Just over two years ago I did a review of Pixel Tactics Deluxe, a Kickstarter project from Level 99 games. Combining charming pixel art with a multi-row battlefield that encouraged some serious strategy, I was immediately a fan of the game. However, after multiple rounds, I found my thoughts wandering. You know what this game needs? Mega Man.
Granted, that thought typically crosses my mind about 15-20 times a day, but with Pixel Tactics I felt it was even more apt than usual. Still, the thought came and went, and I continued to enjoy Pixel Tactics as it was.
Until now! Jasco Games, who has graciously sent us a wonderful care package full of goodies that we’ll be reviewing over the next week, recently released a Mega Man themed expansion for the popular card game in three separate boxes. There’s a Mega Man set, which features characters from Mega Man 1-3, ProtoMan highlights 4-6, and the Bass set spotlights 9 and 10.
It’s a real delight to see the ways in which Jasco constructed these various cards with the Blue Bomber in mind. For those unfamiliar with the game, and didn’t click on the earlier link, I’ll give a run-down of the mechanics.
The first thing you need to know about Pixel Tactics is the importance of the battlefield upon which it is played:
Each player’s battlefield is set up like this – three rows of three heroes that comprises an overall “Unit”. On the right you’ll notice there is an area for the deck, a discard pile, and finally a base pile, which can impact the environment that the unit is fighting in for better or for worse. It is upon this battlefield that our players place their respective “Heroes” and “Leaders”.
Each player has a deck of 25 cards from which they draw 5 at the start of the game and select the Leader, which is then placed in the center of their battlefield. This leader has a unique and often powerful ability that can positively impact a member of your unit, or do harm to the enemy unit in some way. The remaining cards are essentially your army, and have 4 different actions that they could potentially perform. There are 3 core abilities that can be utilized depending on their placement on the battlefield (Vanguard, Flank or Rear; represented by red, green and blue respectively). Additionally, the purple action represents a one-time action known as an “order” that players can execute by discarding the card.
Each player gets two actions per turn. These actions include recruiting (playing) heroes, attacking, casting spells, clearing corpses, drawing a card or moving a hero.
The purpose of the game is to defeat the enemy’s Leader by whittling down their HP (the number represented by the shield in the upper right) through attacks and spells. While the concept seems fairly straightforward, due to the nature of each hero having so many potential actions, as well as having a unique leader with almost every new game, the replayability quickly makes itself apparent.
So, that’s Pixel Tactics in a nutshell. Jasco’s Mega Man iteration doesn’t add anything to the gameplay, but rather helps to bring your favorite robot masters to the battlefield. Interested in having Cut Man assault your enemies from the Rear while Bass wards off enemies on the Vanguard? Curious to see how Mega Man performs in the Flank row? Assemble your army of Robot Masters from 8 iconic titles in this worthwhile addition for any fan of the series, or Pixel Tactics in general.
You can purchase all 3 of the expansions on Amazon for $46, or individually for ~$18/each.
Mega Man Pixel Tactics$18/each or $46/set
- The robot masters are all brought to life with awesome pixel art
- Still features Pixel Tactics refined gameplay at its core
- Not as much love for Mega Man 7-8
- If this is your first foray into Pixel Tactics, prepare for the learning curve