Cryptozoic DC Bridge Building Set is one of my favorite games of the genre thanks to its adoption of the DC world and characters, combined with easy to learn but tactically deep gameplay. Several additions have expanded the game in a number of ways, and there is now a set that incorporates DC Metal’s fantastic storylines into the hit series. Aptly named DC Bridge Building Game: Dark Nights Metal, this standalone expansion delivers the addicting gameplay that I love with the inclusion of several intriguing gameplay twists, providing the perfect starting point for newcomers and another great part of the franchise for longtime fans.
For those unfamiliar with the DC Deck-Building game is a competitive 2-5 player experience that allows people to choose a hero (and their unique ability) and build their deck by purchasing new cards up to so they can start taking out the supervillains. Most cards come with a set number of victory points, and whoever gets the most victory points after the game ends wins. That basic setting doesn’t change in Dark Nights Metal, and it’s still delicious, but there are a few welcome additions.
For one thing, you can now recruit more than one hero, and when you recruit another hero, you also have access to their unique ability, adding even more skills to your arsenal. You can also lose this hero thanks to another new wrinkle, which adds an element of danger to weak cards. Weakness cards have no positive attributes and no victory points when you have to draft them into your deck, which was quite a pain. However, in Metal, if you have 2 weakness cards in your hand, your hero is captured by The Batman Who Laughs, who already begins the game with Batman within reach. This leaves you without your ability until you can recruit a new hero in the next turn, and to free them you’ll have to take out a SuperVillain.
Being able to have more than one hero opens up the gameplay even more, but the larger effect of Weakness cards balances that out. Weakness cards have always been a hindrance in the original game, but they weren’t really dangerous. Now they feel like they can do some damage, so you’re more inclined to keep them out of your deck from the start, or if they did anyway, the added danger makes it urgent. purchase of cards. that allow you to destroy cards and empty your deck.
This also relates to the new Breakthrough cards, which replace the old Kick cards. These are worth 2 powers just like Kick Cards, but it’s what happens after you play them that makes the difference. Instead of just staying in your deck, after playing Breakthrough cards, you need to decide whether to keep it or put it back in its stack. If you return it, you may destroy a weakness card you control. While you will lose this power to use later if you have a few weakness cards floating around; this is a smart way to clear them up and prevent your hero from being captured.
The other major new element of the game comes in the form of metallic cards, which still exist in the Hero, Equipment, Super Power, and Villain varieties like any other card, although they feature a shiny glossy finish. Metal is a keyword that can trigger additional abilities in certain cards and using certain heroes, and they can pack a punch depending on how your deck is built. For one game, I used Cyborg as the main hero, which grants you +1 Power for each Metal card you control. This is handy in itself, but then adding cards like Electrum (which allows you to put Metal cards back into your hand), Cyborg One Million (if you played a Metal card gain +2 Power) and Brutal Chase ( replacing a card in the Line Up and Win it if it’s Metal) will increase your power and abilities even more.
The game makes good use of Greg Capullo’s beautiful artwork on many Metal cards, although there are some excellent comedic illustrations on all cards. As with most versions of the franchise, Metal Cards are also compatible with any other set.
Now I’m a particular fan of Rebirth, the co-op version of Cryptpzoic’s DC Deck-Building line, and I wish there was an optional co-op here as well, especially with the Metal cards and multi-hero mechanisms. That said, I still enjoy the competitive style very much, so while a cooperative mode is welcomed with open arms, that doesn’t stop me from enjoying a uniquely competitive experience.
If there was another small nitpick, some rules and maps would need a little more clarification, especially in a specific case, the recruitment of additional heroes. The rules make it clear that you can do this, but it never really clarifies how, at least in a very simple way, and I had to jump in line to make sure I applied this mechanic correctly. Again, a small thing of course, but still to be noted.
DC Deck-Building Game: Dark Nights Metal brings some fantastic new additions to the already delicious recipe, and as a fan of Dark Nights Metal in the comics this is a hit and miss. Those who don’t have the same love for the metal side of DC will still appreciate the new gameplay elements and tweaks, so fans are going to have fun with the game anyway.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Posted By: Cryptozoic Entertainment
Game design by: Matt Hyra
Game design and development by: Matt Dunn, Ben Stoll and Nathaniel Yamaguchi
Review copy provided by Cryptozoic Entertainment