What do you get when you combine the classic game of Memory and a card battle game?
How does that work? Well, you match creatures to field them and fight them. Decks are customizable allowing players to craft their strategies before putting their memories to the test.
It all sounds well and good, but how well does it actually work?/ More on that later. First, let’s check out how the game is played in a bit of detail.
Fightlings starts with each player constructing a 17-card deck filled with creatures and effects using at least 1 pair of Champion cards and 2 pairs of Minion cards. 2 of their Minions are then chosen to be placed face up on the table, one above the other. Once each player has placed their minions, both of the players’ decks are shuffled together, along with a single Wild Card pulled at random, and placed face down on the table in a 5×7 grid filling out around the cards already placed on the table in the middle column. Each player gets 10 health and then play begins. Players take turns using the following actions:
- Unfloop Cards – Any cards that were Flooped (turned sideways) during the last turn are Unflooped.
- Combat – Any creature currently in the Creature Zone may make an attack using its attack value. The opposing player can choose to block with one of their own creatures, or directly take the damage. The attacking creature is then Flooped.
- Flip 3 Cards – Flip 3 cards from the grid resolving any matches.
- If your own creatures are matched they may be placed into your Creature Zone to use to attack the next round. Any ability on the card is resolved.
- If you reveal a match for your opponent it goes to their Creature Zone, but you earn the amount of VP listed on the creature. Any ability on the card is resolved.
- If an effect is matched then it’s resolved immediately.
Play continues until one of the following conditions is met:
- A player loses all his or her health,
- a player has 15 Victory Point Tokens, or
- there are no cards left on the board.
At this point, players add up their current Victory Points and the Victory Points of all their creatures that are still alive. The player with the most points wins.
That’s the pure basics of the game. Each creature has different abilities to use during combat whether it’s getting more powerful due to some met criteria or being able to poison the opponent.
The artwork is Fightlings is really nice. Varied and colorful creatures adorn the cards with various gems and other similar items being used to represent cards that have effects. As far as how the physical components stack up, that’s to be seen if the game funds. Right now the prototype copy is sleeved cards in an envelope with folded paper covered in tape for the tokens.
So how does a combination Memory/card battle game work?
Fightlings is a fairly basic game that’s entertaining when it works out, but feels like it can unbalance/unhinge quite quickly depending on how well players match cards and get creatures out. The Memory mechanic feels almost tacked on while the card battle mechanics are at their most basic compared to other games out there. Combining the two makes it a bit interesting, but not enough to really long-term play. Could that change with more cards available to make a deck from? Sure, but the underlying basics of the game still leave a bit to be desired.
The minimum pledge for Fightlings is $24, which is a really good spot for a game like this. It’s low enough that if the game seems at all interesting to you then you can back it without losing too much if you end up disappointed. If you end up loving it, on the other hand, you’ll have gotten a pretty sweet deal.
A protoype copy of Fightlings was provided free for preview by Thoughtfish
Media personality Rob Kalajian has been a staple in the board game world for many years. As a former writer for Purple Pawn and the owner of A Pawn’s Perspective, Rob focuses on board game reviews, events, and news. A self-proclaimed geek, Rob loves all things toys and games and even helps raise his four kids in his spare time.