Manufacturer: Cryptozoic EntertainmentThe Power is in Your HandsThere are Villains out there, terrorizing the world. It's up to you to stop them. While you begin armed only with basic combat maneuvers, you will transform and improve your deck as you go, with the goal of defeating as many Super-Villains as you can. In the end, the player who has accumulated the most Victory Points from the cards in his or her deck wins the game.
Play as Hawkman, Nightwing, Batgirl, Booster Gold, Red Tornado, Black Canary or Shazam!
Each DC Comics Super Hero has a unique ability that will open up different strategies to the player.
Compatible with other Cerberus Engine: Heroes games.
211 Game Cards (approx 89mm x 63mm)
- 36 Punch Starting Cards
- 16 Vulnerability Starting Cards
- 111 Main Deck Cards
- 16 Kick Cards
- 12 DC Comics Super-Villain Cards
- 20 Weakness Cards
7 Oversized DC Comics Super Heroes Cards (approx 102mm x 77mm)
Game Length: 45 minutes
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- Unbalanced Cards Make This Not As Fun As Its' Predecessor
Disclaimer: I am NOT a DC Comics fan. I'm a Marvel fan, but not a major one. I don't stay up on the comics, etc, though I will watch the movies. I've never been a big DC fan so this was a major step for me to play this game because I knew WHO the people were (at least the heroes) but not much else about them, and especially not a ton about most of the cards in the deck. Anyways, onward to the game!
I was introduced to this game through a member of our gaming group. We played it a few times and I was given it as a gift a month later by my wife because we enjoyed it. I would never have picked this game up on my own from my FLGS because I don't really care for DC comics and wouldn't want to give it that much of a shot. It's outside my impulse buy expense limit- I'll buy a game for 20-30 bucks I know nothing about, but $40 is over the limit.
Anyways, onto the CONCEPT of the game.
Concept: The object of the game is to score the most points. Each player starts off with the same 10 cards and a different superhero. All the superheros have different powers and some are better then others (Black Canary and Hawkman are powerfull all game, Batgirl not so much). You draw a hand of 5 cards and any cards you buy go into your discard pile. You cannot save cards so you either play cards for their effect or discard them Cards give you power, which you use to buy cards from the center row (replenished at the end of the turn), a more advanced basic card anyone can buy, or a supervillain. Supervillains are worth the most points and once the stack of supervillains is gone (12 of them) the game is over, points are tallied, and whoever has the most points wins.
This is the whole game, really. Some cards have attacks on them (most cards with attacks are villains but not all villains have attacks) which have different effects and (discarding cards, gaining weaknesses to your deck for negative points, and other problems) and can be blocked by certain types of cards (say defense on them). Game play is relatively quick and exciting and it usually takes us 20-30 minutes to play a 3 player game, so it is not a super long game.
Thoughts: I had a LOT of hope for this game. I thoroughly enjoy the base game (original game? First game) and have played it over 120 times. It hits the table weekly because we all like it and it's so quick. We've played this game 10 times standalone and a few times mixed in with the original deckbuilding game and, while the original game feels really well balanced and well done, almost all the games we've played of heroes unite have been not close, like 30-40 point difference not close. A lot of this has to deal with some of the cards they introduce in this expansion, and some of it has to deal with the heroes that players can play as. All in all, I rate this game a solid 5.5. It's not great, but it's not terrible. However, I had such high hopes for it because the base game was so well done. This one? Doesn't seem to be as well done.
Complaints: The object of the game is to buy cards to score points at the end of the game. Cards you can buy from the main deck are almost always worth 1 or 2 points (with some exceptions, like Green Arrow or the Suicide Squads) in the base game. Here, the cards can give you a LOT more points. For example, Sciencell is an equipment that costs 6 to buy and is worth 1 point for EACH DIFFERENT VILLAIN you have in your deck at the end of the game. There are 15 different villains in the main deck alone (most have 2 or more copies) and 12 supervillains, all of whom are worth 1 point with this card at the end of the game. Typically you get 10+ points from this card in a game. There is another card that does the same point idea for heroes. There are 17 different heroes in the deck as well so you're easily looking at 6+ points each game for each instance of this card you have.
