The Hungry Gamer Previews Goodies & Baddies
Before I begin I was sent a prototype to review, which will be shipped to another reviewer, in exchange for an honest review. This is not a paid preview. If you would prefer to watch a video review check it out below.
There is something deeply satisfying about a well done take that card game. There is an extremely fine line between screwing each other over in a way that is fun, and screwing each other over in a way that ends in table flipping.
What I am about to say will shock a lot of people I suspect. I do not like them in general. Yes, this is coming from the guy whose favorite game in the world is Red Dragon Inn. Since I have received three different variants on the take that card game over the past few months I have had to really start thinking about what do I like about the ones that I am willing to play? The answer is that the ones I like are all wacky enough that it does not feel personal. Additionally, they are fair. By that I mean anything that I do to you, I can expect to come back at me full force. If those two qualities are done right, then I can enjoy it. Otherwise I find them just mean spirited and very much not fun.
So moving on to Goodies and Baddies. G & B is a mash up of take that card games, and Munchkin, with some dice rolling added into the mix. Each player has a hand of “goodies” which are items which you can use to buff yourself up before you fight the various “baddies”. There are cards that can be played at any time, cards you can play only during your “prepare” phase, some only to interfere with you opponent, and some can be played whenever you are in a panic. All of these cards make it easier for you to win a fight, or harder for your opponent to win a fight.
Once you do, finally, start a fight it comes down to good ole dice rolling. You and the baddies will attack each other three times, and if you manage to reduce its hit-points to zero before it does the same to you, you win. When you win you gain victory points, and goodies to further buff yourself, or monkey with your opponent. The first player to 7 points wins. Its that simple.
So what do I think?
As I alluded to above, a good take that card game is whimsical. This game is that, the card art and text, has a play to it that does not allow you to take it to seriously. This whimsy extends from the monsters to the goodies, I mean it is hard to be upset when you lost because your opponent sprayed you with acid from an eye dropper just as you were charging the demon. You probably had it coming. Speaking of the cards I also really enjoy the art work, it just nails the theme.
The rules are simple to pick up, and the game is quick to play. Additionally there is a good variety of monsters to keep the game play varied. Some monsters you cannot hurt, you just have to hope you survive, boss monsters must be fought by everyone, or perhaps you do not fight a monster at all you just throw down and rumble. I will also add that the game has a really delightful rule in fights, that if one person loses, the next player gets to take one single swing at them, if they kill the monster they get to steal the kill. This adds a fun bit of strategy to the game. Maybe you save up your cards until you think you can kill steal, or maybe you spread them out to just stymy the other player.
The combat itself works, but it is not the most exciting. At the end of the day it comes down to rolling a d6 a few times and adding bonuses to that roll. It does keep the game cooking, and keep it from becoming heavier than it is, but it is not exciting.
I always am a little bummed when a game plays very differently at the different player counts . If you play the game with two players, you, for the most part, never run out of cards in your hand. However, if you play at max player count you have to do a lot more thinking about which cards you are going to play, because it will be a while before you get more. Both game play styles work, but they are almost different games.
Bringing it all together
Goodies and Baddies is a fun take that card game. It has the same tongue in cheek vibe as Munchkin, but with a shorter play time. The rules are easy to follow, and learn. The combat is, perhaps, simpler than it could be, but effective. The only thing to really look out for is there is significant play differences at minimum and maximum player count. If I were putting this on my shelf it would fall between Munchkin and Red Dragon Inn.
The only baddie here is you for making me read that
* Quick, easy to learn rules* Fun, tongue in cheek art, and theme
* Very different games at minimum and maximum player counts
* Combat is almost too simple
* Has more strategy than it seems to at first glance