Wednesday 23rd August 2017,
Wakasm Dot Com

Creatures The Card Game

Creatures The Card Game Review
Overall Score
75.0
out of 100
Fuck No :(

Unfortunately, this game is just broken. Broken games are very unfun at any level.

-30

The artwork is cute and the concept is creative.

12

The concept, as a game, misses it's mark entirely. So much more could have been done with this game.

-21.3

Box that the game came in is super flimsy.

-1.2

The magnets I got with my Kickstarter were the best feature of this game

5

The fact that this game ads "Kickstarter Exclusive" cards that break the game even further enrages me.

-30

I wanted to love this game, but too simplistic and somewhat broken

-2

This was my first kickstarter ever. Definitely a let down.

-3.3

Somewhere, in the world, there is a teacher who will pick up this game to play with their students. If the make up their own rules, maybe it'll enrich some kids mind.

5.0

This is mainly a link to my amazon review.  I’ll write better in the future (I kind of promise).

Unfortunately, my review is from the perspective of an Adult looking for fun new board games to play with other Adults. Hopefully in a few years I can return if I play this with a child with a different perspective.
This was my first kickstarter backing that I have ever done (with a few more on the way) and it has me a little worried about future backings.

The premise of this game on paper looks fun, the artwork is neat, and I enjoy the concept of the game. However, it’s simplicity leads to a game breaking loop (see below) unlike many other “Simple but deep” game mechanics elsewhere. Board games like Catan and Carcassonne, or even card games like Munchkin or even Gin Rummy, often have very simplistic rules… but games always end and you can’t play a style that will break the game.

Quick Summary of Game Breaking Mechanic:
There aren’t enough high value point cards in the game, and thus if players end up holding onto any combination of high point value cards (9,10,11 totaling 29+), no one can attack because at least one player always has a higher defense than other players, which results in an endless stalemate unless someone just decides to play these cards (which just doesn’t happen 100% of the time in practice).

Game Breaking Mechanic:
Extremely noticeable when you play 2 players
Somewhat noticeable when you play 3 players
Not as noticeable if you play with 4+ since very often games can end before people can hold onto cards.

Longer Description of Game Breaking Mechanic:
Out of 9 play-sessions with two different sets of people, we only finished 3 games because in both sets, someone discovered the same tactic that seemingly breaks the game.

Gameplay: You play a set of 3 cards comprising of a creature’s 3 parts (Head, Body, Tail). Each card has a point value (1-11). The total numerical value of the three parts (Head, Body, Tail) is it’s total “attack” value. When you play the creature, other players have to try to defend vs the creature and either kill it or be killed using the same “Total Value” of their creature. If the attacking creature kills all of the other players creatures in a single turn, it becomes a champion. Get X amount of champions and you win the game… simple!

There is a secondary mechanic called “poison” cards that if you get all 3 poison cards, you kill any attacker automatically and both creatures are disposed.

The problem is that there aren’t enough of each value. There are many many low cards, and very little high cards. There are only 3 parts (Head, Body, Tail) worth 11 points (Kickstarter Only), 3 parts (Head, Body, Tail) worth 10, and so forth. In theory, you should be playing multiple creature parts, like this:

Head: value 7
Body: value 5
Tail: value 9
——– 21 point creature

But the second someone is lucky enough to get any combination of: (29-33 points)

Head: 11
Body: 10
Tail: 9
——– 30 point creature

They tend to “save” these creatures for defense, which causes a fundamental game play issue.

Essentially players (that I played with) naturally hold onto those cards as a defensive creature, thus making it impossible to score points (obtaining champions). They then don’t attack with this creature because they are afraid of a single player having a full poison creature, so they hoard these 3 cards, in the hopes of amassing another 3 cards of a high value to attack with.

In 3 out of 9 games I played with, 2 players both had a 29+ point creature that all they did was use for defense, and neither would attack with their because it would force them to lose an advantage, causing a stalemate very similar to tic-tac-toe. It made this game very unfun and each time after going through the deck just drawing cards 3-4 times with no one playing any creatures… We ended the game prematurely.

The problem is, this strategy feels very plausible and is naturally what players that I played with concluded to do.

Suggestions for improving the game:
-Add more high point creatures (with new creature types) – this will enable high creatures to kill high creatures and stop the defensive play
-Add more mechanics to the different parts (similar to poison) for offense so there is no incentive to just hoard the top point cards. Preferable a mechanic on a 1 + 1 + 1 type creature that only works towards 25+ point creatures.
-Add some sort of bonus multiplier for creatures of “different” types.

As it stands I cannot recommend this game. I do not personally believe it’s been playtested enough.

It might be fun for kids who may play with less strategy. The artwork and Math potential is really awesome.

Also, the cardbox that it comes in is very flimsy. Carrying it around in a backpack has already caused great wear and tear. Some sort of “Tin” box would have been much more desired.

I wish these developers the best and hope that they take this feedback positively. If they ever come out with an “expansion” of sorts, I would definitely try it.

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