Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Mystical Empire: A first glance

I got home after a hard day of work (grr SO ANGRY!) and what do I find in the mail, but a starter set of the new Mystical Empire card game.

The Good:
They sent me a starter set at their own expense, so I could hypothetically love it and demonstrate it everywhere. It includes a rebate offer for booster boxes purchased through my local retailer - I love this!

I'm still reading the rules, but the starter set includes enough cards for two players to play, plus a booster pack. The cards are all in a set order, so the two players can actually play a sample game from start to finish, and get good examples.

The cover of the starter set includes sweet art by Don Maitz.

The Bad:

There's too much stuff on the cards. Most have at least 8 numbers on them. Eight! That's almost as many as the ill-fated X-Files CCG, which had cool cards and a couple of sweet mechanics (resource pools, Q&A to solve X-Files) but sucked overall (too many phases, buying a box of booster packs still didn't make good decks, cards not playable with standard rules, lots of numbers on cards, etc., etc.)

There are dwarves on these cards. Also ghouls. Also skulls. I cracked open the booster pack, and two of the cards are titled "Devil's Contract" and "Sacrificial Lamb." Seriously, guys. I know Iron Maiden made some good songs the year I was born, but dang, can you get more cliche AND faux-offensive?

The "starter decks" are really, really small. There are exactly 50 cards TOTAL, 25 in each deck, plus a 10-card starter pack.

Their demo team is called the M.E.G.A Extreme Team. I'm already a Demo Monkey and a Mad Labs Rabbit. It looks like their reward program might involve a cash kickback... that would be novel.


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