Category Archives: Games

We Talk DC Comics Deck Building with Matt Hyra

Matt Hyra is a veteran game designer, having worked on a variety of games before moving to Cryptozoic where he was given the challenge of developing a DC Comics deck building game.  The recently released second major expansion is an indication of the success of the series thus far and in Matt’s ability to put together a functional and fun game.  We got the chance to talk with him about his latest release – Forever Evil – where the bad guys finally get their chance to shine.

baneGraphic Policy: Are you a fan of comics?  And if yes, how does that affect how the theme was chosen for this game?

Matt Hyra: Yes! I’m a DC guy and have been since high school. I also enjoy some small press titles as well.

The themes are chosen to explore new cross sections of the DC Universe, game mechanics, and game flow. When we started thinking about playing as the bad guys, the Forever Evil storyline was just starting up. So that was a great moment of synergy.

GP:  What goes into designing a game like this and how long does it take?

MH:  A stand-alone game takes about a year from start to finish. There is a lot of trial and error. We usually decide on the types of characters we want to feature first. Then we come up with game mechanics that fit those characters. Then a lot of playtesting.

GP:  What are some of the challenges in interpreting a comic universe into a deck building game?

 MH:  One challenge is thematics. In order to keep the games infinitely replayable, we can’t just hand a Batman player a 40-card deck full of Batman-themed cards. You have to add a random and wide variety of cards to your deck to keep the game fresh.

GP:  Is it hard to balance what fans expect out of certain characters versus the need of the game dynamics?

 MH:  Some comic characters have powers that are difficult to translate into the game. Other times we are forced to just focus on one aspect of a character.

 GP:  It seems to be popular recently to want to play as the “bad guy”.  What do you think about this phenomenon?

 pandMH:  We like it! Mechanically, it’s no different than playing as a Super Hero. But with Forever Evil, which just released last week, we could have a lot of fun with it. And the players are liking the new play patterns.

GP:  What can we expect to see in future expansions?  Tie-ins to the movies maybe?  And any characters that you would like to see in the future?

MH: You can expect to see Crossover Packs. These small “booster” packs allow you to sub in a new set of Super Heroes and Super-Villains, plus a few new main deck cards… and that changes up the game about 50% with minimal effort. The first Crossover comes out in early 2015 and features the Justice Society of America.

Crisis Pack 2 will also be out very soon!

As for movies, that is a separate license that we don’t have.

As for characters I would like to see… probably Mr. Mxyzptlk. Just because he would allow us to do something really crazy.

Unboxing DC Comics Deck Building Game Crisis Expansion Pack 1

We open up and show off Cryptozoic‘s DC Comics Deck-Building Game Crisis Expansion Pack.

The DC Universe is in peril! In the DC Comics Deck-Building Game Crisis Expansion, you will face some of the most epic challenges, events and destructive forces in the history of comic-dom. But this time, you won’t be going in alone! The Crisis Expansion introduces co-operative gameplay and “Impossible Mode” for fans of the popular and critically acclaimed deck-building game. If you thought things were rough before, you ain’t seen nothing yet!

You can pick up your copy now!



Cryptozoic provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site.

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Dungeons & Dragons: Attack Wing Post Launch. What’s Next?

WizkidsDungeon & Dragons: Attack Wing has had its first releases on shelves for about a month, and organized play is well underway. Currently the game has ten units (plus the White Dragon for the first month organized play and blind boosters), and while those provide some solid gameplay and options, where does it all go from here? We take a look at the next couple of waves and what you can expect.

Wave 2

Wave two consists of the Black Shadow Dragon, Movanic Deva Angel, and Arakocra Troop Expansion. Originally supposed to be released in November, the figure may see shelves this December.

dnd_attack_wing_arakocra_troop dnd_attack_wing_movanic_deva_angel dnd_attack_wing_black_dragon

Described as the most evil-tempered and sadistic of the chromatic dragons, Black Shadow Dragons strike the weakest enemies first to ensure victory and avoid other dragons. They also hoard treasures and magic items.

All of this can be easily depicted in a game piece by making attacks against other dragons (especially tougher ones) not as successful and giving bonuses against weaker enemies. Also expect an interesting mix of cards with the figure depicting those magic items and treasure mentioned in the text of the D&D Monster Manual.

