Super Show Preview

SuperShow game packaging
The prototype came in a Chinese food takeout box

As an avid wrestling fan, when I saw The SuperShow on Kickstarter, I was immediately curious!  (Disclaimers: I own several hundred professional wrestling DVDs, and have played several games about pro wrestling, including Wrasslin', WWE Topps Attax, the WCW Nitro card game, and a few others.  I am almost undoubtedly the target audience for this game.)

Now that I've gotten the disclaimers out of the way, let's get into the game itself, and try to figure out who would enjoy it.  I think that when considering this game, the first question you should ask yourself is, "Do I enjoy professional wrestling?"  Followed by the second question, "Do the friends that I play games with also enjoy professional wrestling?"  If you answered a resounding no to either of these questions, then this probably isn't the game for you.  However, if you answered, "of course!," then you should definitely keep reading.

The game is rather straightforward - in order to defeat your opponent, you must perform your finishing move, and then pin him for the 1-2-3.  (This is modern day pro wrestling - we're not letting you win with a cheap roll-up.)  In SuperShow, there are three types of cards - leads, follow ups, and finishers.  On your turn you draw a card, and then you can play a single card.  There is no requirement to play a lead, but to play a follow up, you must have a lead in play, and to play a finisher, you must have a follow up in play.  ("In play" means you've already hit this move.)  Each of your cards has additional text to go along with the type - some of these let you draw cards or fish them out of your discard pile (these are both really helpful since you'll only have 3 finishers in your deck).  Other cards, however, can be played out of turn as "Stops" - if your opponent tries to hit specific types of moves, then you can Stop them to prevent that move from landing.

Now that you know the basic flow of playing cards, there is another concept in the game - where you roll against your opponent.  At the start of the round, both players roll a die to see which stat they compare - and the person with the higher stat starts the round.  (There is a six-sided die that correlates to the six stats on your card.  If you roll "Power," and your Power is 6, then you compare that to what I rolled - say, "Technique," where my Technique might be a 7; and so I would go first.)  This rolling mechanic also occurs after you hit your finishing move.  If I land a finisher, then I roll a die to see how well I executed it (some finishers give you bonuses to certain stats so that this roll will be higher).  Then the person who is pinned (because you pin people after you hit finishers - in the game just like in real life) gets three rolls to equal or exceed the number that their opponent rolled.  If they successfully roll high enough, then they kick out - the board gets cleared, and the "Crowd Meter" goes up by 1 (this number is added to the finisher roll so that as the game progresses, each finisher is more likely to avoid getting kicked out of).  If they don't kick out, then they lost the match!

Since this game is still in what I consider prototype form (I don't have the final version, since it is still on Kickstarter), my goal in this preview is to help you understand the gameplay so that you can figure out if you will like it, and also clarify who I think will and will not enjoy it.  Now that we've covered the gameplay, here's some other stuff you should know.

SuperShow wrestlers with finishing moves
The two wrestlers that came in my 2-player box
First, what's in the box!  This is a bit tricky, as there are several backer levels (and I did not get the standard level for this preview.)  However, I believe this is what you receive in a basic 2-player game (the $25 level):

  • Two wrestlers - a wrestler consists of 4 unique cards - the wrestler itself, and three unique finishers that get shuffled into your deck.
  • Two standard 27 card decks - each of these decks is the same from what I can tell (at least for now - they have teased that they might change this with the expansion, which is available at another level).  I also think that if the designers are smart, they will make rules that allow you to customize these decks or, in the future, give each wrestler a slightly different deck so that they feel a bit more unique.
  • Two custom dice - these dice have the six different stats depicted on them for the rolls that I described earlier.
  • Six Crowd Meter cards - these allow you to track how many finishers have been hit (and kicked out of).
  • Two Kickstarter promo wrestlers - consisting of 4 unique cards like with your normal wrestlers.

Now, the crux of this preview - is the SuperShow something that you might enjoy?

People that will enjoy the SuperShow:
SuperShow cards
Each of the cards has the move drawn correctly, which is nice!

  • Wrestling fans - especially indie wrestling fans, as the wrestlers in the game have much more of an indie feel, and the game isn't licensed.  However, if you are a wrestling fan, you will probably really appreciate the artwork - I think that this game may have the best art of any of the wrestling games that I've played.  (Aside from possibly Raw Deal, which used images from actual WWE programming.)
  • Players who are looking for quick, fairly random games - games I have played have occasionally ended in three turns (lead, follow up, finisher - and they didn't kick out), and have sometimes lasted quite a long time, as 2-3 finishers have been kicked out of.  
  • People who enjoy playing in tournaments for fun without worrying as much about whether they win (the randomness will cause you to lose sometimes, even if you are "better at the game" than your opponent).  I can see game store owners that enjoy wrestling having old wrestling matches playing in the background as they have a SuperShow tournament running, with the winner getting the "championship belt." (Yes, I believe that they have promotional championship belt cards that you can acquire somehow.  Or, if you're super dedicated, you can buy actual replica championship belts.)
People that will not enjoy the SuperShow:
  • People that ask, "You watch wrestling?  Really?  You know that it's fake, right?"
  • People that are looking for a deep strategy game.  I have reviewed a lot of those on this site - but the SuperShow is much more similar to Lunch Money (without having to memorize all of the cards), than it is to Viticulture.
Overall, I have enjoyed my games of the SuperShow, and I have some friends that I think would enjoy it with me, but the people I played with (non-wrestling fans) haven't shared my excitement for the game.  Overall, I am curious to see what they do with the game going forward.  I have hopes that they expand the game to give it a bit more variety - hopefully allowing you to customize the starting decks, and play to each wrestler's "strengths."  (For example, right now if you have a 10 in Grapple, it doesn't mean that you have extra Grapple cards in your deck - which I think it should.)  There are also areas about each wrestler that I think they could continue customizing as each wrestler comes out.  (The wrestlers I've seen all have the same stats, but in a different arrangement.  I think that they could make some wrestlers have worse stats but better special powers, as an example of how to add more variety.)

If you think that the SuperShow sounds like something you would enjoy, make sure to check it out on Kickstarter.  As I write this, it is over halfway funded, and has about 3 weeks to go!

I would like to thank Steve Resk for providing me with a copy of the SuperShow.

No comments:

Post a Comment