Published on July 17th, 2013 | by Gregg Miller0
A Battle Royale of Nerds
Penny Arcade the Game: Gamers vs. Evil
At Nerdtacular 2013, Cryptozoic had a massive presence in the game and social room for the convention. Mewkow, from Alea Iacta Est, brought their A-game in helping get people to try and play their games, and variants. My friend, Matt “The Favorite” and I played a lot of the games there. The surprise hit among their games for me was Penny Arcade the Game: Gamers vs. Evil.
There’s two ways to play this game, but I would highly recommend that you play this 2-4 player game with no less than 3 players, with 4 being the magic number that makes the game simply amazing. The beginner setup of the game is designed to be well rounded, balanced, and to show pretty much many core mechanics to this deck building game. If you’ve played Dominion, or the DC Comics deck building game, you will find the deck building and cycling mechanics familiar and easy to grasp. The starting Heroes are Gabe, Tycho, Annarchy, and Catsby. Each Hero gives either a perk on your turn, or a unique card that gives a dependable mechanic.
There are 14 stacks of 9 cards that players will buy from to enhance their decks. On the upper end, there are 2 Boss Loot stacks that give large victory points, as well as incredible boosts to push or maintain the lead you get from aquireing these cards. Cards are further divided into either green (Gamer) cards, and red (Evil) cards. All of the cards have references to the world Penny Arcade was established, in all of it’s incarnations. Faerie Candymancer, Witchalok, Sorcelator, Winter King, and the local favorite, Touch Wieners. The game ends with one of the following occurs:
6 card piles are depleted, the level 3 Gamer boss card is bought, or the level 3 Evil boss card is bought.
Once one of the above happens, everyone totals up all the victory points they have, subtracts any point penalty cards they still have in their decks, and everyone compares totals, to see who has the highest score.
The advanced version of the game comes with an expanded roster of Heroes. Rex Ready, Jim Darkmagic, Mr. Period, Carl, Kreazie, Scout Master, and even the Ultimate PAX Mega-Fan. On top of that, the card piles included are decided from a roster of 26 Randomizer cards. 12 of those cards from the stack will generate the library of cards that can be bought, with Merch, and Fleshreaper being 2 card stacks that always appear, since they are core +2 resource cards for Gamer and Evil cards, respectively. With the advanced play option, the game changes radically, and the expanded roster of Heroes, different card selections, and even the possibility of having uneven ratios of Gamer to Evil card stacks can make it rather difficult to devise a One True Way to play this game.
After bringing this game home after the convention, I’ve had quite a few days of just chain running this game with various friends. I’d say that Penny Arcade the Game is definitely one to add to your wish lists, or collection, especially if you’re a fan of the deck building game type, or if you’re a large fan of the Penny Arcade content and humor.