The other day Nicole and I were
lamenting discussing how we missed Saturday morning cartoons. As children of the 70’s, there weren’t many greater things to look forward to every week than getting up early and plopping yourselves down in a beanbag to binge watch the latest creations from Hanna Barbara and Looney Tunes. My favorites were considered classics even then – Tom & Jerry, Chip -n- Dale and the Jetsons. Nicole has very fond memories of Laff-a-lympics and anything from Warner Bros.
Merchandising was a huge part (and still is) of the cartoon world. Plush toys, clothing and games could be found with all of the popular cartoon characters. Some were unique, most weren’t very creative. Even the board game industry tried to capitalize on the craze by cranking out titles that today languish in eBay auctions. Fortunately today is not the same. Competition requires games to be solid first, theme second. And with the introduction of 24-hour cartoon channels like the Cartoon Network, there is no lack of characters and themes to choose from. Such is the case with the latest deck-building game from Cryptozoic Entertainment, Crossover Crisis.
If you’ve ever played a deck-building game like Dominion or Star Realms, then you’ll understand most of the rules already. Like those two popular titles, in Crossover Crisis you are custom-building a deck of cards from an identical starting deck. Using characters and quips from the entire Cartoon Network universe, you’ll each play as a favorite character from their family-friendly lineup of shows. Dexter’s Laboratory, Clarence, Adventure Time, Johnny Bravo and The Amazing World of Gumball are a few of the very recognizable titles you have to choose from! Each character awards you with special abilities, and using the included nine choices, every game can be different!
Everyone starts with the same ten cards in their deck – three Pratfalls and seven Punchies. Punchies are the currency of the game and represent knockout power which you use to “defeat” other cards, adding them to your deck. As with most deck-building games, you draw five cards from the top of your deck, play them in any order and then add them to your discard pile along with any cards you defeated. Once your deck is depleted, shuffle the discard pile and begin drawing from this newly-created deck!
There are really two things that set Crossover Crisis apart from other deck-building games you might have played. The first is the addition of powerful nemeses. These also feature super villians from the various Cartoon Network universes and are much harder to defeat. Not only do they require more power to overcome, they also unleash an attack on the entire group (every player) when they are revealed. However, defeating them also comes with rewards as they are also added to your discard pile and become part of your ‘army’ to use against the next nemesis.
The other unique mechanics is the use of social interaction. Many cards require you to interact with other players before you can complete a task. For instance, you might be required to “fist-bump” an opponent in order to increase your attack power or even play a side game of Rock-Paper-Scissors to earn the card’s reward! That elusive extra card you’ve been wanting to draw just may end up in your opponent’s hand!
There are also Weakness cards that can be forced into your deck which cause detrimental things to happen. While one prevents you from smiling or laughing during your turn (or gain extra Weakness cards when you do), others may force the current Nemesis to attack only you or prevent you from buying a certain card type on your turn. Strategic play of your Pratfall cards will allow you to rid yourself of these Weaknesses, so make sure you keep some of them handy in your deck to protect yourself.
Players take turns spending their power and defeating as many cards as they can until either all of the nemeses are defeated or the deck of regular characters in the center is depleted. Each purchased card has a star in the lower left corner denoting how many points is it worth. At the end of the game, total up all of these points and the player with the highest sum is declared the winner!
As a deck-building game, Crossover Crisis does a fine job of furthering the genre with the addition of new mechanics. The addition of the Cartoon Network theme will appeal to all ages and is actually a better introduction to this type of game than the aforementioned Dominion or Star Realms. Plus you get to play as one of the characters!
You’ll find Crossover Crisis on Amazon for under $30 shipped or direct from Cryptozoic Entertainment in their e-store. If you connect with them on Facebook and Twitter, you’ll also get the latest news and can enter some of their regular giveaways!
What was (is) your favorite cartoon?