Movanic Deva Angels (not to be confused with Monadic Deva Angels) are spotted by their milky-white look. They primarily aid followers of the gods of good in times of need, so makes sense we’d see them on the battlefield. In D&D the angels have magical weapons which deal extra damage and able to cast spells. Another spellcaster would be a welcome addition to the game. Also, angels have multiple attacks, so can use their mace twice.

Arakocra are neutral good and stand out for their diving melee attack. They also have javelins which give them ranged attacks as well. I see these troops being a solid flying troop unit, taking on both ground troops and flying units alike. The game currently feels like it has a bit of a divide between the aerial combat and the ground combat, and this unit will bridge the gap between the two. They also have some flavor of only using what’s needed. That can easily be depicted with limited upgrade slots.

When it comes to the Arakocra, the thing I’d love to see in the game is their ability to summon Air Elementals. You must have five of them, and if they don’t move and use their actions for three turns, they can summon the elemental who will remain in battle until all five die or one hour. There’s also a function of the the Arakocra returning to the Elemental Plane of Air with the Air Elemental, which could open up some interesting twists as far as victory points. It’s unknown if any of that will be seen in the game, but it’d be cool if it made its way into it.

Wave 3

Wave 3 was to be released in December and consists of a Silver Dragon, Harpy, and Wyvern, three more flying units.

dnd_attack_wing_harpy dnd_attack_wing_silver_dragon dnd_attack_wing_wyvern

Silver Dragons are the most social of the metallic dragons and cheerfully assist good creatures in need. That being said, I’d expect a “good” creature who gives bonuses to other “good” creatures. They also have an affinity to humans… can we see them not too far behind?

With Harpies the thing that stands out to me is their multi-attack of being able to attack with both their claws and club. They also have some history with elves, so its possible this will play in either characteristics or cards.

The final unit for wave three is the Wyvern. They also have a mutli-attack, their bite and a stinger. When flying they can use claws in place of an attack. This could easily be a nice change up from some other units’ attacks, especially when it comes to attacking ground units. The poison stinger also opens up a possible cool mechanic of damage that builds each turn once stung.

Wave 4

dnd_attack_wing_gargoyle dnd_attack_wing_gold_dragon dnd_attack_wing_stone_giant_elder

Wave four is supposed to be out in January and consists of a Gargoyle, Gold Dragon, and Stone Giant Elder. That’s two more flying units and one ground unit.

Gargoyles tend to lurk in buildings and around stone. How that can play out in a game should be interesting. They’re quite resistant which should be easy to represent. It’s interesting they have a stone connection and another release in this wave does as well.

The Gold Dragons are the most powerful and majestic of the metallic dragons. Expect a high point unit due to that. They are also dedicated against evil, so an alignment should be expected as well. They can also change shape. I doubt that’ll be a game mechanic, but you never know. They use Fire Breath (so expect that upgrade built in) and Weakening Breath, which I can see adding negative modifiers to those that are hit by it.

Finally Stone Giant Elders round out this wave. There’s the stone connection with Gargoyles, but also Harpies have a song that affect giants. Expect an extended melee attack and something to do with rocks and stone for abilities (duh).

Wave 5

This wave has a Red Dracolich, Drow Elf Ranger Drizzt, and a Bronze Dragon and supposed to be out in February. That’s two more flying units and a well known character in Drizzt.

dnd_attack_wing_red_dracolich dnd_attack_wing_drow_elf_ranger_drizzt dnd_attack_wing_bronze_dragon

A Dracolich is basically an undead dragon. They are old and powerful dragons, so expect a kick-ass Red Undead Dragon. They don’t get exhausted, so maybe we’ll see some resistance to that?

Drow Elf Ranger Drizzt is a famed character in the D&D world. I’d just expect a representation of Drizzt in miniature form. This is just another example of the fantastic synergy there is across the D&D products. I think we can expect to see more Drow in the future as well, at least I hope we can…..

Bronze Dragons collect loot, so maybe we’ll get some solid cards with this figure. They can also control weather, which could be a very cool game mechanic. They also have Lightning Breath and Repulsion Breath for attacks. The latter pushes units away.

Wave 6

Aiming for March, wave six brings us Dwarves! Dwarf soldiers make up this set, which should be awesome to pair with the already released ballista. Expect a six figure set like the elves and hobgoblins.


