Recommend
34 
 Thumb up
 Hide
5 Posts

Flash Duel: Second Edition» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Quick Review of Flash Duel 2nd Edition rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
K
United States
Oakland
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
This is a game that I'm really digging, so I felt like writing a simplistic review to express some of the things I'm appreciating the most.

This game fills a very special niche in my collection because it's really quick to play and easy to set up, but not stupid. It blurs the line between "filler" and a serious competitive game.

I'm not going to bother restating the rules in my own words because they're simple and you can pretty much read about them on the game's official website. But let me just summarize the more subjective stuff that I appreciate about the Flash Duel Second Edition:

* There are a lot of "extras" packed into a small box that really didn't *have* to be included, but are. And they make all of the difference in the world. I'll talk about that a bit later.

* You can learn and teach this game in minutes, and it seems simple. It is. But then as you're playing, you start to recognize some simple tactics. Then some more advanced ones. Then ultimately when both players have a grasp on the strategy, things like bluffing and mind games come into play. It doesn't stop there and begin feeling trite, either. I was afraid it might, but after dozens of plays so far (remember this is a quick game) the gameplay remains smooth and unscripted.

* The assymetric characters are too cool for school. Despite it's simplicity, the game completely changes depending on which two characters are facing off against each other.

Characters:

Every single character (And there are 20+1) has its own distinct flavor that really shines through. My 9-year old nephew, who played my first edition of Flash Duel over a year ago only one time, actually remembered and asked about "Master Midori who can turn into a dragon" when he saw my box for the second edition. The characters here have enough personality to be memorable to children. That sort of charm isn't often found in many board games that are based on original IP. The fantastic character art and distinctive names definitely helps.

It's not just aesthetics, though -- the playstyles between each character vary quite a bit. There's Rook, the stone golem who can terrify you as he advances forward because if he gets close to you you're pretty much dead. He also has an ability that lets him shrug off your attempts to drive him backwards with a dashing strike. It's a scary feeling.

And then there's Argagarg Garg, the "peaceful water shaman." He's a character who can win the game by emptying the deck, and it can feel like an intense and interesting puzzle to figure out how to survive until time-out while your opponent desperately tries to kill you. And then every now and then you can get tricky... your opponent can get so used to playing cat-and-mouse with you that they forget that Argagarg Garg can still fight the "normal way."

Then if you get sick of slippery fish running away from you, you can try out Onimaru the "Wartime Strategist" -- he looks like some sort of Samurai, and can actually summon a "clockwork soldier" behind his opponent that gradually advances along the playing field and blocks their retreat.

The list goes on and on -- each character has three distinct abilities, and once you know what you are doing these abilities can dictate strategy and tactics just as much as the game's global rules themselves.

Components and Extras:

Flash Duel 2nd Edition comes in a small cardboard box that feels glossy to the touch. It's pretty nice and shiny. The insert adequately holds all of the cards that come with the game as well as the board, while the 5 pawns and 5 cardboard win tokens come with a little plastic baggie for them to go in. If you sleeve the cards, you'll probably want to remove the insert (I did).

The quality on everything is fine, although I was worried about my cards receiving wear (my 1st edition Flash Duel cards did receive quite a bit of wear on the black borders) so I sleeved them. In this game you use a deck of 25 cards for 2 players, and more as you increase the player count, so there is a huge potential for uneven wear -- if you are the type of person who minds such a thing then sleeves are advised (not officially, but by me).

What's really cool is all the extras this game comes with. There are rules for 7 different gameplay modes (and components to support them), and one cool extra I want to talk about is the portable "deck box" that comes with the game.

This is the sort of thing that I could see people printing out themselves were it not already included. The game comes with a deck box that is intended to turn the game into a more portable version. The main box is definitely smaller than most games, but it can't fit in your pocket the way the deck box can. It also comes with a portable "card version" of the board for you to put in the deck box.

It's not just a fluffy feature, either -- with the game only being out about a week I've already used it. I took the portable deck box, loaded it with a deck of 25 cards (the amount needed for a 2 player game) and about 30 ability cards for our 10 favorite characters, and played some rounds of Flash Duel with my girlfriend at the airport gate while we waited for a plane to arrive. Had we brought the entire box, I would have been afraid that TSA would rummage through it, damage my card sleeves, and decide that my pointy Deathstrike Dragon pawn (for the game's ultimate character) could be used as a weapon and bar my entry.

