The night is long and full of neons. And under the shadows of darkness, behind the flashes of all the purple inscriptions, the gangs sweep through the streets of our city. It’s dangerous to just peek out the window, because the battle fro blurp has become very violent. This new drug is also the main thing, what the underworld uses today to express its power.
Box can attract and discourage players in the same time as the wild violet comic illustration dominate the lid. Inside, player discovers a game board divided into 36 squares. Above the map is placed a separate round indicator, which also serves as the basis for the offer of new gangsters. Here, players unveil four random cards from a shuffled deck of reinforcements during setup, among which are also mixed event cards. The city is then filled with dead zone tiles, andy and skyscraper tokens, all according to the chosen scenario.
On the map, each player also places his base on the required place, according to the chosen color. Individual participants will also receive a set of cards of their gang, their miniatures and, above all, a board to organize cards. Everyone shuffles deck of his members, from which they take the top two cards in their hand. They will get five dollars as starting money. Players should also not forget to place their pointer on the blurp scale.
Whole match is divided into nine rounds, in which players alternate regularly. At the beginning of each such turn, player takes the top card from his deck and adds it to his hand. He can immediately spend his stacked dollars for any reinforcement from the offer of four gangsters available above the board. The price per card varies according to its position, and the initial five dollars are gradually decreasing all the way to last card for free. But player can get any one of them. Once card has been removed, all the remaining cards are moved to the left, so their purchase value drops. Instead of buying, player may choose to get another gang card from his deck.
Then the opponents can finally move their figures on the map, which all start their journey on the base of the player. Within one turn, players can move two gangsters up to three spaces each. However, he must stop in the event, that character enters the box occupied by opponent. By moving, player tries to gain control over the individual spaces (locations, where his gangster is alone).
But that’s not all yet. After a move, the player can use up to three cards from his hand for their effects. Thanks to this, they can not only move figures further, get cards or money, but also build buildings.
Once there are members of at least two different gangs on one space, there will be a battle at the end of the turn. This is definitely interesting, as each of players uses secretly three cards from his hand. They always have one or more dice printed at the bottom. Once they get to the fight, selected gangsters will be revealed and players receive appropriate set of dice. Only their roll will determine the combat power of the player, which it then increased by the support of miniatures from the adjacent boxes.
Player, who rolls a higher attack, becomes the winner of the fight (tie goes to attacker). In addition to the hits, green icons also represent dollars, that a player steals from his opponent’s treasury. The winner will not only get the right to stay in the city, but will also receive a reward in the form of a blurp point, which he immediately marks on the scale. The loser must move all his gangsters back to base.
In a similar way, a duel is also taking place in the field, where players meet an Andy token – a combat police robot. It has its value of difficulty printed on the helmet and it is therefore clear, how much damage the player needs to deal with the help of his dice.
Rounds alternate one after another, but after every three, a short day phase occurs. Players will get blurp for every box they have under control and for each building. In addition, at this point, players can buy additional points of blurp for their savings. The game continues with other turns, until the ninth round is completed and final stages of the day ends the battle for gang ruler. The player with the highest blurp fortune becomes the winner.
Neon Gods is an interesting game, that unfortunately does not excel in anything. It is a conflicting and random battle of position on a map touched by deckbuilding. Gradually, players can buy new and stronger gangsters for their finances and upgrade their decks. Not only that, event cards will also come with options, that are activated immediately after purchase.
The game is definitely borne out by a simple offer of cards with a dynamic price. The differences are not so stunning, so you can spend a little more dollars to get a more interesting card without worries. Players often have more cards in their hand to choose from, which is good. This is because in the activation phase, players can draw new cards instead of using actions. This not only allows you to rotate the deck faster, but also have more cards to choose from for combat.
Most of all, we like card planning for battle. You never know, how strong the gangsters of second player will be, so you can send the strongest squad or take your change with weaker guys. The results of the dice themselves can also make a good turnaround of the overall result.
Unfortunately, the biggest problem is the overall theme, that is not chosen well and will not make you interested in gameplay too much. The impact of the game is rather neutral and it works more strictly. And despite the fact that there are a number of dice in the game, that otherwise exclude the strict impression.
The game is, of course, desperately not original, because most of the mechanisms presented here are already in another older game – The City of Remnants. Maybe that’s what they were trying to change the result in production by theme. But it did not work. Even the graphics itself is not exceptional and the overall impression will not even be saved by the miniatures.
On the contrary, there is a great deal of variability, because the individual gangs and their reinforcements are quite different. That’s why players can easily play again and enjoy each other somewhat different options.
Rules are really simple and you can learn them quickly, but the course itself is surprisingly long and usually exceeds one hour. This is also strongly associated with the number of players – more players prolong it. That’s why you would look for playing in a lower number of players, although with more opponents, there is much more interaction on the board.
Neon Gods are not a bad game, if you do not have a deeper experience with board games and you want something a bit more interesting and rich. The game is really random, but full of interesting moments. Although no element is new and the theme is weird, but even so, Neon Gods could get at least a few fans.
Neon Gods is disappointing game in the final numbers. The game does not offer, what it could. Result is fun with the tense battles on the city map. But if you do not mind playing with dice or drawing cards, then you can still be disappointed of long game time and theme. Not many players passes these tests and still remain interested in the end. Neon Gods does not deserve such a destiny, because at least they are at least a good and variable game, but thats how it is.