Tag Archives: chupacabra

Review: Bizarro #1

bizarro001With Convergence as an easy-dividing point, DC has fashioned itself a mini-reboot of its new 52 line of titles.  Part of the new approach is to expand on stories from before the break, others are to give some old characters a grittier outlook, and some are evidently to undertake a more humorous approach to the mainstream characters.  While Batman also gets his own version of the humorous side (with the Bat-Mite titles) Superman fans get to have as comic focused on Bizarro, a first in the history of publishing at DC Comics.  Although not truly a villain, there has also been a new focus on villainous characters at the big two in recent years which have seen a solid response.  Bizarro is the combination of the two, a humor driven series focused on a quasi villain.

The premise is simple enough – Jimmy Olsen and Bizarro on a road trip!  After a few too many cases of unwilling property damage, Clark sends Jimmy away with Bizarro to keep him out of harm’s way.  Though it is not really clear where it is that they seem to be going, there is a definite Route 66 feel to the road trip.  They even end up on something called Route 66 at one point.  They have to deal with crashing their car and then the hard sell at the used car parking lot in order to get back on the road.  All the while the used car salesman who styles himself as King Tut actually manages to draw on some supernatural power in his desire to sell cars.

The problem with a humor based title is that it depends on being funny, and that can be a hard feat to achieve in a superhero themed comic book.  If the jokes fall flat then the story ends up being pretty two dimensional.  There are a few well placed one liners here (for instance labeling Canada as Bizarro-USA) but there are also a bunch which do fall flat, which is not helped by the fact that there are some weird tangents like when Bizarro picks up his pet chupacabra.  In the end it is entertaining enough, though not necessarily very memorable, but it is a fun concept which verges on the end of being executed well, even if it doesn’t quite get there in this issue.

Story: Heath Corson Art: Gustave Duarte and Bill Sienkiewicz
Story: 7.2 Art: 7.2 Overall: 7.2 Recommendation: Read

Game Review: Chupacabra: Survive the Night

20131229-230100.jpgIn June 2013, in an effort to put revenue from the popular Munchkin series back into the game hobby, Steve Jackson Games acquired Haywire Group‘s dice game Chupacabra: Survive the Night. After Jackson posted a direct invitation to established publishers, it appears Chupacabra won the ‘easiest to repackage and redistribute’ award. Soon thereafter SJG applied their extremely successful Zombie Dice model to Chupacabra (why recreate the wheel?). New graphics, portable container, smaller instructions and BAM….another excellent dice game on the shelf.

The 24 dice provides 2-4 players with 10 to 20 minutes of gameplay. Everyone starts with six dice and rolls at the same time (one of the better game mechanics). Each die is the same, it contains a single chicken, double chickens, two single goats, a cow, and a Chupacabra. Like dice must be grouped into herds or flocks (safety in numbers!), and any Chupacabras rolled are used to attack–steal–other player’s animals. One Chupacabra can take up to two chickens or one goat, but it takes two Chupacabras to eat a cow. You must have enough Chupacabras to take an entire herd or flock (i.e. if you roll two Chupacabras, you could take up to four chickens, but no more). The winner is the player who takes all of the dice!

One more devilishly fun rule…Chupacabra Loco…when a player rolls all Chupacabras they can be used to kill any one herd or flock, no matter how many animals are in it. So if your livestock has been depleted and you’re down to one die, you have a one-sixth chance of staging an epic comeback.

Chupacabra, like Zombie Dice, is a perfect example of a ‘filler game.’ Groups of friends don’t come together to play a dice game like this, they come together for 3 hours of Arkham Horror or an all-night RPG session. BUT, in the 15 minutes it takes to set up those games, or in the 10 minute snack break, Chupacabra is the perfect filler. Though they sacrificed higher quality dice for a gimmicky glow-in-the-dark feature (the substance used is already chipping on some dice), I’m glad Steve Jackson decided to expand his gaming empire. If you have $15 left on a gift card now that the holiday dust has settled, this is a great buy.

Designers: David Blanchard, Brian Frodema, and John Jacobsen
Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy