Theme and What is it?
Your madness has subsided, for now anyways, and you are ready to finish your quest for total world domination. The only problem is that you don’t have any monsters assembled to wreak havoc on humanity. The time has come to use all of the spare parts you have been collecting and build a monster that will gain you the infamy you have always desired.
Xybrid is a monster building engine game where players compete to build the most infamous monsters imaginable.
In Xybrid, players draft cards from a shared Lab area to build a unique monster. Players start with a core section and have to complete their creations by adding a head, two arms and a single legs section. Each body part scores infamy points and may contain unique abilities. The cards are all clear and are laid over the top of each other to make your monster come to life. Xybrid claims to have over half a million creature combinations.
The game is played over three rounds where players construct a different monster each round. During each round there are four steps. 1) Mission, which can only be activated once you have cards in your deployed pile. That usually happens after round one. Most of the time you won’t take this step during the first round. 2) Draw a new body part from the lab. 3) Build your monster with the body part. 4) End your turn. When all monsters are complete at a player’s End phase, then the round progresses to the Deploy section of the round. In Deploy you get to release your beasts and gain infamy. At the end of scoring infamy, monsters are placed in the deployed pile and everything is refreshed to begin round two. Xybrid is played over three rounds. The winner is the player with the highest infamy score.
Xybrid comes in a very travel friendly case, and it is very compact. At first, I was concerned about what was inside the box since it was so small, but my fears were unfounded. The cards fit perfectly in the case. Taking all f othe cards out and having them all be clear plastic was a fun experience. It made me super pumped to jump right into the game and start building a monster. There is a compact rulebook that I found to be a bit lacking in detail. I hopped on the internet and found a demo and play through video that filled in the gaps. Xybrid was instantly fun. There are so many unique body parts that you can make just about any foul creature you can dream of. I am glad that the game adds depth after the first round by allowing you to complete mission cards on your turn. These add variety to the game and give it more replay value. If all you did was build a monster and then start over to build a new monster, I don’t know how long I would enjoy the game. The Breakthrough Cards also add extra to the game. They can instantly change the course of a round. My overall first impression of Xybrid was very favorable.
Game Build Quality
The only thing in the box are the transparent cards that make up the game. They are very nice cards. Each card comes with a plastic laminated sheet for protection. These sheets will need to be removed to make the cards completely transparent, otherwise they look milky. I would suggest buying nice transparent sleeves to protect the cards from scuffs so they can stay looking great for years to come.
Right away, I was able to tell that there was a great deal of time spent on the design and artistic development of Xybrid. The body parts fit together very well regardless of which pieces you are placing together. There are dozens of each body part and they are all unique. Because someone took extra time and went above and beyond with these, it makes creating the monsters an entertaining experience. Not only was attention paid to the amount of individual options, the artwork is also themed just the way it should be for this game. The monsters come to life while you build them. We ended up taking pictures of each monster as the game progressed so we could compare them to future plays.
Xybrid is an easy game to learn and move through quickly. The rounds are fast paced and have added variety as players move further into the game. Once players know what some of the cards do, they are able to create some really great combos which add extra strategy to the game. Xybrid has a fantastic building mechanism that allows the game to flow from round to round. When played properly, players will plan for the next round while drafting cards in the current round. Those cards are then used in the next round to help score more points or to hinder the other players while the active player continues to actively build and create massive havoc.
Age Range & Weight
The age recommendation by the publisher is 13+. After a couple of play throughs, I feel this is a little high. Other than needing to plan ahead in the game, I didn’t see anything that would prevent players much younger from enjoying it, as long as players can plan for future moves and then execute those moves at the right stage of the game. Xybrid should be just fine for younger players who can read and have some critical thinking skills. Plus, what kid wouldn’t absolutely love building their own monster!
Xybrid should be a game that makes its way into your collection. Because of its size, it can be a great travel game, and it is also a great game to bring out for game nights. It is a quick and interactive game. Not only will you love the monsters you create, you will also want to check out the monsters others are crafting. Xybrid moves through phases of the game with each new round adding new elements based on the cards you picked in previous rounds. This lets the game play forward and backward. There is plenty of strategy and almost unlimited monster combinations that will keep this coming back to your table time and time again.
The monsters have now decimated humanity. You have become the most infamous scientist the world has known. As you stare at the destruction you have caused, you feel the madness creeping in. In a moment of hysteric clarity, you fear that you won’t be able to enjoy this new world you have created before the madness takes over once again.