Game Reviews for PC, PS2, X-Box, Playstation, CCGs, Pen and Paper Role Playing and Table Top Games, plus Movies, DVDs, and Anime!

     " And, in an ironic twist that's not lost on me, it ends up giving you 10 times the enjoyment for the same mullah it would cost to see the movie. "

      Title: Star Wars: Attack of the Clones Trading Card Game by Wizards of the Coast

      Format: Trading Card Game

      Reviewing Monkey: Mojo Jojo

      The Hype: Though I'm unsure what the difference is between a "Trading Card Game" and a "Collectable Card Game" (probably just verbiage), this is the latest incarnation of the Star Wars gaming franchise. In Attack of the Clones, players build decks focused around a tri-level battle system in an attempt to dominate the universe.

      What This Monkey Thought...

      Playability: Though there is probably nothing new that can be done in the card game genre, Star Wars the Trading Card Game is designed to merge some very successful strategy elements into a single, functional affair. Played on a fold out map board, the goal of the Star Wars TCG is to take control of 2 of the 3 engagement arenas the game offers. This is accomplished by building a deck that you balance (depending on your strategy) between "Space", "Ground", and "Characters" and then through playing those classes of cards in the appropriate fields on the board. Combat is a very simple dice roll challenge that is designed for complete simplicity and fast paced play. Reminiscent of several role playing game systems, attack values indicate a number of dice to be rolled with each dice having a 50/50 chance of hitting. Play is then modified by effects cards and the managing of "Force", the power resource that fuels special abilities.
          While not completely original, I have to say I was instantly impressed with how smoothly Wizards has managed to bring all the elements together. Easy to understand, quick to play, and designed to bring strong elements of the Star Wars universe into the game, there's actually a fairly functional balance between advanced strategy and flat fore headed slap and bash. The secret to this duality is the ramped way the rules are handled. In the most basic game, you need little more than the cards, dice, and map to learn to play. The map not only gives you direct areas to handle all the little things you need to keep track of but also has complete quick start rules printed right on it. And if that's too simplistic for you, the instructions cover progressively more complex and strategic rules that can, if you chose to let it, make Star Wars one of the most advanced and intellectual games I've played.
          Personally, I found this duality in presentation to be a wonderful merging of the hard-core geek with the casual gamer. Not being one for overly complex table top gaming, I was able to use the basic rules while several friends of mine have driven themselves blissfully mad managing and hyper managing the advanced aspects of the game. And while it still has all the traditional trappings of a collectable card game (difficulty in finding cards, some balance issues, etc.) it is surprisingly accessible, and continuable, for the casual gamer who doesn't want to make this a major factor of their lives. 4.5 out of 5

      Aesthetics: It must be nice to make a game based on a property with this much media to draw from. Gorgeous color pictures from the movies, quotes from the script, and all the images of Natalie Portman you can eat…Er…Use. Very, very pretty- I just wish the pictures were a bit bigger. 4 out of 5

      Balance: Though there is definitely some of the "that card trumps all my cards, I need to go find that card…" in Star Wars, it ends up playing a much smaller role than we've seen in card games in the past. Enough so, in fact, that I've not only been able to play but play semi-competitively with little more than the starter and a few boosters. What's even better, though, is that given the layout the game takes you don't actually need more cards than you get in the starter to play effectively and entertainingly and it's entirely feasible to get away with little more than the most basic outlay. Not too shabby. 3.75 out of 5

      Value vs. Cost: All right, check this out. You heard me say all you need is a starter and a couple of boosters…what I didn't say is that the starters are 2 player starters and retail for $7.99. That's right, eight bucks gives you everything you need to play- and with boosters priced at a couple of bucks a pop it's entirely feasible that you and a buddy can get jamming on this for at or around a 10 spot. How can you beat that? 5 out of 5

      The Verdict:

       Throughout the history of man we've found great hope in tragedy, and Star Wars: Attack of the Clones is no different. What was a horrible movie in what has become a horrible franchise is now a kick ass card game. And, in an ironic twist that's not lost on me, ends up giving you 10 times the enjoyment for the same mullah it would cost to see the movie. There is hope for humanity after all.

      The Good: Fun, easy, lots of potential (but not mandatory) strategy, and cheap.

      The Bad: A few of the traditional CCG trappings.

      The Overall Ugly: Great game, lots of fun, and a great way to spend an evening.

      What it's Worth: Market

Buy it now from

Copyright © Game Monkey Press, Game Monkeys Magazine. All Rights Reserved.
Game Monkeys(tm) 1999 Game Monkey Press