Will you prevail in this tactical battle of betrayal or will you be the Mindbug's next victim?
The publisher gave me a review copy of this game; However, I always strive to provide fair and honest opinions.
game at a glance
- nerdlab games
- Player: 2
- Alter: 8+
- Length: 15-25
- Mechanik: Bluffen, Handmanagement, Take That
- Get toKickstarter 23.11.21
skip toimpressions; skip toFinal Thoughts
Congratulations, earthling! The Mindbug has chosen you as its human host in a battle against its ancient enemies. You are responsible for summoning up to 10 hybrid creatures in a fight to drain your opponent's life force. Luckily, your new parasitic overlord has given you two Mindbugs to control your enemies with. Use them wisely and never forget that your opponent has mindbugs of their own.
Mindbug: First contactis a dueling card game created by Christian Kudahl, Marvin Hegen, Richard Garfield and Skaff Elias. The game consists of a deck of 48 creature cards, four Mindbug cards, and a rules sheet, all contained in a small storage box.
Setup is quick. The 48 creature cards are shuffled, then each player gets 10 to form their deck. Both players also receive two Mindbug cards. Three face down cards from the deck serve as markers for your Life Points (players can track their Life Points with a die or other markers instead). After this simple setup, the game can begin.
The goal of the game is to reduce your opponent's Life Points to zero. Each player takes the top five cards from their deck and then takes turns taking one of two actions per turn: play a card or attack with a single creature.
When you play a card, it's possible that your opponent will use one of their Mindbug cards to take control of it. When that happens, the creature immediately joins the enemy army and all game effects associated with that creature benefit your opponent. But if your opponent can't or won't take control of the creature, it's added to your own play area and you can resolve any applicable game effects.
Any creature in your play area can be used to attack - just pick one, then let your opponent decide whether to block it with a creature of their own. If they choose not to or can't block it, they lose 1 life. If an attack is blocked, the unit with the weaker power is defeated and discarded. If there is a tie, both creatures are defeated.
Most creature cards are associated with at least one of five keywords: Frenzy, Hunter, Poisonous, Sneaky, and Tough. These keywords grant creatures special rules during attack and/or defense actions, understanding the importance of each work in building an effective strategy. There are also three keywords (Play, Attack, Defeated) that trigger effects at different times.
A limited edition ofMindbug: First contactPut this game into the wild at Food Game 21, but it will be available to pick it up againKickstarterab 23.11.
I'm approaching this game as someone new to the Collectible Card Game (CCG) scene. I haven't played a gameMagic the Gatheringsince I was maybe 11 years old and even though my kids have itPokémonMaps, they seem to function more as flooring and vacuuming of obstacles than parts of a playable game.
Apart from that, I know enough about itMagic the Gatheringknowing that there are a lot of similarities in mechanics here. It's the addition of the Mindbug cards that sets this game apart from all other dueling card games I've tried. They are powerful and add so much depth to an otherwise simple and familiar game mechanic. They're multifunctional - they help create balance in the game (because if you don't like your hand, you can get new cards), but they also add a lot of tactical intrigue. This game is full of excitement and brain games because of these little guys.
Figuring out exactly when to use these cards is extremely important and not always easy. They pose a risk to both players - you cannot strategically count on having cards in your hand until your opponent has exhausted their Mindbugs. Trying to figure out what to steal and what creatures my opponent might steal is what makes this game so enjoyable for me. I often try to get my opponent to use their mindbugs so I can play something powerful without fear of it turning against me. And every time I decide to use one of my own mindbugs, I consider playing into their hands. Not only do I have to find ways to counter my opponent's cards, but I also have to think about how to counter my own cards when they're stolen. If I can't, it's too risky to play them. I love these choices because it makes the experience so exciting! There are mind games to playMindbug: First contact, most certainly.
The different keywords create several different strategies and opportunities for offensive and defensive play. For example, if your opponent is playing sneaky creatures, you should try adding your own defensive sneaky creatures to your army. Alternatively, you can play hunter creatures to take them down. If you don't manage to play one of these creatures, it would be wise to use a mindbug and take that sneaky creature for yourself. The various keywords and trigger abilities create a dynamic duel that should keep players of all skill levels engaged.
I always appreciate when a game is good out of the box without the need for expansions or booster packs, so I appreciate thatMindbug has eliminated the need to buy booster packs to stay competitive. Everything needed for a successful and balanced duel is included in a small box. Both players randomly draw 10 cards from a deck and it is up to their own skill and cleverness to try to outperform the other player.
The game plays very fast, so several games can be played in a row. The replay value seems high to me. In each game, two players are dealt 10 random cards out of 48 (32 if we only count unique cards). Combine that with the ability to steal and lose up to 2 cards and it's very unlikely that two games will be the same.
This is a dueling game so the interactivity is high, especially with the added stealing. Players can and should try their hand at bluffing here. It's also fairly accessible - the rules don't take long to figure out, so players can get to the duel pretty quickly. My 9 year old son was able to pick it up and smack me within minutes. I think it would be handy to throw 2 reference cards in the deck with the keyword definitions, but it doesn't take long to memorize their functions so it's not essential.
The cards are illustrated with animal hybrids that are a good mix of menace and humor. I think the artwork here is a lot of fun and fits the tone of the game perfectly. The iconography is minimal and intuitive. The packaging of this implementation is not deluxed, but I don't see that as a negative. I'm glad this game is so small and portable. I plan on tossing this in my purse for a quick game while waiting for a meal or gaming at the airport.
Mindbug: First contactis not flashy, but I find it extremely exciting to play. I was very impressed with the amount of fun packed into this tiny little box. The addition of the Mindbug cards to the game adds many important choices. And it plays so fast, it's perfect for a quick fill-in game between bigger games, or playing in a restaurant or pub while waiting for appetizers.
It's a wonderful alternative tooMagic the Gatheringfor those who for some reason can't dive into this scene. Everything you need to create these two-person battles is in one package.
This is a game that I can enjoy with my husband and 9 year old, and it's also something I can introduce people to pretty quickly to get some quick games to pass the time. I'm so impressed with this little box game that I plan to check out this Kickstarter campaign right away to see what else is in store.
IfMindbug: First contactSounds like a good solution for you, learn more athttps://mindbug.me/or check out theirsKickstarterbook page.