I first heard about Emergents: Genesis back in November of 2015 and was instantly interested in the game. Then, at PAX East this year, I finally had a chance to sit down and play the game. I also left with a copy to give it a proper review.
Emergents is a comic book themed deck builder where 2-4 players get a hero and a starting deck. The deck building aspect is pretty standard fare. Buy cards using resources from your hand. Bought cards are placed in your discard pile. Once your deck is exhausted you then shuffle your discard pile and create a new draw pile. By now we’re all pretty used to these mechanics.
There’s also a combat mechanic built-in, like a few other deck-builders, but what’s unique about Emergents is a defend/counter system. I can attack another player, or play cards that would hurt them, but they can stop me from doing so by defending or countering with a tactic card. This makes the game a bit more interactive between players at a level that most other deck builders don’t have. Add in the individual player’s Heroes and their special abilities, and all the crazy card combinations available to play, and duke it out until there’s one player left standing.
I can’t really talk about Emergents without discussing the amazing art. The game truly looks as if it were ripped out of the pages of a comic book. Of course this is to be expected with art from some amazing people in the comic industry like Jason Narvaez and Steve Ellis. The art on these cards is print-worthy, and I’d love to have some of these in poster form my for game room walls.
I’m a big fan of deck building games, and Emergents is definitely in my top 5 in the genre. It’s a must have for deck building fans and comic book fans alike.
A copy of Emergents: Genesis was provided free for review by Urban Island Games
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.