Deck-building games are splendid. As far as analogue games are concerned, they sit in that sweet sunlit spot in-between the long campaigns of wargaming and action-reaction card games. I’m also one of those guys who prefer DC over Marvel, so when Cryptozoic’s DC Comics Deck-Building Game hit the shelves, I knew I had to get in on that cape-swishing action.
I briefly mentioned how core gameplay for DBGs work in my review of Resident Evil: Alliance. In the DC version, players choose to play as any one member of the current Justice League: Superman, Batman, The Flash, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Green Lantern and Cyborg. Each will have their own bonus, such as Superman getting a stronger attack for every particular card (Superpower) in that player’s current hand.
Everything else will be a familiar blend. You’ll be going up against a deck of supervillains that must be cleared for the game to end. To help you on your way will be a pool of five cards drawn from the main deck. These will only be removed once a player “buys” that card with a requisite number of power points. As mentioned earlier, different superheroes have different bonuses that add to this power, so acquiring cards that’ll help you increase your power output on a consistent basis will be a fast track to victory.
Comparing it to other DBGs, this plays like Ascension rather than Resident Evil. Instead of factions you get heroes and villains, and both will get their own pool of named characters and location-cards that serve as modifiers. Since you can only play as the Justice League, you’ll often find yourselves in the weird situation of having a crew of villain cards in your deck — it’s a little jarring to be using Poison Ivy when you’re Batman.
That said, I find myself having more fun with DC Comics DBG than I do with Ascension. The game runs smoother even with new players, and the cast of familiar superheroes makes things a little less foreign. The gorgeous art from DC’s The New 52 helps too. It’s hard to tell how long the replayability of this game is before certain tactics become habitual, but if you’re looking for something to spice up your games repository this is certainly a good choice, especially if you’re looking for something different than the Resident Evil DBG.
No. of players: 2-5
Playing Time: 30 – 45 minutes
Full rulebook is available on the official product page.