Super Fantasy Brawl Review

02 February 2023
Slinging spells and standing close to fancy pillars

Super Fantasy Brawl has a refreshingly unpretentious, unfussy premise – war is a thing of the past, people are super-bored, so magical champions get together to knock seven shades out of each other. That’s it. And that’s all, of course, it needs to be. This follows a board-based battler in the tradition of games like Mage Wars, where you and your opponent manoeuvre around a grid, controlling rival magical champions attacking and slinging spells in a duel for supremacy.

The presentation here is charming and high-quality. The artwork is larger-than-life and cartoonish, in keeping with the theme, and the chunky miniatures for each character really anchor abstract rules in some sense of reality. Rather than simply killing your rivals – this is a sport, after all, not a fight to the death – your goal is to be the first to five Victory Points, which can be scored by knocking enemy champions out of commission, or by completing challenges.

Super Fantasy Brawl’s magic system centres around three core types: Destruction, Creation and Manipulation, or Red, Yellow and Blue respectively. Each time you play a card with an action on it, that action will correspond to one of these three types of magic. In doing so, you exhaust your connection to that magic type – your ‘Core’ – flipping it over for the turn to remind yourself you can no longer do it. Cards can also be separated into Attack, Skill and Reaction types – Reaction cards can be played in response to an Attack, providing the relevant Core hasn’t been exhausted yet.

At the end of each turn, you discard your remaining hand and draw a new one of five cards, meaning you should always have something to do, but in a worst-case-scenario where you draw a hand of irrelevant cards, champions always have standard actions to fall back on – inefficient, weaker options that are nonetheless always available in a pinch, where you can Plan (place a card back on top of your deck to redraw next turn), Heal or hit your opponent.

Compared to some of its counterparts, Super Fantasy Brawl is a simpler, less strategic affair. Whereas in Mage Wars you have access to your entire deck from the start, or in card games like Magic where you’ll spend time designing and refining your deck to suit a particular playstyle, Super Fantasy Brawl is about picking up some premade heroes and swinging – which isn’t a criticism, just a reflection of the game’s ambitions. This is not intended to be some deep, complex system that takes hours of work just for you to be ready to play. It’s a straight-out-of-the-box experience.

This is not to say that you won’t find yourself referring to the rulebook a lot through your first few playthroughs. The cards use a lot of keywords that take a while to learn, and you’ll need a reference to remember the game’s phases. But it’s a lot less intimidating than many of the other options out there.

This is clearly a game built with expansions in mind – a core set for a system. While it might not have some of the customisable intricacy that some of the mad scientists among us enjoy, that makes setting up a game much quicker, and introducing it to new players a lot easier. Neither is it mindless or random – indeed, the lack of dice make your decisions in many ways feel less swingy and more likely to be impactful, and the challenges and specific character archetypes reward some varied tactics, such as exploiting traps or getting close to certain pillars.

If you’re after a light, fun arena brawler, Super Fantasy Brawl delivers on most of its aims. Sometimes the area control challenges crowd out the combat when maybe you’d rather be having direct showdowns. There’s not a lot that’s innovative here in terms of mechanics or theme, and sometimes games are so quick they can feel a bit anticlimactic, but overall this feels like a title that punches neither above nor below, but exactly within its weight category.

Tim Clare


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Buy Unmatched: Legends here

There are many options if you like card-based player vs player fighting games which use physical space – from the unhinged worlds of the Unmatched system where you can pair off various legendary characters against one another, to the aforementioned more conventional fare of Mage Wars. Super Fantasy Brawl might suit you if you’re looking for something light in the same vein, especially if subsequent expansions spice up your gameplay options.

Designer: Jochen Eisenhuth

Publisher: Mythic Games

Time: 30-40 minutes

Players: 2-4

Ages: 14+

Price: £45

What’s in the box?

  • 11 Challenge Cards
  • 58 Cardboard Tokens
  • 42 Cards
  • Arena Board
  • 8 Plastic Base Rings
  • 4-Player Overlay
  • 4 Player Dashboards
  • 6 Champion Miniatures


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