Game Genre: Social Party Game
Designer: Darin Ross
Publisher: Skybound Games
Number of Players: 3-10
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Battles theoretical, fanciful, and outlandish are all part and parcel of Superfight. Superfight is a game where Bruce Lee with a Portal gun can go up against a Crazy Cat Lady, where the Giant Marshmallow Man can face off against Genghis Khan with Mario as his sidekick.
These social games have all drawn inspiration from Apples to Apples or its adult-themed spawn, Cards Against Humanity. The play mechanics are simple: a referee unveils a random fighter made up of a character card and a character trait/ability. Each player then decides which combatant to pit against the referee’s fighter. Other players will get a chance to help or hurt each other player’s selected fighter by playing additional cards.
Once the dust settles, the players will work at convincing the referee that their chosen fighter can defeat the referee’s fighter. After hearing arguments and rebuttals, the referee decides which of the other players’ fighters has the best chance and that player will win the given round.
Superfight is Better than Cards Against Humanity
The description of the gameplay certainly makes Superfight sound like another variant of Cards Against Humanity. But unlike Cards Against Humanity, where players try to make the best joke out of a bad situation, Superfight inserts a modicum of creativity into the social aspect of the game.
Unlike games where the referee simply reads the card’s contents, Superfight’s argumentation phase can lead to some creative outcomes, like having to spin the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle to one’s benefit or trying to reach deep into the Marvel canon to argue the outcome of Iron Man wielding Mjolnir. It’s a good exercise in quick thinking as players stretch the bounds of what their cards can mean and makes for interesting conversations and narratives, especially when they succeed in subverting a card that sabotages their efforts.
Superfight Is An Appetizer Game At Its Core
With most social games of its ilk that’s reference heavy, Superfight demands that you’re at least familiar with most of the memes and pop culture references it throws your way. If you haven’t been immersed in that realm, it can make the argumentation phase tedious as you’re flipping through your phone to find out just what exactly a Fat Man from Fallout is.
On top of that, because it’s a social game, it requires you to be social! Hard to believe, but it’s true. Players are encouraged to talk talk talk talk, sometimes to the point of being tiresome bores. And it gets worse when players have the argumentation skills of a PETA Protester. Other players are advised to actively police each round to make sure it doesn’t stretch longer than necessary. That’s not to say that there’s a time limit that needs to be strictly implemented; by all means, let the lively discussion continue if everyone’s engaged. Just know when other people are getting bored and call a vote when that happens.
If you’re the type of gamer who likes to analyze scenarios and problem-solve (a category that I unabashedly fall into), Superfight is a tough, but palatable sell, an appetizer game that shouldn’t be played for longer than 30 minutes at a time. It can be silly and can offer those flashes of creativity. Still, if you share my tastes in social games, I’d encourage you to take a look at Codenames instead.
Verdict: 5/10 – So-so: Superfight’s a game I could be pushed into playing from time to time with the right group.
- Strong social mechanics derived from the thought experiment involving the fighters.
- Creative discussion fomented during the argumentation phase… with the right people.
- Easy to learn and get into; an appetizer game through and through.
- Requires knowledge of pop culture characters and weaponry.
- Requires people who can at least put forth coherent arguments. Mileage really varies.
- Argumentation can take just a bit too long. Know when some people are getting bored.
- Not a game for quiet people or people who prefer more analytical fare.
- Not a game I can enjoy for more than 30 minutes.