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Opportunity Actions: Game Review – Heroes of Metro City

I’m here today to tell you about another game to be coming down the pike. It’s called Heroes of Metro City and it’s a superhero-themed deck building game. The game sets out to emulate stories of classic four color superhero comics in a way that is not only true to the source material, but offers a few tricky ways to spice up the already exciting category of deck building games.

How It Works

Like most deck builders, you are given a small stack of cards to start. From there, you create the scenario by using a randomizer to decide the different abilities available to each hero (player) and the villains that will be encountered. Once the game is set up, players use the resources in the base deck to create a hero using the powers made available in setup. As the game progresses, players develop their heroes, becoming more and more powerful and facing greater challenges, until the ultimate showdown with the Archenemy. Don’t waste time, though. The more time it takes to face down the bad guys, the more damage they can do to the city, represented by cards being removed from the supply area (or other effects, all of which are nasty). The first player to manage their abilities and defeat the Archenemy wins the game.

New Ideas Heroes of Metro City Brings To The Table

There are some fun ideas happening here that really intrigue me. This game has elements of other game styles that should be familiar to us all. You create a hero and watch that hero develop and grow through experience. This is very much like the RPGs we’ve all played. The bad guys have mechanics that take action whether you as a player do anything or not. This hearkens to cooperative games like Pandemic.

The city creates its own fun element. When the bad guys attack, the city itself fights back, which is a surprising notion even though the city can never hope to achieve a fully homeostatic condition with the enemies. There’s a real ‘see a need-fill a need’ notion put forth here. If the heroes stand idly by, villains run rampant, leveling the city. The city has its own defenses, but police and army (what the defenses represent) can only slow the enemies down. As the villains wreak their own special brands of havoc, the heroes’ ability to improve becomes severely hindered as the villains deplete the available supplies. To make matters even worse for the heroes, if an enemy is directed to destroy cards from the city supply and has no valid target, evil wins the day.

Does It Work?

Absolutely. Heroes are encouraged by the mechanics to fight evil at every opportunity. There don’t seem to be a lot of ‘Screw Your Neighbor’ styled rules, though I wouldn’t be surprised to see them in an expansion down the road. Heroes evolve in parallel and it’s a race to see who can take down the Big Bad first.

The Verdict

This game is a ton of fun. The cards are all very clear (each phase of the game is numbered and all rules pertaining to a particular phase are indexed by the corresponding number).  It’s a great creative exercise to cobble together abilities, equipment, and powers into a cohesive theme. Once these ideas are all together, you have a pretty clear picture of what’s going on at any given point (even though the art is extremely limited as of right now). As the game builds the circumstances keep getting bigger and bigger until the ultimate battle where good (hopefully) triumphs over evil. The end result is a cooperative game with a competitive edge that drips with excitement. If you’re into superheroes and epic stories, this is the game for you.

So, Where Do I Get This One?

That’s just the thing. As of right now, Heroes of Metro City is a Kickstarter project. It doesn’t actually exist yet. This is where you, the humble reader, come in. As of this writing, 3Some Games (the publisher) is roughly $10,000 short of their goal, and there’s less than a week left. This game needs to be made. I am sure this game will succeed if it gets funded, but it’s not there yet. I am not usually one to make a leap of faith on something like this, but after looking at it, I backed this one. Take it from one who doesn’t usually shell out cash for a maybe, this one is worth it.

Links

Watch your threatened squares, heroes.

Update! (9/15):

As of a few days ago, Heroes of Metro City has hit its goal! Congratulations to the guys over at 3Some Games, It’ll be exciting to see the game when it’s finished!

Update! (10/18):

It’s available for pre-order! If you want your very own copy of this game, you can find it over at Heroes of Metro City. Now’s your chance. The final version of the game, with art and everything, looks phenomenal. I can’t wait to see what these guys do next!

About

The Opportunist (a.k.a Seamus) has been playing D&D and/or some other form of RPG for the last 24 years. For the past two years he has been at the head of the table, behind a screen, in the role of the DM. He began at Cub Scout Camp, played through high school, and still enjoys gaming today. Seamus is a graphic designer by day, a devoted husband and father of two all the time, and an all around good guy. That is, until you get him behind the DMing screen, then he can be a nightmare (in a good way, no, really!).

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