Review: Star Wars – The Card Game / Designer: Eric M. Lang / Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games / Platform: Card Game / Release Date: Out Now
Fantasy Flight Games have become dab hands at making spin-offs that are both top quality and true to the original franchise. No surprise then that Star Wars: The Card Game evokes the classic movie on which it's based about as well as a card game possibly could. One player is the Dark Side, and they can choose between being the Imperial Fleet, the Sith or even villainous scum such as Boba Fett. The other player takes up the Light Side and their choices include Jedi, Rebels, Smugglers and Spies. The cards are themed with characters from the original trilogy, but there is a subtle hint of the expanded universe, just enough to keep things interesting.
Both sides have objective cards, and these revolve around things such as Yoda’s home of Dagobah or the Death Star, as well as limiting the amount of cards you can play per turn. Other cards can be used to play characters and events. Obviously, the Dark Side has villains such as Moff Tarkin and Darth Vader, whereas the good guys get Yoda and Luke. Conflicts are resolved by discarding cards from your hand and totalling up their value, and this gives players an excuse to bluff as they pretend to discard valuable cards in order to trick their foe into doing the same.
The Light Side wins by foiling the Dark Side's objectives (by blowing up the Death Star, for instance), whereas the Dark Side has a doom counter. Provided the Dark Side continues to do evil things, they will keep scoring points. Once they hit 12 points, they win. This means you can’t just attack your foe all out; you need to consider every turn. It’s a fast playing game, a session should entertain two people for about 40 minutes.
SWTCG is a living card game, which is a fancy way of saying that the starter set gives you everything you need, while future expansions come with a fixed selection of cards. (As opposed to random expansions which land you with lots of cards you don't want.) This makes it ideal for gamers on a strict budget, and it’s also bound to delight Star Wars geeks.