Rick and Morty: The Ricks Must Be Crazy Multiverse Game Review

Rick and Morty: The Ricks Must Be Crazy Multiverse Game is a game by Matt Hyra and Cory Jones, published by Cryptozoic Entertainment. It is for 2-4 players. In this game, players take on the role of one of the characters from the TV show, Rick and Morty. They will be building contraptions and power supplies to earn victory points. Of course they’ll have to watch out for their opponents who will also be trying to snatch up that power for themselves. In the end, the player that can earn the most VPs will be declared the winner.

To begin, each player chooses a character and takes the character’s oversized card, pawn, VP tracking token and Build/Control tokens. Each player places the oversized character card in front of them. It is recommended for the first game, to have the full art side face up. After a few games, players can choose to use the flip side. The Power/VP track is placed near the middle of the play area. Each player places their character’s VP tracking token on the 0 space of the VP track with their character’s face side up. When playing with the special abilities, each player should read aloud their special ability for all players to hear. The oversized ‘Verse cards are placed in the middle of the play area in a row. The cards are placed in this order from top to bottom; Rickverse, Microverse, Miniverse, Teenyverse. Space for cards to be placed should be left between each of the ‘Verse cards. Each of the ‘Verse card’s special text is read aloud for everyone to hear. Each player places their character’s pawn on the Teenyverse card. The cards are shuffled together and placed face down near the middle of the play area. Each player is dealt 5 cards each. This is their starting hand. The first player is chosen and is given the First Player token along with the 5 Action tokens. Play now begins.

The game is played over a series of rounds. Each round consists of two phases; the Action Phase and the Power Up Phase. At the start of each round, each player will draw 1 card from the deck. If a player is playing as Morty and using the special abilities side of the card, they will draw 2 cards instead of just 1. In the Action phase, each player will take a turn. At the start of each player’s turn, they will take Action tokens equal to the Action icon value on the ‘Verse card that their character’s pawn is located on. In the player’s Action phase, they will be able to take actions from a list of 6 different actions. Each action costs 1 Action token to perform. The player may use an Action token to place a Contraption card. This is done by placing the chosen Contraption card below the ‘Verse card that your character’s pawn is on. The player will then place 1 of their Build tokens on it with the hammer and wrench side face up. They may use an Action token to place a Power Supply card. This may be placed below the ‘Verse that the player’s character pawn occupies or it may be placed 1 ‘Verse lower. When placed on the same ‘Verse as their character pawn, the player places a Build token on the card with the hammer and wrench side up. If the player chose to place it 1 ‘Verse lower, then the player must have enough Action tokens to complete it. However the cost to complete it is much lower and uses the lower Action cost on the card, more on this in a moment. Another action that may be taken for 1 Action token is to attach an Ability. The Ability card is placed beside the player’s character card and just like Contraptions and Power Supply cards, a Build token is placed on it with the hammer and wrench side up. With Contraptions, Power Supplies and Abilities partially built, another action the player can take is to add a Build token to one of these for the cost of 1 Action token. Once the number of Build tokens matches the Action cost of the card, the player removes all of the Build tokens from the card. The card is then considered built. If a Contraption was built, the player flips one of their Build tokens to the other side to the face side and places it on the card to show who controls it. Power Supplies do not have owners but the player that completes it gains the reward listed on the card instead. Ability cards provide an ability that may be used once per round by paying the specific cost to activate it. If a player is running low of Action tokens, it should be noted that they have the option to discard a card to gain an action. Yet another available action for players to take is to move their pawn to an adjacent ‘Verse card. This costs an action token just like the other actions. The final action is to discard a card to draw a card for the cost of one action. Once a player runs out of actions or chooses to pass, play passes to the next player in turn order. Once each player has completed a turn, play moves to the next phase.

