Legendary Encounters: An Alien Deck Building Game is a very interesting deck builder. It’s sort of a Star Realms plus but I’d do it a disservice leaving it there.
The game is either a coop or semi coop depending on what rules you go for (Basic or Advanced) with the ingenuous option of playing as an alien if you get killed by one
I was lucky enough to get to play two games of it, both of which were very different.
The game sees you playing out the plot or more accurately completing a number of objectives from the various aliens movies (1-4). Each use the same rules but work off different decks all of which makes for nicely different experiences
This game oozes theme. Everything you’d expect from the movies and a bit more. The designers took a little artistic license to bring a variety of different alien types not just the queen, face huggers and drones. The game sees the players battle xenos with acid blood, howling aliens, bigger dudes, smaller ones, stealthies, fast ones and all of them are believable.
A game starts by first picking which film to play out, choosing the respective alien and player decks and the three events that have to be completed to win the game. Seal the airlock. Setup sentry guns, Kill the queen and so on.
Players take an avatar with a certain amount of hit points and a unique starter card for their starter deck and square off with basic cards against aliens that each players turn move through six zones towards the combat zone (like a conveyor belt of chitinous doom). Once they get to the combat zone they start handing out damage cards like they were free samples so its key to wipe them out before they reach it.
The two currencies in the game are damage and recruit points. If you’ve played star realms (or most deck builders) you’ll be in familiar territory.
Recruit points (gold) allow you to buy more cards for your deck. Damage points are used to reveal aliens cards creeping through the sectors and wipe them out. Some of these aliens have an effect (usually negative) when revealed, some have an effect (usually negative) when they die.
So it’s a race to stem the tide of shiny black whilst trying to compete the group mission.
I got to play the first game with two players (it will accommodate five) and the second with three. We did very well with the first (the first alien movie) but got soundly hammered towards the end of he second (Couldn’t rescue all the hostages in time).
Even though it was coop it was a lot of fun and edge of your seat stuff from start to finish. Advanced rules allow for hidden agendas for characters (you might wind up with a Burke type character who wants to bring back a sample by being the sole survivor etc), now this mode really interests me. Equally you could play the rules that sees dead players take the part of aliens with their own decks and wreaking havoc with the humans.
This is a very neat game. I can see it becoming a decent iOS game like Star Realms before long and the Predator version which can be played stand alone or integrated with this is currently in kickstarter.
If I had to fault it I through the art work was only average. The designers chose to do their own art work rather than take stills from the films which range from comic art to recreations of movie scenes to junior colouring competition stuff. It doesn’t affect the gameplay at all but we’ve come to expect higher quality art on our cards and this isn’t it.
One thing of note is a lovely three foot long playmat that comes with the game and it’s invaluable for setup showing clearly where all the various stacks start and discard to
I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this game before playing it. I figured it would be a game with the aliens theme tacked on but I was pleasantly surprised. I’m not going to rush out to buy it because someone in the group has it but if you’re an alien(s) fan this is a fine game for your needs.