As a child of the 90’s, Gargoyles was one of my husband’s favorite cartoons. When Ravensburger announced a Gargoyles based board game earlier this year, we knew it was something we were going to have to check out and Ravensburger was kind enough to send us our own copy to review.
Gargoyles: Awakening is a cooperative board game based off of the 90’s cartoon Gargoyles from Disney. In the game you assume the role of one of the Manhattan Clan Gargoyles or Elisa and take on different scenarios that pit you against Demona and Xanatos. The game is designed for 2-5 Players Ages 10+ and takes about 45-60 minutes to play a full game. it has a MSRP of $29.99.
Gargoyles: Awakening contains the following:
Ravensburger always puts together quality games, and we have a growing collection of their products for a reason. One of the things I love about their tie-in games is that they are not just slapping a licensed skin on a familiar game and calling it a day. There is real effort to create games that feel like a tribute to the franchise they represent and include details that the fans are really going to appreciate. The Game Board and Buildings are a thick cardboard with art that comes straight from the beloved cartoon. The buildings fit together and have assigned areas on the board. This does take some time to put together, but the end result creates a more 3-D board that really feels like you are in Manhattan. The only drawback is the buildings do need to be disassembled to go back in the boy and that does make set-up take a little more time.
While not as thick as the Game Board or Buildings, the Placards and Villain Tracker are a thicker material and have small plastic Tracker Clips that help in keeping track to Health Points. Color coding and images of characters help differentiate which Placards are which and again, the artwork is straight from the series.
The Tokens are thick cardboard with nice art and again, color and image are used to help tell them all apart as well as the shapes for the more unique tokens.
The Hero Figures are plastic figures that come in different colors that match the related Placards, but they are also each stylized after their respective characters. The Villain Standees are more cardboard based however. The relevant card decks are all color and logo organized so it’s easy to match the right decks to the right characters or the Villain Cards to the correct scenario. Those little details really made sorting stuff out easier.
The dice are custom to the game and the unique designs tie in very well with the overall theme.
Overall, it’s a well put together game with quality pieces.
The goal of Gargoyles: Awakening is to achieve the Win Scenario without triggering the Lose Scenario. The Game comes with several scenarios which are as following:
Temptation and Magic:
Battle with the Steel Clan
Other than the time it takes to set up the buildings, it does not take too much time to set up a game. Each game will have some setup variations based on the Win/Lose scenario presented, which will be noted on the relevant Episode Placard. To set a game up, do the following:
Again, other than assembling buildings, most of this process goes fairly quickly and variations for each scenario are not ridiculously complicated. My ten-year-old probably could set up a game without help, but younger or more impatient kids are probably at higher risk of jamming building pieces together until they are damaged, so do take note of that if some of your household’s gamers are younger. The diagram in the booklet is really helpful and did help me get things set out pretty smoothly.
Once the game gets going, it’s pretty quick to catch onto as each Player Turn has 3 Phases: Hero, Villain/Daylight, and Refresh. When I’m playing games with the kids I really appreciate games designed where each turn has a pattern but it’s the choices in that turn that are where the Player Strategy comes from. These are the Phases in more detail and in the order they occur:
First, a Player can take as many actions as indicated on the Hero Placard in the upper left corner. These points can be used for Movement, Attack or playing a Hero Card that requires Action Points.
Players may also do the following:
Each Player will carry out turns for the Villains too. Check the Nighttime Tracker on the board. If four Villain Card with Crescent Moons are present, Daytime goes into effect. If not, continue with the Villain Phase instead.
If the current Player has less than three Hero Cards, they draw until they have three and play moves to the next Player.
The game ends when the conditions for Win or Lose based on the Episode have been triggered. As this is a cooperative game, Players either succeed or fail together.
Overall, the game is quality made, well thought out, and well put together. Anyone who loved the show as a kid is going to get a hard dose of nostalgia. However the game is accessible enough for those not familiar with the series. Playing the game may have just convinced my kids to go watch the series with my husband on Disney+ however. The cooperative nature of this game makes it super accessible for families and even though the recommended age is 10+, we had no issues with our 7-year-old playing since he’s fully capable of reading the card and nothing has to be kept secret. Since strategy can be discussed amongst players, he’s not at any specific disadvantage.
Setup isn’t too complicated once the buildings are constructed, but know if your kids are the type to jam those pieces together too hard or not. Otherwise, it’s pretty easy to get going, especially once Heroes are selected. The Instruction Booklet is a particularly useful tool for all of this.
As I noted before, gameplay is streamlined into a few phases of actions and once you get the first turn played, catching on is really easy. Given how successful our 7-year-old was at Attacking Villains, I’d say we got the actual gameplay sorted right out. It is especially the kind of game where if you have a new player go last, they should be comfortable taking their turn after seeing how it works. The cooperative play made the strategizing and teamwork a lot of fun. Our kids are at two different gameplay levels, so games everyone can play together like this are especially nice. Given how stuck at home almost everyone still is, games that don’t trigger insane competitiveness tend to keep gameplay fun for all.
The price zone for the game is great, especially given that it comes with numerous scenarios and appeals to a wide age range. At $29.99 I feel like it’s reasonable to gift to that grown-up 90’s kid who absolutely loved the show. For parents trying to bring in a new generation of fans, this might be just the trick and you can absolutely make an afternoon out of the game and watching the show. You can get your own copy at Target either in-store or online.
This post was last modified on September 26, 2021 8:56 pm
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