pic800167_md[1]By Paco Garcia Jaen

I think I am reaching the conclusion that I like cards games a lot more than I thought. Don’t get me wrong, I am partial to an sort of games, and Ameritrash does get my attention more often than not. Can’t help it… miniatures, brightly coloured boards, tons of pieces. Even with near to impossible to understand mechanics and not very well written rules, I still like them.

However there is something very satisfying about holding a nice hand of cards in our fingers. Shuffling and arranging them in your hand, looking at the pictures… It just feels nice.

If the game they belong to also allows toy to massacre your friends and crush them while you laugh, then that’s a huge bonus!

That is exactly what Total Rumble is all about, and believe me, laugh you will!

Total Rumble is a game from GenX, the Spanish company that brought us “Dos de Mayo”, “Target Earth” and, sadly, “Luna Llena”.

Total rumble is a card game for up to 12 players (yes, 12… pretty mental) in which you take on the role of a fighter who has to obliterate his or her opponents. Every character has a special ability that can be used once a game, sometimes more, and very simple mechanics. Every round, players will show a card from their hand of three cards. The cards have a value between 0 and 10 and the following payer will have to match it or top it. If that player doesn’t have a card in his or her hand that matches the value needed, then the player mush choose an unused card from his or her hand and deal it as damage.

Things of course are not that easy. There are special cards that allow for special moves to deal more damage, stop the attacked player to draw cards, etc.

Even better is that there are some cards that allow you to reverse the order of play (effectively sending back the attack you have jus received), skip one player, two players, or even target another player of your choice.

pic800168_md[1]The game play is very fast. Even with very inexperienced players it didn’t take more than two or three rounds before we all were at each other’s throats with gleeful expressions in our faces. Throwing cards on the table with signs of satisfaction as we voiced how our fists were smashing someone else’s face and our returning cards sent or opponents away.

Must say, though, thank goodness we all had a good dose of imagination, because if it has to be left to the artwork to inspire our comments, it would have been a much drier affair. The illustrations are not all that great. In fact they are pretty mediocre. It feels they are the first attempt from a very inexperienced artist, which is a shame, because this game is terrific fun.

So do I regret buying this game? Indeed not! I love it!

Easy mechanics, quick play, good fun, good quality cards and an excellent “replayability” factor. It also captures very well the fighting spirit of the old-school video games. A well deserved 4 stars as this game is only let down by the artwork.