Monday, October 1, 2012

More Games With Staying Power

Many years ago I stumbled on a computer game called Space Hulk. In the game you led some space marines into a mysterious spacecraft and then tried to survive waves of attacks by hideous space monsters. The sound effects were super effective and my room echoed with shouts, gunfire, and space monster roars for months. Later on I discovered that the game was based on a successful board game. At the time, though, the experience of leading my hapless heroes through one ambush after another made a huge impression.

Fast forward to a few years ago, when I picked up Space Hulk- Death Angel. This is a card game that allows you to play out the same basic experience as Space Hulk. The card game can be played solitaire or with friends and as it was pretty cheap I thought I'd give it a go. Years later it's possibly my most played game.

The essence of the Space Hulk experience for me is that you're commanding a team that only has about a 20% chance of surviving. You're not playing to achieve a wild success, you're playing to maybe eject one grizzled survivor from the spooky space hulk or more likely at least have a dramatic chase through the ship before going down with guns blazing. You know that you're going to need lots of luck and when you finish a game in complete defeat you're already gearing up for another chance to get lucky and survive.

Good Times on the 386
Death Angel captures that experience perfectly. There is a good deal of strategy and tactics involved. Further, there are lots of special units to choose from and the game has huge replay value. I certainly play better now than when I started. Still, the few times I've "won" it's been as much from some lucky breaks as from tactical skill. In other games that might be irritating, in Death Angel it's great fun. Add in several cheap expansion packs and a nice narrative quality and Death Angel has paid off its initial investment ten fold. I wish I could say the same about, say, Thunderstone. Or Dungeon Lords. Warhammer 40K. Or a few others....

Anyway, if you're looking for a great solitaire or group game that's fast paced, exciting, and unpredictable, Death Angel has a lot to recommend it.

1 comment:

  1. That's more fun for having a strong power that last in a battle.