The Hero Dice series of games sells individually but all play together. You buy an individual pack and play it with another individual pack. Thus, the packs share a lot of gameplay together and what differs from one pack to the next is the unique rules governing the particular character pack you've bought.
For example, at the time of writing there are packs for both Batman and Superman with packs for The Flash and Green Lantern due out any minute now.
Both Batman and Superman have the same basic mechanics but they play differently because they are different characters. There's no “base set” you can start with and then buy “expansion characters”, each set is its own “base”. You can buy any of the individual packs and be ready to play.
Thus, when it comes to reviewing these packs, there's no starter set to review first; no right or wrong way to tell people to start collecting; no set you have to buy first before you buy any others, etc. So what I propose to do with my reviews for the Hero Dice family of games is post the same “base review” in each article which will look at the fundamentals common across all packs and then I'll add a “character review” afterwards to look at the unique factors of each set.
I hope that's clear and you understand what! Because at least that way, one of us will!
The Justice League are ready to fight crime! Various infamous villains are coming to a famous DC Comics city and it is the responsibility of the Justice League to foil their nefarious schemes.
Taking on the role of one of these Justice League members, you can either fight alone or team up for a fully co-operative challenge against two sets of bad guys (or more, once more sets get released)!
Each character starts with a hand of 6 cards and a number of dice depending on which character they are. Your cards are locked for the game; there are no new cards to draw, your starting hand is all you're going to get.
You then decide how easy a game you want, reveal two villain cards per player and away you go. You pick a villain to fight each turn, roll dice and hopefully do damage to them. Then at the end of the turn, more villain cards are played and away you go again.
Eventually you will run out of villains to draw. This will trigger a final round of fighting and then the game ends. Hopefully you've beaten enough villains to keep your city safe.
So far, so meh. Right?
But there is obviously more to it than that. For starters; the villains all (mostly) have different powers and abilities, you get bonuses for multiple heroes doing damage to the same villain, your six cards all give you various options and even each hero plays differently.
As is usually the case with small games (ie. not games you devote an entire evening to) like this, it is with these factors that the game lives or dies. Is there enough variety in the small number of components to keep the game fun and interesting across multiple playthroughs? I would answer yes. I think the game manages to be fun and remain interesting for at least 2 or 3 plays of a gaming evening before you put it aside and break out your big table-dominating game of the night.
The big drawback of the game, however, is the cost and inconvenient way it is distributed. Each pack you buy gives you access to one character and lets you add one player to the game. So two packs are needed if you want to play with one friend and what's the point of getting two copies of the same hero? Instead you want multiple Heroes to add even more variety to the game. But as stated previously, there are only two heroes so far. It gets a bit samey playing Batman and Superman together ad nauseum. Sure, Green Lantern and The Flash are due out soon but it's been a whole year to wait. Will we have to wait another year for another two characters? It would have been much better to bring out a base set with multiple characters and then one character expansion every few months or so. This might seem like a minor quibble but it does impact on the longevity of the game. My friends and I haven't played for months now because, as previously stated, teaming up Batman and Superman repeatedly gets boring. I just hope the “coming soon” sets breathe new life in to the game because it deserves a better chance than it's been given.
Great art that appears to be lifted directly from the comics. Nice large dice with easy to distinguish symbols. Well written rules. What more do you want?
As stated earlier; it plays well, it looks good, it's distributed badly. I would recommend it if you can find it but that seems to be a challenge in of itself!
BATMAN SPECIFIC REVIEW
The Batman set give you seven dice – four black and three grey. Each dice can provide a Batmobile symbol and after each roll he can either choose to stop rolling or use a Batmobile symbol to put aside any of the other dice of that colour and reroll all the remaining dice. Thus, if on the black dice he rolls 2 hits, 1 miss and 1 Batmobile, he can spend the Batmobile to put aside the 2 hits and reroll the other two black dice (including the Batmobile) with any of the grey dice that have yet to have been put aside.
Batman has good control over his dice and rarely does no damage at all. He is a strong character to use and also, at the time of writing, the most consistent.
The villains in the set can provide a challenge to him, however. But by merely needing more hit results on the dice than misses, it is not too difficult for Batman to get at least one hit every attack. And that's when you follow up with the “+2 damage” card.
7 out of 10. A more interesting central mechanic than that of the other pack available at the game's launch. Batman is the more complicated of the two but ultimately the more satisfying.
Note: I have learned from bitter experience with this site that I need to stress that all reviews – including this one – are entirely matters of opinion. I am not claiming that anything I have said in this review is fact, it is all entirely my opinion and I am sure that many others have different opinions. If you wish to reply with yours, I welcome it. I enjoy discussion but will not respond kindly to aggressive replies.
- Last edited Thu Oct 6, 2016 9:31 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Wed Oct 5, 2016 1:54 pm