Here are some other problems. The World's Mightest Mortal hero card costs 8 power to get (extreme, but you'll see) and gives you 5 power each time you play him AND lets you add the top 2 cards of the main deck into the lineup and buy them if you want or put them back on top in any order. He's crazy. Mix him with a bat-signal from the main deck or some of the cards we'll mention in a minute and you have a TON of extra power every turn. Plastic Man lets you copy any equipment card in your discard pile or that you've played that turn, letting you have a lot of versatility (like copying the Bat-Signal from the base game, or a power ring to give you that 3rd ring for the insta-win condition on the Kyle Rayner card... another problem I have). The combinations are limitless with him.
Then, they have 2 new cards like starbolt and hawkgirl. They each give you some power PLUS 1 power for each superpower or hero you have in your discard pile. Mix that with the Crimson Tornado card, which lets you put your deck into your discard pile, and you can easily get 10-15 power from a SINGLE CARD. Hawkgirl costs 2 to buy. That's way way way too overpowered for a two cost card. Yes, you can draw her when you don't have a discard pile, but you can't count on that. Starbolt costs 5. Still way too good for a 5 cost card.
Then, they have a rash of cards that let you put cards from your discard pile on top of your deck. You can put that awesome superpower, villain, or just any card you want on TOP of your deck to use again. I just used hawkgirl for 10 power. Let's do it again next turn, shall we? That sounds fair to everyone else. The base game had Zantana, who let you put 2 cards on the bottom of your deck... you'd eventually get to them.
Finally, we get to the Supervillains themselves. Most of them are fine, but some are way too good. Graves gives you +4 power and lets you put an awesome card on top of your deck, Hector Hammond lets you pull 2 cards from your discard pile into your hand (EVEN BETTER!), Amazo lets you copy a hero or villain you played this turn and play them again (oh hey, look, hawkgirl again! Or Hammond!), Black Adam gives you +2 power for each card type you play this turn (easy 8 or more power) and, my personal favorite, Arkillo gives you +2 power and lets you pull all equipment from your discard pile into your hand. Played a game against Batman where he had Arkillo and almost his whole deck in his discard pile. Had 64 power that turn. And the Riddler. Guess who won that game? Not me.
Why this seeming rant? Because this game has some problems with it that give way to a HUGE runaway leader scenario. There are too many cards in the main deck and are more desirable to pick up then the Supervillains because they are so power. I don't like that- this game should be focused on fighting the Supervillains, not picking up more shiny toys for you deck. I feel like they missed the boat here and took a great game, the DC Comics Deckbuilding game, and made this game, it's vastly overpowered little brother who is extremely luck dependent and gives you way too many options to become way too powerful. Personally, we made a few changes to the cards mentioned above- We eliminated the Kyle Rayner extra win condition, made it so the crazy point villain/hero cards are only worth 5 pts if you have 5 or more villains or heroes in you deck, and made Starbolt and Hawkgirl worth only 1 additional power if you have a hero or superpower in your discard pile. Akrillo only pulls 2 equipment cards instead of ALL of them, and other changes as well. This has helped immensely and taken the game from insane to moderately even, though it still has skewed cards and heroes. Mostly, I'm disappointed that all the effort and love that went into making the DC Comics Deckbuilding game such an amazing work of gaming art that is almost always close and almost always fun seems to have been left by the wayside with Heroes Unite. It saddens me that they couldn't balance the cards as well in this game and that so many of them seem... so good. It's not a struggle to fight the supervillains anymore. They just feel like babies most of the time because you have such good cards. I wish it wasn't so, but it feels like this to me. I wanted to love this game as much as the original but, alas, I cannot. It took everything I enjoyed out of the base game and ruined most of it. I fear that Heroes Unite will go the same way as my copy of The Two Towers deckbuilding game did. I traded it away because it wasn't fun. I fear this will happen here as well.