The next phase is the Power Up Phase. In this phase, each ‘Verse wil be resolved starting with the Teenyverse and moving up to the Rickverse. At the beginning of the game, the Power Level is set to 0 by placing the Power Tracking Token on 0 space of the Power/VP track. For each ‘Verse, players will complete 3 steps before resolving the next ‘Verse. First, the players must check for any completed Power Supplies in that particular ‘Verse. If there are any, then the amount of power listed on the card is added to the Power track. Next, each player in turn order may play only one One Shot card and activate any number of their abilities once, as long as their character pawn is present on this ‘Verse. One shot cards cost a specific amount of power that the player must pay by moving the Power Tracking token down on the track. For the final step, players in turn order will activate completed Contraptions that they control in the particular ‘Verse. It should be noted that in the Rickverse, players may activate partially built Contraptions as well. Also of note is that players do not have to their character’s pawn present on the particular ‘Verse to be able to activate a Contraption. Once all Contraptions have been activated, or all of the power has been used up, any remaining power is saved and is available for the next ‘Verse up. This process is then repeated for the next ‘Verse up and so on until the Rickverse has been resolved.

Once the Power Up phase for the Rickverse has been completed, the round ends. Any remaining power is lost and the Power Track is set back onto 0. Players will then check to see if anyone was able to hit the required Victory Points number to end the game. If they reached that number at any time during the round, then the game ends. If not, then play and the First Player marker passes to the next player in turn order. A new round will then begin. If a player did hit the required number, even if they lost points placing them below the required number, the game ends at the end of that round. Players check the VP track and the player with the most VPs is the winner.

 

COMPONENTS
This game comes with some great quality pieces. First off there is the Power and Victory Point track. This is thick cardboard is has the show’s logo at the top of it. As the numbers get higher, the color goes from green to red. It’s pretty cool looking. Some other cardboard pieces are the different character pawns. There are four of these that showcase a particular character. The background color of these matches with the plastic base that the pawn is placed into. The color also matches on the character’s VP Tracking token, Build/Control tokens and Character card. The tokens have the character’s face on one side. The other side has a hammer and wrench for the Build/Control tokens and +30 on the back of the VP Tracker. The Power Tracking token is the same size as the player’s VP Tracking tokens, but it has the power design that is present on the One Shot cards and at the bottom of the Power Supply cards. This design is also present on one side of the 5 Action tokens. The other side of these has a gear design that is the same as the Action cost on the different cards. The ‘Verse cards are also thick cardboard pieces. These have a piece of art that looks like it was taken from the show. These cardboard pieces are really nice and sturdy. The Build/Control tokens feel a bit small but it’s nothing major. This brings me to the cards of the game. There are the oversized character cards and the regular sized game cards. The character cards remind me a lot of the character cards for the DC Comics Deck Building Game. They seem very close to the same size, even the design is similar. On one side is a full art picture with the character’s name. The other side looks more like the DC character cards with the character’s name, picture and ability down below. I really like how these are set up and I like the artwork. Then there are the game cards. Each of these looks like it has an image from the show on it. The card quality is good, although the cards are a bit slick. The iconography on the cards is pretty simple to understand and the text is easy to read. This brings me to the few minor issues that I have with the components. First, there’s the First Player token. This large cardboard piece depicts the main 2 characters with outstretched arms and raised middle fingers. In other words, they’re flippin’ the bird. Was this image seriously necessary? This same type of crude and brash humor is also found in the images of a couple of the cards, such as the Egan Cinema and Peace Among Worlds. Some of the card names are a bit rough as well. Those I won’t list here, just be aware that they’re there. Look I get that the game is based on an adult cartoon from Adult Swim. However there’s really no need for images and words like that in a board game. I’m a bit disappointed. For the most part the game looks good, however those few blemishes on an otherwise nice looking game will affect my rating.
6 out of 10

RULEBOOK
The rulebook for this game is pretty good. There are a few pictures and some examples of gameplay in the book. However there can always be more. The explanation of how to set up the game is great, as is the picture that accompanies it. Each of the different icons, tokens and card types are explained in great detail, which I really appreciate. The problem I found was in the explanation of the rules. It seems like to get the full concept of how to play the game, you need to bounce from one page to the next. The phases and steps are laid out, but are then explained in greater detail on a different page. You’ll also need to flip ahead to understand different parts not spelled out in this section, as well as flipping back for more information on how the cards work. It’s a bit annoying and rather frustrating. The rules for the game are not that difficult, but to fully understand them requires way too much trouble. Thankfully, once you have learned the rules, the back page has a nice reference on how a round works. This is one more part of the book that I’m thankful for. No need to start flipping and hunting again. All that said, I think the book is ok but could have been designed a lot better. Once more, I’m disappointed in the results.
7 out of 10

