Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Card Game Review - Pink Godzilla Dev Kit

I am in the wrong line of work.

Well, technically, my day job is pretty much awesome, but when it comes to reviews, I ought to be writing about video games. There are some obvious downsides - I don't really know that much about video games, I vastly prefer board games, and I don't play video games very often - but aside from those tiny hangups, I could actually pull an income writing about video games.

I know there's money in video games because a video game store in Seattle called Pink Godzilla actually created an entire card game just to promote their store. That's pretty darn clever, if you ask me, and it's the kind of advertising that you don't do if you're a regular ol' broke-ass comic-and-game store. These cats must have some bank. Maybe if I talked about Final Fantasy instead of Fantasy Flight, I could turn my business cards into a cash cow.

The funny thing is, for what essentially amounts to viral marketing, Pink Godzilla Dev Kit is actually a pretty fun game. It's not a 'play every damned time I can' game, but it's definitely a 'break out at least once or twice a year because we loved it last time' game. It would get old in a hurry if you played it every week, but heck, that's why there are expansions.

The idea behind Pink Godzilla Dev Kit is that you're all video game developers, and you have to make games that rack up big scores, and you have to do it fast. You can create a bunch at a time, but the game ends when one player has four finished games, and then you want to be able to show that you got something done so you can score some points.

While the theme sounds like it might be a little technical, in all honesty, it's just a set collection game. Each game has to have a title and a couple important pieces, but you can add stuff like special characters or Easter eggs to make them score higher. The trick is making sure that after you dump all those extra cards into your set, you finish it before you end up wasting all that effort.

The game play is good, but not amazing. It's not going to get nominated at Essen, but it's fun. The real fun, though, is in the cards themselves. You'll make a game like Dance Dance Team Ninja Suppressors 2, add a plastic guitar and a couple combo moves, and round it out with the ludicrously cute Pixel character. Or you might direct your efforts to Elder May Cry 4, or Pink Gear Solid 4: Ninjas of Liberty, or Pinktroid Prime.

Unfortunately, Pink Godzilla Dev Kit can take a while. We've had games take a couple hours, which seems a little out of whack for a card game. Sometimes they go really fast, and you're done in 30 minutes, but if the cards just aren't coming up, you might wind up stopping the game a couple times for smoke breaks and toilet visits. That's not a good sign in a light, silly card game, but since it's actually a pretty involved game, it's forgivable.

The reason that it's OK to take a while is that there is a lot going on. Every turn you'll have the chance to pick the card you want, or dump the ones you don't, or hold an auction for cards. You might have special abilities in play that let you get bonus cards when opponents finish games, or guardians that let you really break the rules - but just once. There are lots of opportunities to block opponents, or weasel the cards you need, or plan a complex series of moves three turns ahead. That may take a while, but it's fun.

I don't really know how well Pink Godzilla Dev Kit did for the store that created it. It's not like I tracked their sales. I just know that I got a review copy a few years ago, I play it all now and then, and I like it. That other stuff about writing about video games? That's a load of crap. I would have to be way funnier to write about video games - there are all these really clever people writing about video games. We mostly just have boring people whose mothers still tell them they're handsome. And I can compete with that.


Surprisingly involved game play
Light and easy to learn, but with lots to do
Whimsical, bright art that works exceptionally well
Amusing and silly and fun

Can drag a little at the end
The cards have square corners, so they get all bent really easy and poke you when you shuffle

Pink Godzilla's web site has all the info on Dev Kit:

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