Penny Arcade – Gamers vs Evil: You Activated My Crap Card

Every card game has its own hook. Magic features huge, complex combos. Yu-Gi-Oh has an exciting Poker-style element of bluff. Metal Gear Acid has Snake in it. Gamers vs Evil, on the other hand is a deck-building game.

If you’ve never heard of one of these, it means a game in which you start off with no deck. At the start of the match, you need to survey the field of battle (which here means which cards are available and how you can put them together into clever strategies), and coming up with a play style which will win the day.

Every player starts with six red cards and six green cards, resources which can be used to acquire more powerful cards of either type. The ultimate goal is to take down the boss cards which will drop the loot and yield the points which will swing the game in your favour.

It’s a very pretty game, well made and a good passing distraction. If Gamers vs Evil has a problem, it’s that it’s just not very involving. It feels like every player is playing their own game, running their own private race to completion, like sex in which you’re thinking about someone else.

Once the initial novelty wears off, which takes about half an afternoon, you’re only really left with the delight of having cards of Penny Arcade favourites like Twisp, Carl the robot detective and The Lookouts. Which, you know, is fine, and it’s not an expensive game. If you want a more serious deck builder, though, you might want to check out Ascension (from which this game heavily cribs).

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