Yep, it’s all games, all the time here now. Today, let’s talk about the recent SPN game release.
. . .
It’s not the WORST game I’ve ever played…
Part of me wonders if somebody at the company designed this game on a cocktail napkin an hour before closing time on Friday.
Do you remember playing “War” back in your youth? The game where you and a friend split a 52 card deck and then high card takes the trick until someone has all the cards.
Ever wondered how you would play that game in a multiplayer format?
Well that’s this game.
No I’m not making that up. Everybody starts the game with 4 “souls” (aka HP, aka cardboard you keep track of). Everybody is dealt a card, then the players with the lowest value each lose a soul. Continue until only one player has any souls left.
Well ok, there are a few things added onto the game. Before the reveal, starting with the player left of the dealer, you get a chance to trade your card with the player to your left. Yes this means that if the first player got a really bad card, it could be passed all the way around the table. This continues until reaching the dealer who then chooses whether to trade their card with the top card of the deck. THEN everybody reveals.
The game also comes with a stack of bonus cards (I didn’t bother to remember their proper term). These affect the game with abilities like “steal a soul from another player” or “your card gets +4 value.” Everybody gets 1 at the start of the game and you play these on each other after the reveal.
Also 2 cards in the main deck have special effects. Every card has a value 1-10, with “Sam & Dean” being the 11th card. They have the effect of being untradeable (if you get them, you get to keep them), unaffected by bonus cards and guaranteeing that you can’t lose this round. Crowley (value of 6) is the effect-card. Normally if you and any other player tie (i.e. all of you have a 4), you all get a bonus card. If all of you happen to have Crowley when this happens, you all have to lose a soul.
And that’s the game. It’s dreadfully boring with only 2 players as my buddy and I found out on our first test. It was a bit more fun when we simulated 4 players, meaning this is definitely a party game – the more people you have participating the better it gets and with the super-simple gameplay everybody can spend the time socializing more than worrying about the game. This would probably also be fun replacing the souls with say… shots.
The game components themselves are adequate. On each main deck card is a picture of one of the characters from Supernatural and there are 6 different colors of the 11 cards giving you 66 cards total. (almost like seals…) The bonus cards, however, have no images just words describing them like “Angel Blade.” The souls themselves are cardboard hexagons. The box they came in was very nice, opening up like a book and keeping shut via a magnetic latch. Interior of the box is mostly filler with a vertical trench in the middle. There does seem to be enough room within that you could sleeve the cards if you wish and still have room for the bag of souls.
Final Verdict: If you are not much of a board game player or looking for something to do with your friends (who are also SPN fans) or a Supernatural completionist, you might enjoy this game. Otherwise you might have more fun seeing what kind of game you can invent around these components than playing it as instructed. You can purchase it here but even on sale it feels a bit over priced. I wouldn’t recommend paying more than $15 for it.
By far the game’s worst sin is that it doesn’t hit the theme. In no way do you ever really feel like you are in or near the world of Supernatural and these characters. You could replace the main deck with a regular deck of cards (no really, click that link, you may like it) and it would still work. Here’s hoping the next Supernatural game released has a bit more meat on it and makes us feel like we’re in Sam’s & Dean’s world.