For more years than I can remember, I’ve seen Funko figures on the shelves at local stores. While they have always looked cool, I’ve never really given them more than a cursory glance as I’m not really in the market for more action figures or toys. Yet darn if that Kylo Ren figure wasn’t always trying to tempt me…
At Gen Con this year, Funko figures made their debut in the form of Funkoverse Strategy Game. No longer content to just sit on your shelf looking awesome, the Funkoverse Strategy Game lets players build a squad and battle their opponent for supremacy. Designed by Prospero Hall (Horrified, Villainous, Jaws, and a ton of others), the Funkoverse Strategy Game seeks to make their mark on the skirmish world. Let’s see if they succeeded.
There are actually a few ways to play the Funkoverse Strategy Game. The rulebook starts players off with a basic play mode to get their feet wet, and after that, offers up four different play modes (Flags, Control, Territory, and Leaders).
Assembling your squad is about as easy as can be. Choose any three characters and one item. You can mix and match between universes as well. For this review, we were giving Harry Potter 100 and DC 100 sets, so my latest team consisted of Harry Potter, Batman, and Hermione Granger.
To play the game each player alternates taking two actions with an unexhausted character. Different actions include:
- Move: 2 squares in any direction, including diagonals.
- Interact: Activate tokens on the board.
- Assist: Stand up an adjacent ally.
- Rally: Stand up your character if they are knocked down. This takes both actions.
- Ability or Item: Some require actions to use.
- Basic Challenge: Roll two dice to challenge an adjacent rival. Every hit icon is one success, while every “!!!” icon is three successes. The defender then rolls 2 dice, with every shield being 1 success and every “!!!” being three successes. If you roll more successes than the defender, you knock them down. If they were already knocked down, they are knocked out.
Character-specific abilities require tokens to activate. These are placed on the cooldown track in a specific spot, depending on how powerful the action is. For example Batman’s Pow! ability requires placing a red token on space two of the cooldown track, which lets him challenge with 3 dice. If you are out of tokens of the needed color, you can’t use an ability.
After all, characters have taken a turn, the round ends and exhaust tokens are removed from the characters. All tokens and items on the cool down track are shifted once number lower, with any moving off the track being available again.
The basic game ends when a player knocks out a rival’s character, and the full game ends when a certain point threshold is reached (points are earned in various ways depending on the scenario).
I must say, I was really impressed with the mechanics behind the Funkoverse Strategy Game. What could have been a mediocre skirmish game leaning on the licensed figures as a crutch ended up being a really innovative strategy game. Don’t get me wrong, the Funkoverse Strategy Game is definitely a light, tactical game, but that’s one of the things I love about it. The rules take all of five minutes to learn, yet still offers enough depth to keep the game interesting.
One of the primary reasons is that each character feels both thematic and unique. For example, Batman is all about doing damage and being in the thick of the fight, while Hermione’s abilities are more support focused. Every character has three different abilities and also a unique trait. I think players will have a lot of fun mixing and matching different characters for their team. And because squad building doesn’t require calculating points or anything like that, building a new team is a breeze.
I also thought that the cooldown track was an inspired mechanic. Instead of having to keep track of energy to spend on various powers, you just place a token on the track and activate the ability. The balancing mechanic is that powerful ones take longer to refresh. Each character adds two tokens to your pool at the start of the game (of four possible colors), yet the tokens can be used for any character’s powers. So the grey token that The Joker provides can be used to activate Lord Voldemort’s Confringo power. All in all, it worked really smoothly.
I’ve played the Funkoverse Strategy Game both with my regular gaming group and some kids as well, and all of them had a good time. When playing with little ones, we tend to stick to the intro rules and just go for a knockdown. Even at age 9, my opponent was able to figure out how the abilities worked and only needed help here and there with strategies. For the adults, I’d definitely recommend sticking with the scenarios, as the gameplay in those is much more interesting.
As much as I’m enjoying the Funkoverse Strategy Game, the only thing that didn’t wow me was the combat. I’m never a huge fan of opposed dice rolls of this type, as they can be really random and swingy. And the game doesn’t offer a ton of ways to mitigate the luck of the dice rolls. However, with one more hit symbol than defensive symbol on the dice, the game does seem to reward offensive and attack strategies.
I came away really impressed with the Funkoverse Strategy Game. It’s light, tactical nature makes it an excellent entry-level skirmish game that offers some solid replay value. And as you might expect, the production values are fantastic with fully painted minis and dual-sided game boards. Squad building was super easy and you can mix and match from any of the games in the Funkoverse universe. Currently, you have options between Harry Potter, DC, Rick and Morty, and The Golden Girls (yes, Dorthy, Rose, Blanche, etc…).
While I expected the Funkoverse Strategy Game to be primarily a family game, I was really impressed with the mechanics and feel like it’s a great option for anyone looking for a streamlined skirmish game that uses some characters they already know and love.
Final score: 4.5 stars – An easy to learn skirmish game with a ton of options for building your favorite team.
• Opposed attack rolls are never my favorite and can be swingy