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Review: Astrobirdz

by Marinda Darnell

Astrobirdz™ Card Game by Bill Cobb Productions, Inc. is a card game that boggles the mind. Packaged in more traditional muted colors and 5th rate art, most buyers would think this was a very old game. In fact, it is brand new, premiering at GAMA Trade Show 2006.

AstrobirdzTM Card Game is a one of a series of games based upon the world of Birdnest NebulaTM, and warns that the BirdzTM are coming. The BirdzTM are divided between BerzerkerbirdzTM and AstrobirdzTM. All BirdzTM ride jet powered surfboards, in radical colors, a lot of “surfer” talk, and carry large caliber looking weapons. The point of the game is to do the most “tricks” with your power board while playing within pinnacle rules.

Game play is based upon pinnacle, with a few additional rules taken from such classics as Euchre. The rules are very close to pinnacle with some key words being changed to new, more radical, surfier terms. With the exception of calling cards by different names and a few “powers” added to the cards, there is not very much distinction between this game and more traditional card games. A 9 card no longer has a suit and is now the “1240 Kickflip Crooked Grind to Salad Grind to 50 50 Grind”, while a 6 is a”Kickturn Mute Stale Lipslide to Pop Shuivt”. The scoring is a bit different then pincacle with bonuses given to being a different color AstroBirdzTM, the pink AstroBirdzTM receiving a 7 point bonus, while the yellow only receives a 4 point bonus.

There is no distinction on the backs of the cards between the Berzerkerbirdz and the other Birdz cards, which can possibly cause confusion, and at the very least irritation to the players. The card stock is of medium quality, printed with primary colors. The art is reminiscent of very early cartoon art, with less polish then the first such publications. Characters often have out of proportion limbs, armor, and vehicles, with very little detail all the way around. Most of the art looks to be drawn by a very young person with a very active imagination. The best that our playtesters could say about this product is the outer box is very sturdy.

With a retail price of $24.99, a deck of pinnacle cards for $5.00 is a much more sound investment. More attention should have been paid to editing, game design, and playtesting. The game has too many blatant sources from other games, while being billed as a new, different, and exciting game. Our playtesters were bored with the game within the first turn, and were quickly looking for a new game to keep them awake.

With contributing remarks from Adam Miller, Frank Huminski, Erik Zane, and Katie Mc Cord.

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