10/05/2017 Share this story   Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

Superhot Card Game review

2c68cc1e-a734-4edc-9e4a-2e0c0889a6a2

Last year’s first-person shooter Superhot (say it with me now: SUPER. HOT.) can probably lay claim to being one of the most innovative and downright stylish video games in recent memory, thanks to its genius time-moves-when-you-do mechanics and stark red and white polygonal aesthetic.

Manuel Correia’s card game adaptation (based on his existing design for Agent Decker) attempts to recreate the manic energy of dodging bullets Matrix-style, flipping tables and lobbing glass bottles with a smart deckbuilding core.

A central line of cards combines actions and weapons, which can be defeated by spending attack or dodge points, bringing them into your personal stack. Those left undefeated move up each round, neatly representing the ebb of time and providing a tense escalation as you frantically draw fresh cards hoping to take them out.

Enemies armed with weapons fire bullet cards that, in a nice time-bending touch, join the obstacle discard pile and reappear later on – you know they’ll pop up eventually when the deck is reshuffled, so you need to remain on your toes. Bullets left unaccounted for when they arrive in the middle are discarded to your hand, with four resulting in death.

In the meantime, the player is trying to complete random objectives, the number of which increases with each of three levels in a ‘campaign’. These vary from clearing the central line to holding certain combinations of cards, fluidly mixing up the play style required to progress.

While the core engine of the Superhot Card Game ticks over smoothly, the limitation to simply using attack or dodge points to remove cards from the central line never recaptures the same action-movie stunt feel of its source material. For example, shotguns and pistols provide different abilities to enemies preparing to fire (the shotgun understandably produces twice the number of bullets), but are to the player simply attack cards with slightly different values – there’s no taking two enemies out with a single blast here. 

That’s not to say Superhot’s underlying mechanics are weak; it’s satisfying to take down a line of red baddies with a combination of guns, tables, bottles and swords. In fact, the most exciting card is the katana, which allows you to chop down a bullet in mid-air. But these are the moments that made the video game such an achievement; on the tabletop they’re just in too short a supply.

MATT JARVIS

This review is based on a single-player-only demo version of the game provided by the publisher. The full game will also include multiplayer.

 

Publisher: Board & Dice

Price: $20

Genre: Deckbuilding

Players: 1-3

Time: 30 minutes

Website: superhotgame.com/card-game

 

This review originally appeared in the April/May 2017 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.

Back to Reviews

10/05/2017 Share this story Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

Recent Reviews

Hive Mind review

We check out the simple but sweet trivia game from the creator of Magic: The Gathering and King of Tokyo ...


Running with the Bulls review

Randomness and repetition laden an otherwise amusing theme ...


Menu Masters review

We take a look at the kid-friendly culinary delight ...


War of the Ring: Warriors of Middle-earth expansion review

Eagles, spiders and ents, oh my! Factions come calling in the second expansion for the epic Lord of the Rings ...


Other Reviews in this category

HoloGrid: Monster Battle review

Can this hybrid card-battler bring Magic to life? ...


Jump Drive review

Does this fast-paced introduction to the Race for the Galaxy universe live up to its legacy? ...


Planet Rush review

This sci-fi spin on Reiner Knizia’s Tower of Babel might leave you with a feeling of déjà vu ...


Pocket Madness review

Go mad for this Lovecraftian spin on Rummy ...