Out in April, this premium figure will retail for $79.99! Expect a massive figure to represent one of the most well known dragons from Forgotten Realms.


This figure will be available to shops participating in organized play. Below is the Icons Tiamat figure. Expect the same thing, except on a massive base for gameplay like Bahamut.



Review: DC Comics Deck-Building Game Forever Evil

foreverevilgameThe DC Comics Deck Building Game: Forever Evil represents the third expansion of the original game, and the second which is playable by itself.  The mechanics of this game is very similar to those games which have preceded it.  There are only with some slight changes to make it a bit more confrontational, but that also fits with the villain themed story.  Players can play as a number of villains – Harley Quinn, Lex Luthor, Black Adam, Black Manta, Bizarro, Deathstroke, Sinestro and Bane as the promo card – but this game can also be easily tied into the original in the series to create all kinds of new combinations.

As a comics deck building game, this is invariably compared to Legendary for Marvel, but with this addition it has likely overtaken its competitor.  If there is a drawback to Marvel it is that it is somewhat constrained by the mechanics of the series.  Thus while they released their only villain themed expansion earlier this year, it didn’t really fit as well with the original.  The DC Comics version is much more wide open.  Thanks to the Crisis expansion, a similar mechanic to Legendary is there, but this is not necessary either, as players can determine what they like best about the mechanics and suit it to their own desires.  For the first time in either of the two series, by combining this expansion with previous ones, players can play hero vs. villain, but still the other options are there for hero vs. hero or villain vs. villain.  If there is one criticism of the mechanics here it is the second rate importance given to some of the iconic villains of the major heroes.  Wonder Woman specifically is given a bit of secondary status.  Her main villain, Cheetah, remains as only a drawable card in the original game, and no other major villain of the hero shows up in any other game, despite Cheetah being featured prominently enough on the cover.  With the inclusion of such obscure character as Atomica having the same status, this kind of reduces the importance of some of these foes.  This is likely to correct itself though as the game is getting a number of expansions in the near future.

Perhaps the best indication I can give of the playability of this game comes from my wife.  She is a fan of board games but doesn’t really know so much about comics.  Despite that, after playing once she saw the variety of options available and wanted to play again.  This all around appeal is one of the hallmarks of this game, and puts it on equal ground with other deck buildings games such as Legendary and Dominion, as even for those that are not as interested in comics will enjoy this.

Game Designer:  Matt Hyra

Score: 8.8

DeNA and Hasbro Reveal Transformers: Battle Tactics

DeNA and Hasbro have announced Transformers: Battle Tactics, a new turn-based tactical combat game based on the Transformers universe, is currently in development for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch and Android devices. In Transformers: Battle Tactics, players will collect iconic Transformers characters, assembling teams of Autobots and Decepticons characters, including fan favorites found within the pages of the IDW Combiner Wars series, to battle friends and fans from around the globe. Players and Transformers fans can pre-register to receive updates about the game and unlock powerful in-game content for everyone at launch at the website:

Transformers: Battle Tactics will be available as a free download and will feature more than 75 classic Transformers characters including Optimus Prime, Megatron, Starscream, and Bumblebee. Battles are swift and require strategic decision-making to propel players to victory. Each Transformers character has unique stats and abilities, which shift as players convert them from robot to their alternate mode. The unique graphic style is inspired by the Tramsformers Generations Combiner Wars characters and comic book series. Transformers: Battle Tactics includes an expansive single-player campaign, story-driven in-game events and real-time player-vs-player (PvP) matches for players around the world to engage in strategic battles and rise to the top of the leaderboards.

Transformers: Battle Tactics will be available for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch and Android devices in 2015.



Stern Pinball Announces a Premium Edition of AMC’s The Walking Dead Pinball

Stern Pinball has announced the availability of the Premium Edition of AMC’s The Walking Dead pinball machine. This is in response to continued strong demand for the title.

The Walking Dead Premium Edition offers the same fan-favorite game play as the sold-out LE model, full of extra features such as additional targets, a special-effect fish tank with illuminated sculpted zombie heads, and a player-controlled motorized crossbow pinball launcher. A new high-definition art package adds to the player’s experience of battling zombies and completing game missions.  The Premium Edition rounds out the three model lineup of AMC’s The Walking Dead Pinball, which includes Pro, Premium, and Limited Edition models.

