Review: Resident Evil: Deck Building Game

The Resident Evil Deck Building game has been out for quite some time now.  It allows players to enter the world of survival horror from a different standpoint. Your mission is to build a deck based on the cards you need in order to survive and defeat the boss monster, in this case, Uroboros Aheri (Excella mutated).

There are several types of cards based on weapons, items, monsters, and characters through the games.

Weapons: Various weapons from Resident Evil 5.

Items: Herbs and First Aid Sprays.

Ammunition: If you’re fighting for your life you’re going to need ammo right?

Actions: Various cards that let you do special things (draw more cards, add more damage to your weapons, etc.)

Character: Take on the role of one of ten of your favorite Resident Evil characters and unlock their skills to improve your chances for survival. Choose From Chris Redfield, Claire Redfield, Jill Valentine, Albert Wesker, Ada Wong, Leon S. Kennedy, Jack Krauser, Rebbecca Chambers, Barry Burton, or Sheva Alomar.

Infected: We all know the kinds of horrors that are in the video games, and now they have made their way here and let me just say…they still don’t go down easy.

At the start of each turn you draw five cards, Weapons can only be used once each turn. Each player turn you can do three things in any order; buy, use an action, and explore.

Buy: The Merchant is back and he has plenty of great deals for you! Using the gold total from the cards you have drawn that turn you can purchase more powerful weapons, ammo, actions, and even a good ol’ can of first aid spray. Any cards bought on that turn go to your discard pile.

Explore: You can choose to face your fear and venture through the mansion. Reveal the top card of the mansion deck, who knows what you will find, it could be a super over powered B.O.W. or it could be a Majini ready to provide you with free alcohol. There aren’t just monsters in the mansion, though; it’s also got the best thing of all…the rocket launcher!!!

Action: Actions are perks; you can play one action per turn. Some actions even allow you to buy more items on one turn, use more actions, and draw more cards. You can purchase actions from the resources area.

At the end of your turn all the cards in your hand (regardless of if you used them or not) go to your discard pile.

The game is challenging and a great deal of fun when playing with others, it has a Story, Versus, and a Mercenaries mode. Each of the modes plays just about the same with minor alterations to the mansion cards and, of course, in mercenaries there are time bonuses.

A few of the things that stumped me and actually prevented me from playing the game was how the rule book was written. It doesn’t state anywhere that you have to purchase actions at first. It’s kind of a given since they are in the resources area but I thought that since every turn you could do one action I had assumed each character started with one and was kind of lost on how to get them in the first place. The rules make sense after a while and it becomes natural after you learn but even I questioned why I had to send the first aid spray I just bought to my discard pile and wait until I draw it to use it (especially when I only had 30 health left!).

The Gold system adds the amount of gold detailed on the five cards you drew this turn each ‘Ammo’ card has a X10, X20, or X30. X10 ammo cards give you 10 ammo and 10 gold, X20 gives you 20 ammo and 20 gold and so on. Your gold does not cross over to your next turn and you may only do one buy a turn unless you possess an action card says you can make another purchase.

The game seemed very confusing at first, especially when the people I was playing with were too impatient after we set up to actually learn how to play. It’s not wise to go into the mansion until you have some firepower behind you, and that takes a while to get which does make the game drag on a bit. However once you get started and you have built your deck the game is a tremendous amount of fun. I would not recommend this game for someone who likes to get to the point right away, this game will take a while.

One of the things I love about the game is that each character has a custom inventory set and unlockable skills. It adds a bit of depth to the characters making them feel more like their video game counterpart. You can unlock the skills by defeating enemies and earning decorations, the number of decorations you get from a certain enemy is on that enemy’s card, and the amount of decorations you need for the next skill are also detailed on your characters card.

A helpful hint, you need to trash cards. You will end up with too many cards and you will not be able to do anything. It is important to upgrade to ammo X30 and trash the X10 cards otherwise your deck becomes cluttered and you might get a hand that has a Magnum that takes 90 ammo, 2 ammo x 10 cards, 1 ammo X30 and a green herb. With that hand you have 50 gold but no firepower at all.

Overall the game is an enjoyable experience, especially when played with a group of friends and family. This is  an RE fans must buy, it’s exciting and with all the expansions it makes for quite an intense evening. I have lost myself in this game many hours trying to learn the skills of everyone, and though it may seem complicated at first, there are definitely ways around that.

I have to admit it’s very cool having the cards in my hand, the design is beautiful and when you’re not playing they are a lot of fun to look at. This game doesn’t fail to give you that classic horror feeling. For example, when you are hanging on by a thread drawing a first aid spray is just as much a relief as it is while nemesis is pummeling you with his rocket launcher as you run away wounded and stumble upon a herb.

If you want to know more about this game or the expansions take a look at the official site here. Also feel free to ask me any questions in the comments below. You can look forward to the Alliance Expansion review within the coming weeks!

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