It’s time once again for another Found on TGN Desk segment, a regular feature where we give you a quick look over a game that seems to have made it onto our desk at some point in time. For this installment, it’s Legendary Showdown by Killer Robot Games. In Legendary Showdown, players are looking to be the last one with characters still in their Character Line. That’s pretty much it. Really simple, until you get into the nuts and bolts of it.
But first, the components. The game comes in a single box that’s fairly sturdy. The cards are standard playing card size and of good quality. They have a good “snap” when you shuffle them, and the finish on them ensures that they don’t stick together, but aren’t so slippery that they fly everywhere when shuffling or dealing. The artwork on the cards is taken from the Dr. McNinja comic, and the photos are nice and large, letting you actually see what’s going on.
The cards are separated into two decks. They’re the Character Deck and the Play Deck. There are 44 character cards (each unique) and 84 play cards (not all unique). Characters have a Points total listed on them. This is the character’s “strength.” The higher the points, the more strength a character has. The Play cards are divided into 5 types: Action, Weapon, Instant, Bonus, and Face Down. The role of most of these cards are to increase the points of the characters. For example, you could have your Robot Bear (a character that is 4 points) and then give them a katana (a weapon card worth 2 points) and duct-tape on an extra gun (a bonus card worth 1 point), that bear would be worth 7 points. Or you could be playing your Dinosaur Invader (7 points), armed with Chainsaw Nunchucks (a weapon worth 5 points) performing a Surprise Attack (a Face-Down card worth 2 points), for a total of 14 points. If those two fought, the Robot Bear would be discarded and the Dinosaur Invader would go to the back of the line, ready to fight again.
Setting up the game is rather simple. Shuffle the Character deck and deal out 5 characters to each player. Characters are placed, face-up, in a line in front of the player, placed in the order they were dealt out. Then, shuffle the Play deck and deal each player 5 cards. That’s all it takes. Play starts with the player whose character has the lowest points total in the front of their line. On your turn, you can play as many cards as you want. Cards can either be played on your own characters or your opponent’s. A character can only have one each of Weapon, Bonus, and Face-Down card played on them. And yes, it is perfectly legal to force your opponent to discard a card by playing a new one on them. After the first player has played all the cards they want, play passes to the next player going clockwise. Play continues until all but one, consecutively, have passed (in a 2-player game, play goes until both players pass consecutively). So you can never know if you’ll get another chance to play once you pass. Then, it’s a simple matter of looking to see whose character has the highest points total at the front of their line. That character wins and goes to the back of the player’s line. All other characters are discarded. Continue on through consecutive rounds until only one player is left with characters on the table.
Little did Jared know that in about 5min. he will be declared the winner of this game
Legendary Showdown is another of those games that can easily get tossed into your gaming backpack and come out whenever you’ve got a spare minute at the gaming store. It's silly, as the match-ups are going to be all over the map, with kittens armed with rocket launchers taking on Robo-Dracula and such like that. The game takes no time at all to teach someone to play, so opponents shouldn’t be in short supply, and it requires very little space to play. The game holds surprising depth, though. The choice of where to play your cards, how many cards to play, and what to hold back really can make for some deep, tactical decisions as you play. If there’s one issue, it’s that, since the characters you start with are just randomly determined, it’s entirely possible that one player ends up with all the “good characters” while another ends up with kittens and peg-faced pirates and such. If that happens, then the odds are really stacked against that player. But this isn’t a game that’s meant to be taken super-seriously, so worse comes to worse, just shuffle and start over.
You can find the game at your local gaming shop or you can pick it up in the Killer Robot Games webshop. They've also had a Kickstarter for an expansion that should be available soon as well.