17 June 2020
The Gaming Box of Gaming
One of the most novel things about fantasy videogames is when the item generation is random. The bashing mace of bashing, the tempting sword of baking, the harpoon of sharp tonic. Delightful. What then, if we had a card game that was based around this premise?
Enter, Enchanters: Overlords, a rerelease of a Kickstarter with most of the stuff in the box (including lovely playmats). This is a competitive card game where you create your enchanted weapon, and choose to fight or otherwise engage with monsters on the same track. To begin with it seems unfair that you have to pay to fight monster as well as buy things from the same market track, but that soon disappears as monsters appear which grand special effects once defeated.
With the usual, most-expensive-to-least-expensive-track that cards move down each turn, there’s opportunity to buy in any number of funny names and hilarious effects. What’s more is that, although there are duplicates in the decks, there’s different funny text on each, creating full descriptions of nonsense weapons and armour. The phrases are generally fairly funny. For example we have Leather Armor of Leeches which is ‘Boiled, dyed, studded and it… sucks really hard’ or the slightly more puerile, Short Sword of Thieves which contains the epitaph of ‘some prefer their sword short, especially when it… makes your hand sticky’.
There are 16 decks in the box which can be used to play against, some easier than others, and there’s certainly scope for making your own cocktail. With this, and the addition of the locations which will give you your benefits and drawbacks, or overlords themselves – a kind of boss monster – there’s a huge depth available. The idea of mixing together two decks that have no business together is also pleasing. Adding a set of cards which make things cheaper while there’s another set that hurts you every time you buy the card from the track, makes for a completely different game to a more vanilla experience with simple cards.
The game is also extremely graceful with teaching you how to play, with rules which include phrases like “if you don’t understand something, ignore it, it’s your first game!” which is an approach we appreciate. Not enough games provide an 'out' for the feeling of “are we playing it right?”
It does, however, feel a little limited in terms of what you’re able to do on a given turn. Occasionally you’ll be stuck with dud choices on the track, where you don’t want to upgrade in that way, or fight that monster. This is something that leaves you with a bit of a “now what?” feeling when it happens.
The box feels extremely complete, and could be compared to something like the big box card games of Marvel Champions. While it’s not there in terms of crunch, Enchanters offers an entirely contained distraction.
CHRISTOPHER JOHN EGGETT
PLAY IT? MAYBE
Not perfect, but certainly a fully fleshed out whole. For those looking for a card game that will make you chuckle with nearly every card combination, Enchanters is ideal.
TRY THIS IF YOU LIKED Marvel Champions…
Want a complete card game experience in the box? This is a less mathy, slightly funnier world to be diving into.
WHAT’S IN THE BOX
- 16 Kingdom Decks (totalling 416 cards)
- 31 Oversized village cards
- 17 Overlord cards
- 126 Tokens
- Game mats
This review originally appeared in the March 2020 issue of Tabletop Gaming. Pick up the latest issue of the UK's fastest-growing gaming magazine in print or digital here or subscribe to make sure you never miss another issue.
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