in the game gathering items for her characters. In the early game, my only accomplishment was summoning Angelus (which turned out to be cheating when we figured out the rules the next game). She used the cards to her advantage and killed off a minion or two, before I got fed up and tracked down Buffy with the Master. In his first attach, he sired her with two fangs.
Despite my fluke winning, Tricia wanted to play again, so we set up for The Judge. In this scenario, three minions try to find a card that will release the powerful Judge and kills all the good guys while the good guys try to destroy the same card or, if that doesn't happen, kill the Judge.
This time, she again played very well and the random elements of the game were very much in her favor. She found the two cards necessary to win in her first turn or two, and due to Willow's special abilities was able to win the game. I think I had one turn.
In the evening, we started up again with The Mayor. In this game, the Mayor character looks for a card that will allow him to become the Demon Mayor and to kill all the characters. The good guys are trying to destroy said card or kill the Demon Mayor.
It was a long game, and somehow I was able to deplete her ranks even before the Mayor became Demon Mayor. In the endgame, all she had left was Oz, who can become a werewolf and would have had a great chance against the Demon Mayor. However, he is only a werewolf at the full moon, which refused to come. So I ate him.
In the last game it was good versus Adam. This time I thought I was doing very well, and had the upper hand. I plowed through poor Xander and then trapped Willow with Adam. I suddenly realized that while Willow is a physically weak character, I forgot she had in her possession a spell card that could do ten damage. So she successfully blasted me with Buffy delivering the final blow.
All in all, it was a very fun experience, and worked as a GREAT gateway game for my wife. We joked several times that we don't HAVE to give it to our friend.
I'll save most of my opinions to myself for a review, but here are the rules we did not understand at first:
*The color of the evil pawns left alive affect who you can summon. This should have been obvious from the card, but for some reason I missed it.
*Tricia and I debated over the use of tunnels and manhole covers. I thought they should work like the secret passages in Clue: it takes one movement to get from one to the other. She wanted to treat them like Chutes and/or Ladders, where you immediately jump to the new point when you hit the space. I was so thrilled she was playing that we did it her way.
*With certain cards, Good can use more fight dice than are provided--you just have to reroll some. We didn't realize this until we got to a villian who could use more fight dice than provided.
So the game had a trouble or two, but nothing too major. The game seemed a bit too unbalanced at times, so in my review I will post my suggestions to change that.
If you find this for cheap, buy it! You won't regret it.