7 Gameplay Modes:

I've by far played the full 2 player competitive mode the most, and it's a lot of fun. The teamwork in a 4 player 2v2 match is my next most-played mode, and its a lot of fun, too -- the game actually has fine-tuned team battle rules so this mode is perfectly viable as well and a lot of fun.

The solo rules are fantastic for learning the game, but don't provide much challenge for an experienced player. Still a lot of fun though, and solo also has fine-tuned rules to make sure it actually is a legitimate experience and not just a lazy fluff variant.

There is a cooperative mode where players can team up and take on another player who is controlling the game's ultimate character, the "Deathstrike Dragon." The Deathstrike Dragon is so wickedly cool because his pawn is gigantic and his ability cards are too, just to show you that he means business. Playing as the dragon and seeing the other players fret while they try and come up with a plan to take you down is hilarious.

An included variant of the Raid on Deathstrike Dragon is a betrayal mode, where one player is secretly on the Dragon's side. This isn't generally the type of game you'd expect to find a "traitor" option in, but hey, I'll take it. I love that kind of stuff. Unfortunately I haven't gotten to give this mode a whirl yet, but the rules are very interesting -- it has a couple of ideas that I haven't seen in a traitor game before.

A Quick Note on Replay Value:

Replay value is very important to me, because I prefer to play deeply into games rather than experience flavor of the week variety. I think with all of its different matchups Flash Duel 2nd Edition does great on replay value. Because of its quick gameplay it has that "rematch!" quality to it, so you can burn through a lot of games fast -- once you've experienced all of the characters and strategies play matchups with the same players may become a little bit more scripted and some novelty and excitement may wear off, but uh, I dunno how harshly I should judge something that is this fun and interesting while playing in less than 10 minutes. I can definitely see it dominating my quick-game category for a long, long time. It's just too easy to bust out and play over and over or between other games, and it's been fun every single time.

2nd Edition VS 1st Edition:

Not much to say here. 2nd Edition has better artwork, more characters (11 more if you count the Deathstrike Dragon), better rules, more gameplay modes, slightly rebalanced characters (of the original 10), more colored pawns to choose from, etc. Obviously 2nd Edition wins hands down. If you already own the 1st edition is it worth picking up the 2nd? If you enjoy the gameplay then yes, I think so, although to help justify the purchase it might help to look at the 2nd edition as an "expansion" rather than as the same game, because it's really not just a fluffy revision. It's approximately 250% more game, and it's currently the same price that I got my first edition (Deluxe) for.

Quick Notes About My Tastes:

I love asymmetric games, so the character abilities are a definite huge plus for me and probably the main reason I am so enthusiastic about this game. Some of my other favorite games include Cosmic Encounter, Battlestar Galactica, Claustrophobia, Chaos in the Old World, Starcraft: The Board Game, and Puzzle Strike, just to give you an idea of what my tastes are and to put this review into perspective.

Bottom Line:

If you could use an extremely quick and interesting competitive game that does asymmetry in style (this games character cards look amazing) then Flash Duel is fantastic and I highly recommend it. You can probably get your moneys worth out of the full 2 player mode, but the fact that there are a bunch of other different game modes included makes this recommendation even easier for me to give.

People who I've introduced this game to so far have all loved it, so off the top of my head I have trouble identifying what sort of tastes may not like this game, but if asymmetrical gameplay doesn't turn you on like it does me then you could probably do better elsewhere.

For everyone else, I think this is a quick and interesting game that goes above and beyond and is worth checking out.
38 
 Thumb up
0.01
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
This Guy
United States
Durham
North Carolina
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
Nice review, and sounds like a great improvement.

Feeling dumb for buying 1st edition directly from the publisher on October 21, though.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
K
United States
Oakland
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Ah, bummer. Yeah that must be a let down
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Benoit Flageol
Canada
Québec
Québec
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
Nice review!

I love this game
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kenny Cather
msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
If it helps at all, I packed the full box in my backpack when going to the airport and the TSA people didn't touch it.

I carry the full box in my backpack all the time now in an attempt to find opportunities to play it.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.