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Subject: Pink Godzilla Dev Kit -- Session Report rss

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Greg Schloesser
United States
Jefferson City
TN
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Editor’s Note: My full review of Pink Godzilla Dev Kit will be published soon. What follows is an abbreviated version.

My first thought when I received Pink Godzilla Dev Kit was, “What kind of name is that for a game?” The term “Dev Kit” frightened me, as I want a finished game, not one that I have to develop further. Fortunately, I discovered that this is a term that is fairly common vernacular in the video game development world, and it was chosen to tie-in to the video game development theme. Still, with a name like “Pink Godzilla”, I must admit that I was wary that the game would prove to be silly and not much more.

Designed by Christopher Rao, Pink Godzilla is the first release for Pink Godzilla Games. Players are charged with the task of developing video games in four categories: RPGs, Fighting, Music and Shooting. Each video game must contain a title, character, and two different required gear cards. Extra characters are allowed, as is the valuable hidden “Easter Egg”, and these add to the value and appeal of the game. So, essentially, the game is one of set-collecting, with players attempting to collect the proper cards in order to complete their games.

Five cards are dealt face-up into the “Resource Row”. Each player then receives an initial hand of five cards, and the game begins. Each player turn follows the same sequence:

Finance Phase. The Resource Row is replenished to five cards, and the active player draws one card from the deck.

Purchase Phase. The player has three options: trade cards from his hand to acquire one card from the Resource Row, place 1 – 3 cards from the Resource Row up for auction, or discard and replenish the entire Resource Row.

Development Phase. The active player may play two cards, beginning or adding to developing video games, or playing “special ability” cards that grant specific powers.

Going Gold Phase. A player may declare a video game complete, provided it contains the required components. Victory points are earned equal to the value of the cards comprising the game.

Completing video games is the ultimate goal, as the game ends as soon as one player completes his fourth video game. Everyone can complete games they have in development, but may not play any further cards.

There are a variety of special cards that add some spice to the game. These include Guardians, Easter Eggs, Wild Cards, Pink Godzilla cards, Power-Up cards and others. These have a variety of effects, including drawing extra cards or retrieving cards from the discard pile, immediately completing a video game, stealing a card from an opponent’s hand, playing multiple cards, cloning opponents’ videos in order to grab extra cards, etc. Grabbing a steady supply of cards is the key, as it gives you a much better chance of obtaining the cards you need to develop and complete games. Sadly, there really isn’t a great enough variety of cards, as the deck contains many duplicates. This causes the game to feel repetitive – which it is. Each round feels just like the previous one; there really isn’t a great deal of variety here. The problem is compounded by card redundancy and the lack of variety in the special cards.

At game’s end, bonus points ranging from 10 – 20 points are earned for players who have completed the highest valued video games, as well as for those players who successfully completed four games. Points are also earned for special ability cards still in play. These points are added to the points earned for each completed game, and the player with the greatest tally is victorious.

Fans of video games will no doubt find amusement in the game, particularly in regards to the titles, characters and special gear, as well as the cartoon artwork. Casting the “Team Ninja Suppressors” in “Dance, Dance Team Ninja Suppressors 2” or the marshmallow-like “Pixel” in “Samurai JumpMan: Blades of Steel” is sure to elicit a few chuckles. However, I’ve always insisted that humor alone is not enough to sustain a game. The humor must be a supplement to a decent game.

Fortunately, Pink Godzilla Dev Kit is a decent game, but not much more. The concept is clever, and the mechanisms work … they just aren’t very exciting or varied. There is a certain frustration level in waiting for a needed card or cards to appear, and until it does, there are often few options a player has on his turn. The excessive duplication of cards is also a problem, as it causes a stale feel to permeate the proceedings. A greater variety of cards would help, but I’m not sure if it would elevate the game much beyond average.

As is, Pink Godzilla is a light, decent game that offers us a loose, yet amusing parody of the video game development world. It has its moments, but as a whole, there isn’t much here to sustain it beyond a few plays.

I was the first to complete a video game, but its value of 14 would soon be eclipsed by better, more enticing titles. Rhonda and Mike proved the master developers, each finishing four games and earning healthy bonuses.

Finals: Rhonda 82, Mike 80, Kevin 63, Greg 55

Ratings: Kevin 6, Rhonda 5.5, Mike 5, Greg 5

 
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