Core Connection Review

Core Connection - Japanime Games - $29.95
Japanime Core Connection 001 2048x2048

Game title: Core Connection

Game description: Core Connection is a deck-building card game for 2-4 players where you play as the pilots of Resonants, giant mechas who are fighting to free society from the tyrannical reign of its oppressors! Pilot your Resonant with unique tactics and upgrade it with enhancements to defeat the army of Atlantis!

Overall
2.5
  • Play (Mechanics)
  • Presentation (Artwork/Design)
  • Plan (Rules)

Summary

I love giant robots. Most people who know me know this fact.  I also love deck builders. So when Core Connection came along, I knew I had to get my hands on it as I imagined it would be a beautiful amalgamation of two things that I find awesome. As it turns out, not so much, though there’s still lots of cool stuff about it.

Pros

  • Interesting mecha customization mechanics
  • Cool artwork

Cons

  • Slow to start
  • Runaway leader issues
  • Kinda fiddly

Full Core Connection Review

I love giant robots. Most people who know me know this fact.  I also love deck builders. So when Core Connection came along, I knew I had to get my hands on it as I imagined it would be a beautiful amalgamation of two things that I find awesome. As it turns out, not so much, though there’s still lots of cool stuff about it.

Core Connection works similar to many deck builders where you’re laying down resources from your hand to purchase cards from a market. It also has an extra layer where you’re building a mech to combat monsters from a deck to earn Energy to win the game. On the surface, it feels fairly epic. You start with a prototype mech and an unknown pilot. As you kit out your mech and defeat some monsters, you’ll be able to get a better mech and a named pilot, each with their own special abilities.

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Sample HQ Card

The two biggest issues with the game are the “one card, one resource” mechanic, where cards from your hand are used to generate resources to purchase cards and equip your mech. It feels extremely limiting and feels like it only lengthens the game unnecessarily. The monster deck is also shuffled at random, meaning the most powerful monsters are mixed in with the weaker ones. A bad shuffle makes the game very tedious as you mech gets disabled and needs to be repaired round after round.

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Sample Monster and Mecha Cards

On top of those issues, the game feels a bit fiddly with how cards interact with each other, how you add up your mech stats, and how you manage cards overall. The first player to get an upgraded pilot generally has a major advantage over the other players. As much as I really wanted to like Core Connection, it just feels like an exercise in frustration to play.

The idea of building up your arsenal to equip your mech is really thematic. The abilities you get once you can upgrade your mech and pilot are also great. That, combined with the excellent artwork, bump the game up a few notches, but unfortunately, it’s still just mediocre. There’s a lot of great deck builders out there, but even mecha fans may have trouble getting into Core Connection.

Core Connection was provided free for review by Japanime Games

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