Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The perfect theme

When I first read the back of the box for the Lone Ranger Shuffling the Deck Card Game from Wizkids, the game play seemed perfect for the theme. Cards represent characters moving between the cars of a train, trying to put themselves in an advantageous position to collect the most silver and win the game. The climactic action scene in the film takes place aboard a moving train, so it seemed that more thought than usual was put into a game that was really just a piece of merchandise for a big summer movie.

The game is as advertised: each player secretly controls two or three (depending on the number of players) of the nine characters. These characters are laid out on the table in a row, with each position representing a train car. At the beginning of each turn, an adventure card is flipped over, showing what will happen at the end of that turn. Usually, characters in the positions indicated on the card gain silver, but just as often they can be pinned (not allowed to gain silver until unpinned by a player) or robbed by the characters around them.

The object of the game is to use movement cards to maneuver your characters into the positions that will gain the most silver. An additional goal is to keep the characters you control a secret for as long as possible, because if another player correctly guesses one of your characters, they get half of that character's silver.

It's a reasonably entertaining game for $10, and as I mentioned earlier, the game play fits the theme very well. Imagine my surprise, then, when I found out that the Shuffling the Deck Card Game series is Wizkids' "fill in the blank" generic game for licensed properties! It was first released as a Pirates of the Cursed Seas game (using artwork from the strategy game with the punch-out pirate ships), and there have since been versions for The Hunger Games and Pacific Rim.

Rating: 3 (out of 5) Considering that it is mainly a piece of tie-in merchandise, this game is surprisingly engaging.

Date played: March 1, 2014

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