Welcome to a spectacle so grand it could only be called The Supershow!
Professional wrestling has been a big part of my life since I was about two years old. Throughout the 90s, it consumed me. I rarely missed watching all things WWF. I owned hundreds of wrestling figures, books, magazines, stickers, knick knacks, etc. I also played various online wrestling RPGs and would even “wrestle” friends on a trampoline or in a pool. All of my friends were into it, and a whole lot of my family, too.
Many wrestling board and card games have come and gone since then. How does The Supershow measure up….brother?
On its surface, the Supershow is rules light, easy to learn card game with dice rolls providing plenty of randomness and unpredictability. This worried me a bit as I often enjoy games that are a bit more deep, strategic, and deterministic.
However, the art is fantastic, there are a bunch of cool characters with unique finishers, AND there’s an enthusiastic group in the Chicagoland area that makes custom characters. Worth a try. I headed to a local game convention, newly created character ready to go and gave it a shot.
It’s no exaggeration when I say I was able to learn the game in about 2 minutes. It’s that simple. Simple doesn’t mean it’s without nuances and interesting decisions. Far from it. Simple means you can sit down as a new player and be in the middle of a showdown within five minutes, and that’s beautiful.
Here’s how it works:
Players each have a deck of 30 cards. 10 strikes, 10 grapples, and 10 submissions. Among those cards, some are Leads, some are Follow-ups, and 3 of them are finishers. To play a follow-up, you must have a lead in play and to play a finisher, you must have a follow-up in play.
At the beginning of each turn, players each roll a skill die. On this die are 6 different skills (grapple, strike, submission, technique, agility, and power). Each character card has a corresponding value for each skill. Whoever rolls the skill with the higher value on their own character card gets to draw 1 card and play 1 card.
When a player plays one of their finishers, they follow that up with a finish roll with the same skill die. The corresponding value on the character card is the value that the opponent has to tie or beat to kick out. They get 3 attempts at this. 1….2…..3…Ring the bell!
Where the nuance comes in is stops cards, character powers, and some light deckbuilding. Each stop card can be played against a certain type of move (e.g. a lead grapple). Timing the use of these is critical since they are limited in the deck. Stop ANY move cards are extra powerful since they can be used to stop your opponents momentum or be saved to stop a finisher. Additionally, each character has a unique power or “gimmick.” These can seem insignificant at first, but better players will adjust their play style to match individual gimmicks. Finally, some cards can be switched out for other cards that play differently. They are not necessarily better, just different. There are no random boosters, and it’s pretty easy to obtain these cards for a few bucks or by playing in an event.
Thanks to this game being so simple to learn and actually fun for players at all levels, I highly recommend this one. I’m always down to play Supershow. It could take 5 minutes or 20 minutes. You might lose in just a few turns or you could go back and forth in an epic fight, but either way it tells a great story. Various characters, including some that are now in WWE, provide a ton of replay value. There are several match types too (cage match, ring of fire, etc.) for when your rivalries get serious.
The community surrounding Supershow is welcoming and somewhat addictive. I always look forward to our monthly XCW (Xtreme Card Wrestling) shows and official Supershow events at gaming conventions. Gencon’s Supershow event is can’t miss. With a ring announcer, real ring bell, and championship belts, the atmosphere is absolutely electric.
Too Long; Didn’t Read? The Supershow is the real deal for capturing the pro wrestling feel. Easy to learn with interesting decisions throughout. One of my favorites. 9/10
- Last edited Mon Sep 4, 2017 12:57 am (Total Number of Edits: 2)
- Posted Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:27 pm
Awesome review. This game is a blast!