• Thu. May 12th, 2022

A natural extension of the franchise

ByLinda W. Smith

Mar 31, 2022

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Renegade Game Studios has brought many of your favorite franchises to life in their series of deck-building games, including Power Rangers, Transformers, and GI Joe, and today the spotlight is on Yo Joe’s team. GI Joe The Deck Building Game is a fully cooperative game for 1-4 players, and while it involves the core deck-building mechanics that Renegade has honed on multiple titles, they have once again embraced the unique theme and delivered an experience that feels like no other. equivocates to GI Joe without sacrificing depth and losing the fun. You don’t have to be a GI Joe fan to love this game, but if you are, you’ll be in heaven.

The simple deck-building mechanics in GI Joe The Deck-Building Game are quite straightforward and similar to other releases in the line. There is a primary range of shifting cards you can recruit from, moving those cards into your deck for future use, and you buy them with the recruit value in your hand. The game provides a slight twist by having you place newly recruited cards (which can be Joes, Equipment, Vehicles, and Utilities) on your deck so they can be drawn on the very next turn. This means that the cards you buy can be used faster, and thus changes your strategy from simply choosing the best card available to assess whether another card can serve you better next turn.

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This ties directly into one of the other main formula tweaks in Story Missions and Side Missions, where GI Joe really starts to emulate the franchise. This is mainly due to two things, but let’s discuss the Missions format first. Story missions are drawn as you complete them, and they’re split into three major acts, each with their own finale, and you can choose from one of two main story packs. The first is The MASS Device, which reimagines a classic GI Joe storyline and brings it to your table, calling on the Joes to stop Cobra from obtaining the necessary parts for their laser device that could destroy cities in minutes.

The second Story Pack is Operation: Total Control, and it’s an all-new story featuring Dr. Mindbender and an adventure that sees the Joes framed for an attack and suddenly on the run from the government as they also attempt to arrest Cobra’s blueprints. Both of these story packs embrace GI Joe themes and feel like they fit into the universe through and through, and the missions themselves provide enough of a challenge to keep you nimble in the game. how you put together your deck and your team as a whole. They also bring additional complications and Cobra Officers like Baroness, Destro and many more to spice up the game with additional challenges to overcome.

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When recruiting your team, you should consider the current mission requirements, as they will all require a different skill to complete and a different difficulty to overcome. That said, you’ll also need to consider vehicles, the 2nd major element that sets GI Joe apart from so many others. You must enlist a vehicle from your hangar to send it on a story mission or side mission, and by recruiting them into the lineup you will begin to assemble an impressive fleet of land, sea and air vehicles. You have one vehicle that is always available, but the others offer more perks and buffs, so you’ll have to be careful what missions you send them on, because once that’s done, they’ll have to run through your deck before you can get them. use. again.

Vehicles give the game an authenticity that GI Joe fans will appreciate, but they also introduce a wealth of options and tactical approaches to gameplay. A Ram, for example, can only accommodate one person, but it offers a substantial reconnaissance skill bonus as well as a ground vehicle bonus if the mission you’re taking on is also in that terrain. This is great for taking on a side mission, but depending on how your deck is built and your given hand, you could very well use these bonuses to take on a full story mission, and as your hangar gains more vehicles , your options on any given turn increase by 10 times.

As the game continues, things get more complicated because of the threat meter, which increases by at least one after each round, and as it moves into different colored areas, the consequences after turn increase. You can drop the threat meter back down by completing missions, so there’s also an added incentive to leave for a mission before you’re 100% comfortable. You’ll need to weigh this against the risk of failing a story mission, though, as the consequences can be incredibly deadly. This introduces a welcome risk versus reward element to the game that kept me coming back for one more round.

(Picture: comic)

Add in the extra expert mode maps and the ability to play 2-player and solo and it’s easy to see why the game is quite powerful right out of the box. Now there are a few things that maybe could have used some extra levels of depth or just some extra content. You have the ability to promote your GI Joe Leader throughout the game, and this is extremely beneficial as skills are greatly increased. Unfortunately, you can only do this once, and so after that you really don’t have any other way to improve your Joes than to simply recruit more. Another way to improve your leaders or increase their skill level would have been welcome, because soon your leaders will feel like everyone else, aside from cards that give you some sort of bonus for starting a mission. Other than that, a Story Pack would also have been welcome to further increase replayability, but again, that’s probably just greed, as I really enjoyed what was already included.

There’s also an expansion coming, but you don’t even need that to have multiple successful game nights with GI Joe The Deck-Building Game. Once again, Renegade Game Studios delivers an experience that feels like a natural extension of the franchise while finding additional ways to freshen up the always tight and rewarding gameplay. Fans of the genre will have no problem getting started, and GI Joe fans will discover a whole new way to enjoy their favorite franchise. If you happen to be a fan of both? Well, you are going to have an absolutely fabulous time.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

GI Joe The Deck-Building Game is available in stores and here on Amazon now.

Review copy provided by Renegade Game Studios.

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