The Premium Edition will cost you $7,595 (MSRP).

TWD Premium

Unboxing DC Comics Deck-Building Game: Heroes Unite

We open up and show off the contents of Cryptozoic‘s DC Comics Deck-Building Game: Heroes Unite.

In the DC Comics Deck-Building Game: Heroes Unite, each player takes on the role of a Super Hero such as Shazam or Hawkman. Your Super Hero has an ability that will guide your strategy throughout the game. Each player starts with his own basic 10-card deck and draws a hand of 5 cards each turn. Power is the currency you will use to buy new, stronger cards to add to your deck. The goal of a deck-building game is to craft your personal deck into a well-oiled machine. There are five different types of cards that can be acquired: Villains, Heroes, Equipment, Super Powers, and Locations.

Play as Shazam., Hawkman, Red Tornado, Nightwing, Black Canary, Batgirl, or Booster Gold in Heroes Unite, the first standalone expansion for the DC Comics Deck-Building Game. Unlock special abilities, like Force Field or the Helmet of Fate and unleash devastating card combos against your opponents. Craft your hero deck into a well-oiled machine to take on the most vile villains in the DC Universe in your quest for Victory (Points). Mix the cards from Heroes Unite with the core DC Comics Deck-Building Game set to wage the ultimate showdown.

If the above sounds fun to you, you can get the game now!




Cryptozoic provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site.

Stern Pinball Walking Dead Accessories Out Now

You can talk on the undead walker hoard through pinball with Stern Pinball‘s four licensed and custom-developed pinball accessories based on AMC’s The Walking Dead. The accessories are available for purchase on the Stern Pinball website.

You demanded it, and Stern listened, so now they are offering unique, game-specific accessories that further enhance the appeal of its pinball machines and enable pinball fans to customize their games to suit their personal tastes.

The Walking Dead accessories include:

  • A fish tank topper full of three fully detailed zombie heads designed and sculpted by Greg Nicotero, Executive Producer of The Walking Dead. The topper is accompanied by game-integrated lighting that attracts players and adds zombie ambiance to any room
  • An authentic zombie head shooter knob that adds tactile art to a player’s first interaction with the game
  • Custom-designed, artistic inside-panels that add dimension to the pinball playfield area
  • Blood splattered side-armor that further enhances The Walking Dead pinball experience

For those looking to get these add-ons, here’s the pricing:

The Walking Dead Pinball Backbox Topper: $399.99 U.S.

The Walking Dead Pinball Zombie Shooter Knob: $79.99 U.S.

The Walking Dead Pinball Playfield Side Art Panels: $79.99 U.S.

The Walking Dead Pinball Side Armor Trim: $499.99 U.S.

The Walking Dead accessories are available now through the Stern Store and select authorized Stern distributors and dealers.

TWD Accesories flyer

Unboxing the Dungeons & Dragons: Dungeon Master Guide

We check out Wizard’s of the Coast‘s third core rulebook for Dungeons & Dragons, the Dungeon Master Guide.

The Dungeon Master Guide is everything a Dungeon Master needs to weave legendary stories for the world’s greatest roleplaying game

The Dungeon Master Guide provides the inspiration and the guidance you need to spark your imagination and create worlds of adventure for your players to explore and enjoy.

Inside you’ll find world-building tools, tips and tricks for creating memorable dungeons and adventures, optional game rules, hundreds of classic D&D magic items, and much more!

  • This book contains tools a Dungeon Master needs to provide captivating stories and game play.
  • An excellent resource for new and existing Dungeons Masters to engage in both adventure and world creation, with rules, guidelines, and sage advice from the game’s experts.

Check out some of what you can expect when this latest D&D release hits shelves December 9th.



Wizards of the Coast provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site.


Unboxing the D&D Attack Wing: Green Dragon Expansion Pack

WizKids Games, the industry leader in quality pre-painted plastic miniatures, is pleased to bring the heroes, villains, and monsters of Dungeons & Dragons to life in this latest fantasy miniatures game series!

The D&D Attack Wing: Green Dragon Expansion Pack includes one pre-painted miniature and numerous upgrade cards and tokens

We open it up and show off what you can expect when you add this figure to your gaming experience.

You can order it now!



Wizkids provided Graphic Policy with FREE product for review

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site.

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