What is DC Deck Building Game?
The DC part is easy. This game features characters like Batman, Superman, Wonderwoman, Doomsday, on some great-looking cards.
The deck building part is a bit more complicated. Deckbuilding wasn’t a phrase I’d heard before trying out this game at the suggestion of a friend.
Simply put you collect cards into a deck during the course of the game which slowly gives you more points, abilities, special powers etc, in order to achieve objectives.
In this game you ‘play’ as a DC superhero and build a deck of cards consisting of other superheroes, villains, equipment, superpowers and so on.
I put the word ‘play’ in inverted commas because your character plays very little part in the game. Except for one special ability detailed on the card, it makes little difference who you are.
Anyway, onto the gameplay. Setup is fairly easy. Once you unpack the game for the first time, the cards are filed away neatly in designated slots in the box, which seems to have plenty of room for future expansions.
Cards are stacked in the play area: supervillains, weaknesses, kicks, and a main deck.
Players pick a superhero, and are also given a set number of punch cards and vulnerability cards which make up your basic hand.
Cards have points which are then used to buy further cards from the main deck, five cards of which are turned over each turn for players to see. This main deck consists of a range of cards – villains, heroes, superpowers and equipment, each of which offers points and/or an extra ability (draw a card, see the top card of other player’s decks etc).
The cards you start with are worth very few points – punches +1, vulnerabilities 0. Cards you acquire are worth more, from kicks (+3) to superpowers (super strength, for instance, is worth +5).
So as you play you gradually acquire a more powerful deck – hence the name deck building. These cards are then used to buy/defeat supervillain cards which also end up in your deck.
The tricky part is that you only ever have a starting hand of five cards each turn. So its a good idea to get powerful cards quickly, and use every trick in the game to get rid of less powerful ones so each time you draw five more cards, you have a good chance of ending up with a powerful deck.
I really enjoyed this game. It ticks a lot of boxes for me. Superheroes are clearly awesome, and I like DC comics. I also like card games. My wife is particularly good at them so they have been higher on the agenda than board games for a while.
However, this game does have some weaknesses. A quick look round the interwebs shows me that the game’s theme has been criticised. I can understand this. You play as a superhero but are not encouraged to act like one, or do anything that might be appropriate to your character.
You just buy more and more cards until you have enough points to defeat every supervillain on the table, then add up the victory points you’ve accrued in your hand. Certain characters are encouraged to buy certain cards – Batman, for instance, gets extra abilities for each equipment card he buys. I guess you can play as your character might, but you’d probably lose the game.
The random nature of the game might annoy some. It’s the luck of the draw whether you get the strongest cards sometimes. This is the nature of card games though, so I guess if you don’t like that aspect of games, don’t buy this one. or indeed any card games I guess. Personally I have no issue with the mechanic of the game and really enjoyed it.
But is it good for two players?
Definitely. I’ve had great fun playing this game. It helps that the cards look awesome. The artwork is first-rate.
As you play through the game you really feel a sense of achievement as your deck grows, and I’d like to try other deck building games in the future to see how this one really stacks up.
It’s definitely set up for two players. I’ve tried it with three and honestly, going back to two players doesn’t feel like the game is suddenly any worse.
There is also a decent expansion for the game that adds a co-operative element to it, and I love co-op games, so it should have a decent lifespan in my collection.
See the game’s official site here.