Z-Man Games' Challengers! upcoming board game.
Image Source: Z-Man Games

Deck-building board game enthusiasts will be pleased to read about “Challengers!”, the newest upcoming title from the collaboration of Z-Man Games (known for the popular “Pandemic” series and “Carcassonne”) and 1 More Time Games – an indie tabletop studio based in Vienna, Austria.

At its core, “Challengers!” is an interactive deck-management game for up to 8 players. It has 75 unique characters from many different franchises and time periods – from prehistoric dinosaurs to superheroes, wizards, aliens, monsters to Hollywood movie stars. Players will have to combine these characters into unique decks and then duel each other to win the game.

Multiplayer or Solo – The Challenge Never Ends

Players start each playthrough by gathering cards from a marketplace and then combining them in order to build a deck. After this phase is complete – it’s time for battle! After each duel, players are able to tweak and tune their decks. Every character card has its own unique abilities, purpose and advantages against certain types of cards, ensuring endless possibilities with every duel and playthrough.

Players can take advantage of this and make epic card synergies, which will help them devastate their opponents. Alternatively, players might employ a more defensive approach, anticipate their opponent’s moves, and unleash a devastating counterattack. There are more than 40 unique effects in the game, so players can have a fun time experimenting with different strategies and find the style that best suits them.

Even though the potential player count can be quite high for a deck-building board game (a maximum of 8), each duel is done by two people. The winner advances forward in a tournament-style fashion. In the end, the most successful opponents battle it out to the bitter end!

Note that even though a player might suffer defeat in a duel, success can still be achieved – there is a losers’ bracket. The duels themselves are played in a “capture the flag” style competition. Depending on player size, each tournament bracket may hold up to four duels that can be played simultaneously. A typical game of “Challengers!” may last from 45 minutes up to an hour, depending on the number of players involved. If you want to go solo – no problem! “Challengers!” has got you covered – the game has a solo mode, which will put you up against an AI character.

Another great feature of the game that is worth mentioning are the four different playmats players can choose from. They are compact, easy to use and maintain, and the artwork is extremely pleasing.

“Challengers!” is set to debut (and be available for purchase) at this year’s SPIEL board game convention, which will take place from October 6th to 9th in Essen, Germany. Participants and guests will be able to buy the game on the spot. Those who can’t attend the festival will have to wait until November for a copy, when the game will be released in the US, Canada, UK, France, and Germany at a retail price of $39.99.

A self-proclaimed warrior-poet, Krasen is a man of many hobbies – ranging from combat sports training, LARPing, to writing poetry. One of those many hobbies happens to be board games. Be it with a fist, pen, sword or keyboard – he aims to be just, merciless and effective.