It is safe to say, unless you have been living under a rock, that you have heard of The Umbrella Academy. While it is a highly popular Netflix series, it was first a comic book published through Dark House Comics by my emo teenage love Gerard Way. Between both worlds, the series has seen a huge amount of love and support. So it was only natural that eventually we would begin seeing games featuring the series, which is where Studio71 comes into play. They partnered with Dark Horse Comics to bring us The Umbrella Academy card game. It launched on Kickstarter back in late July and was fully funded in under an hour. With only a few days left, the real question is should you pledge your money, too?
One look at the Kickstarter, and fans of The Umbrella Academy will be falling over themselves with how beautiful this game is. It follows in the art style of Gabriel Bá himself. Any fan of the series will find that this is something they will want to add to their collection. However, it is important to point out that there are three different editions to the game. The base game simply comes with the cards and rules to play. It isn’t until you get into the higher pledge tier that a you get a playing board along with additional goodies.
But you don’t just buy a game for collection purposes (unless you are like me of course) so the real question is how well it plays. Out of the box it took me quite a bit of time to actually understand what was going on. The cards weren’t labeled quite as well as one would hope and mine were only rubber banded together which mixed everything up. This had me spending time properly separating them and figuring out exactly where they belonged. I hope that since this is simply a review copy that there will be better labeling before the game is sent to backers. Once I had the deck settled out, it was time to tackle the rules.
The Umbrella Academy card game plays in a co-op style. This means that instead of playing against the other players you play with them. Each round follows the same pattern: place a dysfunctional family card, chose a villain, work together to save the day. Simple enough? Not quite. There is a lot that goes into this game. Solo play is a tad bit easier when learning as you are able to make decisions on your own. But the real fun comes with focusing in on teamwork. Even the rules push you towards the idea to constantly be talking with your fellow teammates. Those who already have a background in co-op style games will have a leg up on those new to the genre.
Once you are able to really get through a few rounds and have a better idea of how things play, this game becomes quite fun. It is a great mix of co-op strategy and full on nostalgia. Not only do you get to play as one of six sibling super heroes you also get to face off against enemies that come right off the comic pages. Each card features art from the comic as well helping to add more depth to them. Even the dysfunctional family cards that get played at the beginning of each round will have you bringing up your favorite moments from both the comic and the show.
But is this enough to pledge your money? For those who are fans of the series, I would say yes. The base game itself includes everything needed in order to successfully play. The higher tiers add in all the bells and whistles. It would even make for a great collectors item for those who are fans of the show. It is perfect even if you don’t plan on playing often. If you aren’t familiar with the show, don’t let that stop you from enjoying The Umbrella Academy card game. It is just as fun and engaging as it is dripping with nostalgia.
To learn more about The Umbrella Academy card game and to make a pledge, check out their Kickstarter. It will officially end on Saturday, September 5, 2020 at 12:00 a.m.
This review was originally published 8/26/20
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