Theme and What is it?
Each player takes on the role of either a Hero or a Villian with a specific super power category. Then they battle it out until only one remains. Players can use a pre-constructed deck for a specific super power type or build their own with a mix of several powers. The game is best enjoyed by role playing the character you are playing and using appropriate villian/hero type taunting. It is also a good way for players to announce what their cards do by saying things like, “I am preparing to reduce your greatest minion to ash. He will never to be heard from again. Muahaha.”
There are many variants for play to account for different player counts and constructed deck rulesets. I found the basic 1v1 with either a preconstructed deck or both players making their own mix of powers to be the ideal way to play.
On a turn, players draw a card then use 3 energy to pay for cards. They can pay the energy cost of a card in their hand to put it into combat. A player must pay the energy cost again to activate a card already in combat and take its effect one time before placing it into their depletion (discard) pile. Once a player runs out of cards in their deck and it is not their active turn, they lose and are eliminated from the game.
The game has a number of zones players must monitor. Each player has a facedown deck of card supply. They each have a hand of cards. Next to each deck they will put used cards or cards lost to enemy attacks into their depletion pile. Separate from the depletion pile, each player has a purged zone. Certain card effects will instruct players to place cards in the purged zone or even take some back from the purged zone. Finally, each player has active cards in combat that have been played from hand face up to the table often giving warning before powerful card effects are unleashed.
OriginZ is highly thematic. It immediately appeals to superhero fans. The game itself is fast playing with a lot of take-that style cards to directly mess with each other. Each deck of super powers has different unique tricks they can unleash in combat and each matchup will have totally different card interactions. The box should say on it, “comic book fans inquire within.”
Game Build Quality
The entire game is just a bunch of decks of cards. There is not a single thing wrong with the cards provided. The box spacers work great and the box is the right size to hold everything. No radioactive spiders were lurking inside my copy, sadly.
Ever read a comic book? Well OriginZ has art right out of the one. Comic fans can use the artwork and card effects to write their own comic book battle during the game.
The ability to role play characters in a tabletop card game is seldom done well. OriginZ gives all the tools for players to tell their own comic book story during the game. I highly recommend including dialogue focusing on taunting each other with your evil machinations or your unshakable belief that justice will win out. The gameplay is very combo driven and timing is everything. Don’t wait too long to use your best moves or your opponent will find ways to neutralize them.
Age Range & Weight
10+ is a solid rating. Overall the game is very easy to learn and light to play. You need to keep track of all of the zones I mentioned above and be careful about timing. The purge zone never matters what order cards enter. The depletion pile order matters. Flip cards one at a time into it and place played cards into it last. Many effects reference the top card of the depletion pile or restore depleted cards to the bottom of the deck.
If you are looking for a highly strategic card game, look into the realms of deck-building instead. If you are looking to enhance your tabletop experience with roleplaying elements, look no further than OriginZ. The game has several wonderful variant play modes and offers players the chance to make their own customized combo decks before play. Magic the Gathering fans who want to play easier deck construction games with their kids could get a lot of use out of OriginZ.