GAMEPLAY
So far, this game has had some very mediocre ratings from me. Thankfully though, the game plays better than the sum of it’s parts. First I’ll admit, I’ve only watched 1 episode of Rick and Morty. So I know very little about the show or it’s characters. They look like a spoof of Doc Brown and Marty McFly from Back to the Future, which I’m sure is the basis for the characters. The one episode that I watched seemed rather disgusting and nothing like what I expected it to be. That said, I was only mildly interested in this game when I first saw it. Obviously some of the humor of the game is lost on me, having only watched 1 episode. Still I found the game quite interesting and kind of fun. It has a few similarities to the DC Deck Building Game with a bit of worker placement feel to it. The idea is to get the most Victory Points by building different Contraptions and Power Supplies. You’ll power up your character using abilities and be better able to perform certain tasks by using your special ability. I like as the power levels build in each ‘Verse, you’re able to use that power to do more things. That is as long as you’re able to be one of the first players to use it. The idea that players higher in the turn order can use up all the power before another player lower in turn order can adds a little bit of take that to the game. Of course you’ll need to move around to be able to build and activate more Contraptions. The more you build and control, the better off you’ll be and the more you’ll be able to do. The one problem is that as you move further from the starting ‘Verse, you’ll lose more and more actions. The closer you come to the starting ‘Verse, you’ll start gaining those actions back. Of course you won’t get them until the next turn. I do like how that the game seems to always be changing. Things get built and power gets added to the pool. This allows you to do more things and gives you more choices to make. I like having plenty of choices to make. It means that there’s no one path to victory. That’s true with this game. I think that fans of the show may enjoy this one, especially if they like any of the Cryptozoic Deck Building games or they like games with a worker placement feel to them. Thematically, I can’t say that it fits or doesn’t, as I’m unfamiliar with the show. As I mentioned earlier, the only real problem that I found with this game is the crude humor and images on some of the cards and the first player token. I saw no real need for any of it. Those few images and words could have been replaced with something different and it wouldn’t have affected the gameplay. If anything it would have improved the look of the game. As it is, this is one that is not family friendly. That is unless you don’t mind your kids seeing the images and words. This may work with older teens and adults. I’m guessing that’s why it has ages 17 and up written on the box. That makes sense. Otherwise the game is good. I enjoy playing it. With the right group, it works. This is one that I would only recommend for the age limit on the box. For families and those with younger kids, this would be a pass. The main thing is to know what you’re getting into before playing it. Overall, it’s a fun game with an image problem.
8 out of 10

OVERALL
Rick and Morty: The Ricks Must Be Crazy Multiverse Game is a game that combines aspects of worker placement with a bit of take that. It’s centered on the characters from the Rick and Morty show on Adult Swim. The game doesn’t take too long. Most game sessions last around 40 minutes. The components look great and are remind me of those found in the Cryptozoic Deck Building games. However there are a few things like the First Player token and some of the cards that have some rather crude humor and images on them that I found unnecessary. The rulebook looks good but requires a lot of page flipping to fully understand the rules. This was yet another aspect of the game that I found disappointing. The game itself makes up for some of the failures of the components and rulebook, as it’s actually a fun game. I enjoy that there are aspects of several mechanics in work here. I enjoyed playing this one and find that even despite the minor issues that I had with this one, it somewhat redeemed itself. Unfortunately I know very little about the show so I’m sure most of the humor of the game has escaped me. This is one that is not family friendly. Families and players with small children should probably look somewhere else. Those players 17 and above may find plenty of things to like, especially if they enjoy the show. This is one game that I could only recommend for the ages listed on the box, 17 and above. As it is, it’s not a bad game if you know what you’re getting into first.
7 out of 10

For more information about this and other great games, please check out Cryptozoic Entertainment at their site.

http://www.cryptozoic.com/

 

 

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About Gaming Bits - Jonathan Nelson

I'm a happily married man with 2 wonderful kids. I love my family very much. I'm a big fan of board, card and RPG games and have been playing for over 20 years. As a board and card game reviewer, I'm hoping that this blog will inform, educate and entertain you. If you like it, please tell your friends and have them join in on the conversations. Thanks and GAME ON!!
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