Friday, April 30, 2010

I Owe Much Of The Enjoyment I Have Gaming Today To Comic Book Based Games

When I was 10 or so, a comic book and sports memorabilia store opened in Janesville. This store was where I had my first comic book experiences. Every once in a while my parents would take my brother and I to the store and we would grab some random issues of various comics. For my 12th or 13th birthday my parents bought me a number of Marvel comic books. For the first time I had a whole set of issues that formed a whole story. Having also recently acquired and played the heck out of Heroquest, I started to look into super hero games to play. Keep reading to see just what we discovered.

(all pictures are from I received this game as a present from a relative. It was the first game I found on my quest for a supers game and it was a great disappointment. Each player was a different colored Batman in a simple roll and move game that really didn't feel like a comic book at all.

Fortunately, I had some birthday money and my parents took us to a toy store where we found this game. The Hopeless Gamer and I played this game a lot. You started with a couple heroes and tried to build a team and beat villains. It felt like a comic book that a 12 and 7 year old would love. The best part of this game aside from the fun of actually playing the game was the plastic figures that came with the game.

We also really enjoyed playing this game around the time of the X-men cartoon on Fox was out. This game was the best we could find, and between this game and Heroquest, we had a ton of gaming fun (also Battlemasters and Dark World). These games are probably why we love Fantasy Flight Games and plastic figures with great looking games as well as fun games today. I am afraid to play this game today as I am pretty sure it would not compare favorably to more modern games, and I don't want to ruin the nostalgia and memories I have.

This CCG is probably the reason we later became so interested in MageKnight and the Call of Cthulhu CCG among other collectible games. For the most part we have overcome this addictions now, and we had a ton of fun with collectible games for a long time.

In 1995, our parents gave us each a starter deck for this game on St. Nicholas' day. We sat around playing this game while drinking hot chocolate. At 15 and 10, it was the perfect game to start with deck building and playing together. The starter decks worked well on their own. As soon as we could convince out parents to take us to the comic, now game store, we picked up the other starters and were introduced to the idea of collectible games. It seemed like a much better idea than buying random packs of sports cards because you could collect these cards AND play a game with them. We even ordered the over-sized hero cards that we still have today. I recently purchased some sealed starters and we try to play one sealed game at Christmas each year until they run out. This game is probably the single most important game in continuing our gaming and comic interests.

Marvel Heroscape is the first game since overpower to really capture the feeling of super heroes for us. The heroes are definitely super powered compared to most any other figure in the Heroscape universe. Check out my report on the Heroscape variant for one way we have matched up the various heroes. My favorite powers are probably Spider-man's (and Venom's to a lesser extent) ability to use Spider Senses to dodge attacks and web swing away, Hulk's increased power as he takes more damage, and Thanos' ability to return from the dead. The base game has a fairly small board, but we have played some great games on just that board.

Icons will hopefully be the next great supers game we get to play. I like the idea of designing my own super hero. We have never played a supers game, but what we have seen so far makes it look like this game is the one for us. Check out our coverage of this game in previous as well as future posts.


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