To sum this all up, here are my thoughts and concerns about the game. Some may agree, some won't. I just wanted to get them out. I still like the concept of the game, and the changes we made made the game a lot more fair. With those changes it's actually pretty fun to play. We shouldn't have to make those changes, however, because these things should have been noticed before and fixed before the game came out. It saddens me to say so but I must. I'm sorry, Heroes Unite. You're not close to being as enjoyable as your predecessor, DC Comics Deckbuilding game.
Game Play Quality Price Value
- Fun and great Game
I've played all 4 DC Comics Deck Building Game (original, heroes unite, forever evil & teen titans) plus both Crisis expansions. This is one of the best for me. I liked that it has all the power rings and the lanterns. It's fun to play and a lot similar to the original one. If you want to have fun and play a superhero card game this one or any of the series is a great option for you.
Game Play Quality Price Value
- Excellent Replayability in an Underrated Game
I've played both this version and Forever Evil. I vastly prefer this one (especially with the JSA crossover pack). However, I'll try and explain what makes this a good deckbuilder.
This game has gotten a bad rap sometimes because it often uses mere variations on a mechanic, because it only has one resource (power), and because it has issues with theme.
Now, the first is true across DC Deckbuilding games. Often the same mechanic will be used for different cards, only switching up the card type (Equipment, Superpower, Villain, Hero) with which it interacts. However, this is something true across most card games and while Forever Evil and the Legion of Superheroes Crossover Pack do it to excess, it's not noticeable in Heroes Unite (nor in the JSA Crossover Pack).
Second, the claim that it's bad just because it only has resource (instead of both "buy" and "attack") is kind of silly since there's another resource games like Legendary, Ascension, and Star Realms rarely get into: cards that stack your deck. You'll be interacting a lot with your discard pile in this game as well as the top few cards of your deck. In fact, in order to get what you need to hit the Supervillains, you'll have to do a lot of careful stacking, drawing, and discard pile management. It's so built into the game that there's even a card that costs 2 power and only lets you draw a card. It's superfun, and something other deckbuilders should do more since it means that getting that awesome combo often relies on your ability to buy and use cards that let you topdeck/stack/draw. Also, thematically, do you expect Hawkman to go around shelling out cash for Superpowers and Villains? No, he'd take them by power!
Third, yes, it has issues with theme. It's a bit odd to defeat Mr. Freeze and then have him join your team. However, think of it as beating them into submission. Anyway, unless you are completely opposed to anything remotely unthematic, deckbuilders might not be for you.
Now, on to the main reason I love this game: high replayability. In just Heroes Unite, you get a dozen Supervillains and seven Superheroes. Each game, you play with a random set of eight Supervillains that sit on a stack, waiting for you to murderify (and then recruit) them. Even with twelve, it makes it exciting to see what horrible things will happen when you defeat a Supervillain and flip over the next one. Plus, the Superheroes all give you an ability to use throughout the game, and so you'll won't be playing the same way against the same enemies much. Add in a Crossover Pack like Justice Society of America, and you have 20 Supervillains and and 14 Superheroes. This game is one of my group's favorites because of this variety. Plus, the set-up and takedown for this game is really quick - unlike its Marvel competitor (which I also love) Legendary. So you get variety mixed with ease. That alone makes it fun to play multiple times in a row.
Overall, I love this game. It's main weakness is its uninspired expansions and sometimes unbalanced Superheroes (some are just plain weaker than the norm). However, don't let that stop you from enjoying it.
NOTE: Be aware that while the art is great (and sometimes straight from the comics), it also includes certain cards that are heavy on the, er, cleavage. Mainly just one that we have nicknamed "Starboobs". I don't personally find it too much, but google the "Warrior Princess" Starfire card if you think it might bother you.
Game Play Quality Price Value