Let the great resurgence continue! Gargoyles fans were ecstatic when news broke Disney+ would post the long lost and forgotten Gargoyles cartoon. Fans of the who’s who of Star Trek voices cartoon loved this series for its unique and intricate story. The show was prematurely cancelled in 1997 after only 3 seasons, so fans have been hoping this might lead to a revival and reboot of the series. Sadly, Disney has shot down every attempt at a reboot, but until that day fans have an alternative. Why watch Gargoyles when you can BE gargoyles. New from Ravensburger (creators of Disney’s blockbuster Villainous game), comes the Gargoyles Cooperative board game. Flying around Manhattan is easy. Defeating Thanatos? Not so much.
In the Gargoyles board game, players choose from a pool of six heroes – Goliath, Elisa, Hudson, Brooklyn, Broadway, and Lexington. In this 3D city you choose one of four scenarios, and you will battle either Thanatos, Demona or both. The fourth scenario, one player actually plays as Thanatos and his Steel Clan. The villain activates after every hero turn, so no matter the number of heroes the game balances itself.
This game suggests 2-5 players and ages 10+. Given three out of four scenarios the bad guys are AI controlled, this can be played solo, and you have six heroes to chose from. I have not tried six player, but unless some mechanic breaks down at that number six should be playable as well. The age can be bent down if the child either is very adept at games, or you simply want to help guide their actions. 10+ is a pretty accurate age for a child to be an independent player.
Packaging and Design
The presentation of the packaging is top caliber. Almost every surface uses a picture of our heroes. Even the back of the board has some nice pictures on it. Many do not care about the function of the box a game comes in, but avid gamers appreciate a well designed storage case. The Gargoyles board game succeeds in being a quality storage box in every way except one. It has a compartment for the cards and one for the miniatures. The larger compartment holds all the building pieces and extras. It does have one drawback, but I’ll come back to that in a minute. The board, cards and miniatures are all top notch. The card stock quality is highly durable and the Minis have very nice detail should you wish to paint them.
The fun thing about this game comes from the board set up. Instead of giving us a flat, well drawn board, the game comes with cardboard punch-outs you assemble to create a 3D Manhattan. Given Gargoyles love rooftops this adds a very nice flavor and feel to the game. Aesthetically, Gargoyles succeeds in almost every way; However, these 3D buildings give the game its only real drawback.
The buildings are crafted from layered cardboard. They look good, but be very careful when punching them out. Edges and slits can fray and pull apart easily if you do not exercise caution. This really weakens their fit if they fall apart too much. The design of the buildings makes them very easy to not only assemble, but place them on the board correctly. Numbers, letters and colors all guide you to a quick assembly, but the second problem pops up now.
The buildings do not fit into the box assembled. This adds time and inconvenience to set up and tear down. The cardboard material will age quickly and fall apart the more you set up and tear down. I highly recommend sealing them somehow to help them last longer.
Gargoyles Board Game – Game Set-up and Play
Other than building assembly, game set-up is very quick. Each of the four scenarios tells what villain pieces you need and where to place them. The rules to the game are pretty well laid out and intuitive. In the initial play throughs only a couple of questions arose, and if we didn’t find answers a quick house rule solved the problem.
Gameplay is very quick and straight forward. Each character uses a personalized deck for the game. The villain deck trades out cards depending on which scenario you try. The cards are easy to follow, and deck recycling negates the thinness of the decks. Do not be fooled, however. The easy mechanics disguise a game that can be lost in a heart beat if you are not careful. Hero selection can be key as each hero uses different healths and abilities to operate. The game continues until either a villain is defeated (through custom dice damage rolls) or an objective is achieved. Heroes lose if even ONE hero dies, so be careful. For example, do not run Elisa and Lexington together. They may have great effects, but sporting the lowest healths of any characters makes them easy prey.
Gargoyles Board Game – Play Through Thoughts
This game seems very easy. The cards and rules are very simple and straight forward. I feared this would be a total push over of a game, but in our first game I pushed a bit too hard and nearly lost Brooklyn. He fell to a single hit point before I could pull him back. After that teh game went smoothly. Game two however, we got totally rocked and lost after about 5-6 turns. This game can be easy, but it is highly dependent on dice, draw and luck. Picking the correct team is also crucial. The wrong combos will cost you the game before you begin.
In the fourth scenario, the only PvP set-up, It again is dependent on the above. I played Thanatos and lost half my Steel Clan before I could move. The rest of the game I drew mostly Steel Clan cards when I needed Thanatos cards. My dice were also ice cold, which is standard for me. Overall, I think this game balances out pretty well. Most games took about 45 minutes to play, and gameplay rotates extremely fast. Off players will not be twiddling their thumbs for this one.
With the exception of the building durability problem, this game is a great game for both Gargoyle fans as well as just plain gamers. Play with the kids. Play with the adults. Gargoyles the board game is worth every penny. It retail for $29.99 and can only be found at Target stores or Online.